We have always operated a safety net...
On February 7, 1911, a group of citizens met to discuss the idea to form a collaboration of all the charitable organizations in Frederick, Maryland as a “federated charities” group. The Federated Charities Corporation of Frederick was incorporated on March 25th of that same year. Our first home was located at 133 South Market Street. Our first annual report, published in 1912 describes 4 programs with a total annual budget of $3,060.
Charitable societies were originally conceptualized to address poverty through coordinated efforts as the United States entered an industrial era during the 1870s. Most, including Federated Charities, formed and operated autonomously in their communities and notably included paying wages to staff who carried out the work of the society. Following WWII, many of these societies were replaced by public service agencies, like the health department, departs of social services and other public/private welfare agencies. During times of economic upheaval, charitable societies were a safety net for individuals and families and we continue this work today as a nonprofit center.
Handwritten family case records, photographs and archival material from these early days still exist in our archives today and provide a glimpse of the history of poverty and need in our community and how we have chosen to respond to it.
Countless organizations in Frederick have had a home with us, including The Red Cross, United Way, the Frederick Free Kindergarten and the C. Burr Artz Library. Our network of services ranges from medical and dental care, advocacy and land preservation, counseling and legal programs, foster care and children’s services and disaster relief.
You can play a role in preserving the safety net that continues today for all of us. We never know when we’re going to need it.