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Whatcom County Chapter of the American National Red Cross Records, 1917-1999

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Whatcom County Chapter of the American National Red Cross
Title
Whatcom County Chapter of the American National Red Cross Records
Dates
1917-1999 (inclusive)
Quantity
5 cubic feet
Collection Number
XOE_CPNWS0079redcross (collection)
Summary
The Whatcom County Chapter of the American National Red Cross records span the period 1917 to 1999. These records document the establishment, goals and activities of this chapter based in Bellingham, Washington. The collection includes administrative and financial records, correspondence, publications, chapter event and property records, photographs and scrapbooks.
Repository
Western Washington University, Heritage Resources
Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Goltz-Murray Building
808 25th St
Bellingham, WA
98225-9123
Telephone: 360-650-7747
Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Languages
English.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Whatcom County Chapter of the American National Red Cross was founded by Mrs. E.W. Purdy in Bellingham, Washington in 1917. Originally named the "Bellingham Chapter of the American Red Cross", the chapter was started in response to the entrance of the United States into World War I. The first meeting was attended by twenty-seven people. On March 1, 1917, a meeting was held at which officers, an executive committee, and twenty committee chairs were elected. The charter for the chapter is dated March 15, 1917.

By the end of World War I the chapter had grown to over 15,000 members with 23 branches and 18 auxiliaries*. The branches gathered and provided surgical dressings, clothes, transportation, linens, civilian relief, nurses, and financial aid for the war effort. Quotas were set by the national organization each month which the local chapter consistently met and exceeded.

Although membership declined in the post-war years, the chapter continued to provide health and educational services to the community. Programs included First Aid, Swim-for-Health, Water Safety, Water Sports, Aid for Visiting Nurses, Emergency Relief, and Flood Relief. During the Depression years, the chapter provided milk for up to 160 families with small children.

On April 5, 1934 the executive board voted to change the chapter’s name to the Whatcom County Chapter of the American National Red Cross to more accurately reflect its membership and constituency.

The chapter experienced a revitalization during the World War II years when many new and old programs were brought to life. The Nurses’ Recruitment and Placement Service provided sixty nurse volunteers from Whatcom County and the Production Corps had approximately 4,000 volunteers. Other services included The Home Service Department and the Camp and Hospital Corps. In addition to work done by recruited nurses, the chapter coordinated volunteer work through the Gray Ladies and the Nurses’ Aide Corps. The Junior Red Cross, established by the chapter in November 1917, also saw its membership peak during this time.

During the interwar period, and following the end of World War II, chapter membership declined. The chapter focused its attention on service to veterans and their families, as well as emergency medical training and disaster relief. During the 1960s, the chapter initiated a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) program. Although aimed initially at medical and allied health professionals in Whatcom County, CPR training and first aid courses were extended to the general public in the 1970s. The Red Cross has continued to provide services to the Whatcom County community through, for example, the Volunteer Disaster Service which responded to terrible flooding in 1983.

*As reported in "A Brief History of the Whatcom County Chapter, American Red Cross", Whatcom County Chapter of the American National Red Cross Records.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Whatcom County Chapter of the American National Red Cross records comprise approximately five linear feet of materials, spanning the period 1917 to 1999. These records document the establishment, goals and activities of this chapter based in Bellingham, Washington. The collection includes administrative and financial records, correspondence, publications, chapter event and property records, photographs and scrapbooks.

Administrative records document the founding, organizational structure and major programs of the Whatcom County Chapter. These include executive committee meeting minutes dating from the chapter’s founding in 1917, as well as minutes generated by various different service divisions including the Gray Ladies volunteers. Minutes are supplemented by meeting agendas, membership records and a large number of annual reports, the latter spanning the years from 1946 to 1997. Strategic plans and program records detail some of the long-term objectives of the chapter, and include a Whatcom County Emergency Services Operations Plan from 1973.

The collection contains a small number of financial records, including ledgers detailing chapter accounts since the founding of the chapter in 1917 through the 1970s. Correspondence arranged chronologically documents a variety of subjects and activities including the chapter's associations with the national-level American Red Cross, legal and business affairs, business, and communications about the new chapter building. The collection also includes a few personal letters sent by chapter affiliates during their travels abroad.

Publications include local chapter newsletters and bulletins documenting chapter events and programs from 1918 onwards. The collection also contains publications produced by the national American Red Cross, including informational and instructional materials produced during the war years, training manuals and annual meeting publications from the 1980s and 1990s. Some older publications include the Veterans’ Claims: Guide for Home Service Workers, dated 1952 and Your Red Cross Carries On, dated 1947.

