Document 21: Excerpts from the Annual Report of the Colored Young Women's Christian Association, 1906, unprocessed collection of YWCA of Greater Baltimore, 128 W. Franklin Street.

Introduction

      The following document, taken from the Annual Report of the CYWCA of 1906,  provides a clear description of the purposes of the Colored Young Women's Christian Association.  The language reflects the concern for the spiritual and physical conditions of young working class black women through Christian charity.  The religious aspects of charity work tended to be stressed in the Colored Young Women's Christian Association.  The document addresses the desire to provide a "home" for working girls away from home.

ANNUAL REPORT

OF THE COLORED YOUNG WOMEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION,

FROM OCT. 30, 1905, TO DEC. 30, 1906 

      We, the Board of Managers of the C.Y.M.C.A. beg to submit a report of the work done by the Association during the past year, ending December 31, 1906.

      This time has witnessed much progress and success in our work; an increased membership roll, and continued co-operation and earnest effort from the different departments.  We have continued to work with much zeal to meet our monthly payments on the building, and have frequently been able to pay more than as agreed upon.

OBJECT.

      The object of the Colored Young Women's Christian Association is to help young women in our community to a better and truer womanhood; to encourage them to make the most of themselves in mind, body and soul; to teach them to find the sweetness of life, and its compensations, even under the most discouraging and adverse of circumstances.

AIM.

      The aim is to make the Association Rooms a place for social gatherings, where young women, who have no homes in the city, may spend a pleasant evening, and feel that there welcome and cheer, love and protection are always to be found.

      It is a mission field, too, where many are comforted and saved, and where a sympathizing friend is ever in attendance.  It is also especially our aim to assist our girls to fit themselves for better positions in life.

      There is no class of people so helpless, or who stand so much in need of wise friends as the many young girls who leave their country homes and the care of parents, to come to live in the city.  Their ignorance of evil renders them more liable to fall into the many traps set for their unwary feet.  It is to this class most especially that the C.Y.W.C.A. wishes to extend its most careful attention and sympathy.

      Christian Associations are strictly undenominational and do not in any way conflict with the churches, yet all young women are earnestly urged to connect themselves with some church, and pastors find a great need supplied in these Associations, where they can send young girls needing womanly help and a Christian home.

      The Association gives a good home, pleasant surroundings, religious instructions, educational facilities, on a limited scale, and industrial training.

      The members of our Home pay $2.00 a month for its privileges. In order to supply the necessities, truly a large sum is needed each year, and an appeal is made to those in our community who are generously inclined to help care for, protect and assist to better lives the young girls of Baltimore.  There are at present 14 girls who are inmates of the home.

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