Answer: Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania
Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania is a women’s volunteer organization that was founded by eight Philadelphia women in 1914. It grew into one of the largest women’s organizations in the Philadelphia area. Its initial purpose, to provide aid for servicewomen and men, as well as civilians in need during wartime, was quickly set into motion with the outbreak of World War I. Emergency Aid was the first organization in Philadelphia to forward relief supplies to the military and civilian forces of the Allies. The organization sent millions of dollars in money and supplies for overseas relief throughout the war, and had its own distributing centers in each country. After the war, Emergency Aid became active in combating the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic. (At the time Philadelphia did not have a Red Cross chapter.)
In World War II, Emergency Aid again secured and sent relief supplies to the Allies and rendered services to U.S. military personnel. Its services ranged from distributing books and magazines to naval and military center to knitting garments for people in service to arranging home entertainment for officers.
From its founding through World War II, Emergency Aid also ran a local welfare program continued, which offered follow-up care for infantile paralysis victims; unemployment relief; supplemental meals for school children; emergency help and clothing for individuals and families; and aid for the disabled, the sick, and the underprivileged.
The Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania continues its work as the Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania Foundation, Inc., offering grants and providing opportunities in mentoring and other forms of community service.
HSP holds a significant collection of records from the Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania (#3263). The collection dates from 1889 to 1984, with the bulk of the material centered between 1914 and1978. Overall, it documents the organization’s evolution from war-time relief efforts to philanthropic community service and grant-giving through administrative records, correspondence, financial papers, and numerous photographs and clippings.