Meadville Tribune

Local News

April 19, 2013

Center for Family Services to mark 150 years


MEADVILLE — You can go

The 13th Annual Center for Family Services Music Benefit is Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Italian Civic Club, 869 Water St., Meadville. CFS celebrates its 150th year aiding families experiencing a crisis. Doors open at 6:30 and tickets are $15. Entertainment includes The Sofa King Cool Band.

n More information: Call 337-8450 or email

Center for Family Services history

- 1863: The Center for Family Services Inc. is a direct descendant of an organization founded by a group of women in 1863 to aid families of Civil War soldiers. It was called the Home Relief Society and aided the families of soldiers whose pay was overdue.

- 1875: Men were admitted to membership and the work was continued among the poor in Meadville.

- 1886: Sara Logan became interested in the inadequacy of the clothing of the children playing in the street and through her efforts and contributions from concerned citizens, a house was rented on Walnut Street where the needy could go and receive aid. Wood was donated and men with families could go and chop a cord of wood for their own use. Clothing and food were also distributed.

- 1894: Membership included representatives from every church and benevolent society in Meadville. In order to better express structure and purpose of the body, the name was changed to Associated Charities. A.M. Fuller was elected president, a post he held until 1911. Alvira McCoy was executive secretary until her death in 1912. Her position as director was succeeded by Mary Leberman, Edna Stafford, Florence Jackson, Shirley Park, Phyllis Feil and Linda Bennett. There have been only seven executive directors in 150 years.

- 1925: The association joined the Community Chest through the support of local churches and individuals such as Elizabeth Heidekoper and Mrs. Henry Kidder.

- 1917: With the help of City Council, Associated Charities moved to rooms on the second floor of the Market House, rent free.

- 1986: The group was incorporated as Associated Family Services Inc.

- 1991: Associated Family Services Inc. purchased the current location at 213 Center St. through the efforts of Jo Thomas, a government grant through Pa. Sen. Bob Robbins and the donations from the community.

- 1995: Associated Family Services Inc. merges with the Center for Families in Change to form the Center for Family Services Inc.

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