Chapter event materials document annual dinners between 1941 and 1963, information on the Christmas Bags for Men of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps Ill in Hospitals Abroad and Stationed on the Most Remote Posts (1936) and miscellaneous other event materials.

Legal and property records pertain largely to the construction of a new chapter building in 1961. These include contracts and order records. The property materials also contain documentation of the acquisition of a property left to the chapter in the last will and testament of Delilah A. Mitchell in 1953.

Histories include local chapter histories including a 40-year history and a 75-year history of the Bellingham and Whatcom County Chapters. Also included are some national history overviews.

Photographs document the members and activities of the Bellingham Chapter, the Whatcom County Chapter, the Junior Red Cross, Nursing Services, and the Whatcom Leadership Training Center.

Certificates and Awards contain recognition of chapter achievements and services throughout its presence in Whatcom County. Most of these come from the national American Red Cross.

A large number of newspaper clippings are included in this collection covering a wide range of Red Cross activities between 1949 and 1999. These include documentation of many Bellingham and Whatcom County Chapter events, as well as chapter achievements. Clippings are from local newspapers but do include some national advertisements.

There are several scrapbooks included in this collection documenting many local chapter events, achievements, and services between 1941 and 1969. The two Junior Red Cross scrapbooks document the services and achievements of the Whatcom County chapter of the Junior Red Cross. The scrapbooks also document fund drives and additional newspaper clippings as well as some photographs and correspondence.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Whatcom County Chapter of the American National Red Cross Records, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series I:  Administrative Records, 1917-1997 Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Bylaws and Mission Statements
1958-1985
Box-Folder
1/1
Bylaws
1985,; undated
1/2
Mission statements
undated
1/3
Constitution (United Good Neighbors of Whatcom County)
1958
Subseries 2: Meeting Minutes
1917-1993
Sub-subseries 1: Board and Executive Committee Minutes
1917-1993
Box-Folder
1/4
Board of Directors
1987 February 18-1993 September 22
1/5
Board meeting minutes, program chair meetings
1984-1986
1/6
Executive Committee
1917-1924
1/7
Executive Committee
1925-1954
1/8
Executive Committee
1987-1991
Sub-subseries 2: Committee and Service Group Minutes
1944-1993
Box-Folder
1/9
A.R.C. Learning Experience by Regional Training (A.L.E.R.T.) Committee
1991 September 27
1/10
City-County Red Cross Units
1944-1947
1/11
Financial Development Committee
1987 March 16,; 1988 September 15,; 1988 November 30
1/12
Gray Ladies
1957-1970
1/13
Mt. Baker Theatre Center Act II Capital Campaign Task Force
1993 October 13
1/14
Nominating Committee
1995 September 21,; undated
1/15
Planned Giving Advisory Committee
1991 September 11-1993 August 10
1/16
Production Division
1944 February 8
1/17
Service Groups
1944 January 10-1944 June 12,; 1947 March 10
1/18
Volunteer Committee
1989 September 13,; undated
1/19
Volunteer Services
1945 October-1945 November
Subseries 3: Meeting Agendas
1987-1993
Box-Folder
2/1
Board of Directors
1987-1993
2/2
Board Retreat
1987 February 18
2/3
Executive Committee
1987 February 11-1992 June 24
2/4
Financial Development Committee
1988 September 15-1990 January 10
2/5
Miscellaneous Agendas
1987 September 16-1989 October 11
2/6
Planning Committee
1988 August 29-1990 may 2
2/7
Planned Giving Advisory Committee
undated
Subseries 4: Board and Committee Materials
1948-1989
Box-Folder
2/8
Board of Directors records
1948 April-1989 October 11
2/9
Committee information and outlines
1961 November 2,; undated
Subseries 5: Reports
1944-1997
Box-Folder
2/10
Whatcom County Chapter Annual Reports
1946-1963
2/11
Whatcom County Chapter Annual Reports
1964-1982,; 1996-1997
2/12
Snohomish and Island Counties Chapters (Annual Report)
1957 July-1960 July
2/13
Seattle-King County Chapter Annual Reports
1954-1955
2/14
Volunteer Center Monthly Report
1988
2/15
Volunteer Special Services Report
1944
Subseries 6: Plans and Programs
1949-1991
Box-Folder
3/1
Program overviews
undated
3/2
American Red Cross proposed Strategic Plan
1987-1991
3/3
Long Range Plan
1987
3/4
Whatcom County Emergency Services Operations Plan
1973 March
3/5
National Home Services Program
1949 March-1952 April
Subseries 7: Membership and Station Information
Charlie Cross was an active member of the chapter between approximately 1981 and 1983. During this time he served on the executive committee, board of directors, and various other committees. The contents of his notebook reflect some of his activities between 1981 and 1985.
1983-1989
Box-Folder
3/6
Membership information
undated
3/7
Monthly log of stations and volunteers
1983-1984
3/8
Charlie Cross notebook
1981-1985
3/9
Definitions of Commonly Used Red Cross Terms
undated
3/10
Personnel Guidelines for Employees
1989 March

