Document 33: Annual Report of Druid Hill Avenue Branch, 1926, unprocessed collection of YWCA of Greater Baltimore, 128 W. Franklin Street.

Introduction

        In January 1926 the Druid Hill Avenue Branch reopened its doors. This, its first annual report after the reopening, speaks to the importance of support from Cordella Winn of the YWCA National Board. Despite its earlier difficulties, this Colored Branch appears to have thrived in the years that followed. It outgrew its original building and in 1945 moved into a new building on Madison Avenue. In the 1970s, with full integration of the Baltimore YWCA, the activities of all the branches were consolidated at the Y's main building, and the branch offices closed.

ANNUAL REPORT OF
DRUID HILL AVENUE BRANCH
1926

“Joy comes--we know not how;  
Everything is happy now            
Everything is upward striving--“

        These words of the poet come to us as we try to characterize our Branch work at the close of the year 1926. It is interesting to look back over a year with its successes and failures, realizing that we have done the things we should not have done and left undone the things we ought to have done. There is something young, valient and courageous in starting a work with new ideals and plans. We face a future with confidence, happy over successes and cheerfully making new resolutions. We set about our tasks with an abiding faith in Him, ‘who walks with us by the way.’ Each day is a new beginning--a new opportunity for life at its best and while we are not neccessarily masters of our fate, we are responsible for the attitude with which we meet the daily happenings, we are responsible for the happiness of others; for giving cheer, comfort, encouragement and hope--a dedication to the lofty ideals of service to others.

       The informal reoopening of the Branch, in the early days of January, was a fitting beginning for the year. This was followed by a visit from Mrs. Winn, a member of the National Staff, who set up our committee organization and with fourteen members, we began our year's work.

       It has been a constant effort on the part of all concerned to make our residence attractive and comfortable and to get the most and best possible use out of the entire building. Repairs have been in excess of what we expected, conditions have been most unfavorable for the moment, but we have attempted to maintain an air of cordiality, comfort and service. Frequent donations of furnishings worth while from the Central Association have helped to bring this about. We know we are not up to the standard by any means, but we are working toward it. We have given an estimated service to nearly four thousand women and girls in our building, with the care of seventy-eight in our emergency room for one night or more. The calls for maid help and employment has been five hundred and ninety-nine. These calls after some investigation have been turned over to reliable agencies. To answer a service of this kind efficiently would require more than a half-time secretary.

       Thirty-one human problems have come to our attention for protection and guidance during the year. Several have recieved free lodging and food. All have been directed to agencies who could take care of their needs.

       Many outside organizations have enjoyed pleasant and successful meetings in our building. Among them are Women's Civic League, Health Week Committee, Delta Sigma Theta, Mother and Daughter Tea and Party, Maryland Political Study Club.

       Our work in Education has been a study of educational facilities in the city. During the year courses and classes have been offered in Bible, Parliamentary Law, Conversational English, Dramatics, Conversational French, Ukulele, Sewing, Millinery, Fancy Needle Work, Decorative Art, Charm, Reducing Classes and Cooking with competent teachers. While requests have come for these classes, only Conversational English and Bible were considered successful as far as registration was concerned. Lectures have been given on Christian Leadership, Parliamentary Law, World Fellowship and Health. These have all been well attended. The Peabody Institute is conducting extension work in our building on Saturdays. The Library and magazines which are donated by the members of the committee and friends have contributed much to the pleasure of the girls.

       The Room Registry Committee's study of housing conditions and the filing of suitable rooms for use at the building and with the Travellers' Aid, has met a real community need.

       The membership fell far below our expectation at the beginning of the year, but as we stop to consider conditions as they existed when we attempted to solicit Branch Membership, we feel that we have the beginning of a large and representative membership. Our monthly membership meetings have done much to analyze the scope of Association work.

       Our greatest emphasis has been placed upon the adolescent girl--Girl Reserve. The scope of this program covers every phase of girl life and the success as it applies to the three hundred and seventy-eight girls of grade, junior high, high and Training School with a yearly attendance of nearly three thousand, has been due to the splendid assistance of the young women, who have given of their time and energy, as advisors to these groups in the development of this program. In our crowded, poorly ventilated rooms, weekly meetings including ceremonials, parties and games have been conducted with efficiency. Hikes, picnics and swims have been supervised. With the aid of the Leaders Training course, conducted by the City Girl Reserve secretary, we should give superior service to girls.

       The two principle events of the Hospitality Committee was a Silver Tea and Music Week Celebration, both events were pleasing and well attended.

       The posters and announcements of the various events and class work which has appeared from time to time and the notes in the daily paper was the work of the Publicity Committee. The Herald-Commonwealth and the Afro-American have been most liberal in giving us the free use of their columns for the advertising of our work.

       The adjustment of the budget allowance to meet our needs was not an easy task for our able finance committee. But with frequent unforseen repairs, emergencies, unlooked for, and a meager knowledge of what would be the current demands of our present quarters, we have lived within our yearly allowance.

       All credit is due the women composing the Committee of Management for the efficient manner in which they have directed the work of the Branch. We could not close this report without expressing our sincere appreciation to all who have so willingly contributed to the work of the Druid Hill Avenue Branch.

       The splendid cooperation of the girls, their loyalty to a cause has made the work a real joy to us. We feel that we have all received satisfaction in knowing that we are serving in a great movement--well rounded development and more abundant life to women and girls.

       And what of the future? We need not be afraid, if only we strive in true sincerity to serve. We are at a point where we need additional staff and larger and more convenient quarters for our work which has every possiblity from a standpoint of leadership and community needs. We shall only succeed in building our work as love and longing dominates our spirits.

       Figures are as follows:

DRUID HILL AVENUE BRANCH ANNUAL REPORT.
1926.

1. Committee meetings.................................................................
80
2. Directed to agencies for employment......................................
599
3. Supplied with rooms through Room Registry..........................
59
4. Accomodated in the building....................................................
78
5. Classes organized.....................................................................
8
6. Class enrollment.........................................................................
58
7. Protection and guidance...........................................................
31
8. Building used by outside organizations...................................
46
9. No. of meetings..........................................................................
58
10. No. of club groups....................................................................
4
      Total enrollment for the year....................................................
378
11.    149 Grade School
         107 Junior High
         122 High
12. No. of meetings........................................................................
98
13. Total Attendance......................................................................
2488
14. Average Attendance................................................................
25
15. No. initiated Girl Reserves......................................................
100
16. Group activities
       Lectures....................................................................................
6
       Parties......................................................................................
9
       Hikes.........................................................................................
9
       Musicles [sic]...........................................................................
2
Recreation.......................................................................................
863
Membership to date.......................................................................
151
19.    142 Adults
             9 Juniors.
Estimated number using the building for all purposes...............
3448

        Respectfully submitted,
               
        Mabel L. Whiting,
        Branch Secretary.

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