Series II:  Financial Records, 1905-1994Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box-Folder
3/11
Bonds and savings book
circa 1956
4/1
Chapter audit
1954-1955
4/2
Chapter budgets
1987 May-1994
Bpx-Folder
4/3
Chapter ledger (note: this ledger appears to track financial gifts to military forces)
1967 January-1973 September
Box-Folder
4/4
Chapter units ledger
1945-1946
4/5
Local grant application, Gannet Foundation
1988 December 29
4/6
Revenue and expense report narratives
1988-1993
4/7
United Way allotment outlines
1988-1989

Series III:  Correspondence, 1931-1996Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box-Folder
5/1
Correspondence
1931-1996
5/2
Correspondence
undated
5/3
Memorandum of Understanding between American National Red Cross and the Social Security Administration Bureau of Public Assistance
1961 January

Series IV:  Publications, 1918-1996Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Chapter Publications
1990-1996
Box-Folder
5/4
Newsletters
1990 July/August,; 1996 Spring
5/5
Bulletins
1990, ; 1992, ; undated
Subseries 2: National Publications
1918-1992
Box-Folder
5/6
National
1918-1984
5/7
National
undated
5/8
Your Red Cross Carries On
1947
5/9
Veterans' Claims: Guide for Home Service Workers
1952 March
5/10
Supervisory Training - Financial Administration: Participant Materials
undated
5/11
Guide for Night and Weekend Workers
1980 June
5/12
Annual Meeting Publications
1982-1992
5/13
The Safety Book
1984 November

Series V:  Chapter Events, 1936-1993Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box-Folder
6/1
Annual Dinner
1941-1963
6/2
Christmas Bags for Men of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps Ill in Hospitals Abroad and Stationed on the Most Remote Posts
1936 March
6/3
Western Washington High School Red Cross Leadership Development Center
1963 April, ; 1964 August, ; undated
6/4
75th anniversary speech
undated
6/5
Miscellaneous event materials
1944-1993, ; undated

Series VI:  Legal and Property Materials, 1953-1985Return to Top

Legal and property materials deal primarily with the construction of the new chapter building in 1961. In addition, they document the transfer of a residential property to the chapter as requested in the last will and testament of Delilah A. Mitchell upon her death in 1953.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box-Folder
6/6
Real estate and building records
1953 December 7-1985 January 14, ; undated
6/7
Correspondence
1953 November 16-1967 January 13
6/8
Plans and drawings
1960 March 23,; undated
6/9
Construction contract materials
1961
6/10
Whatcom County Chapter American Red Cross Facility and Fund Proposal
cicra 1983

Series VII:  Histories, 1951-1957Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box-Folder
6/11
Chapter histories
1957, ; undated
6/12
National histories
1951 July 24, ; undated
6/13
American Red Cross: 75 Years on the Job
undated

Series VIII:  Photographs, 1930-1983Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box-Folder
7/1
People
1930-1983
7/2
Buildings
1947, ; undated
7/3
Events
1949-1951, ; undated
7/4
Disasters
1951, ; 1983, ; undated
7/5
Junior Red Cross
1951, ; undated
7/6
Leadership Training Center
1960-1965
7/7
Nursing Services
1949,; undated

Series IX:  Certificates and Awards, 1943-1992Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box-Folder
7/8
Certificates and Awards
1943-1992

Series X:  Newspaper Clippings, 1940-1999Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box-Folder
7/9
Clippings
1940-1949
7/10
Clippings
1950-1959
7/11
Clippings
1960-1969
7/12
Clippings
1970-1979
8/1
Clippings
1980-1989
8/2
Clippings
1980-1989 (continued)
8/3
Clippings
1990-1999
8/4
Clippings
undated

Series XI:  Sheet Music, 1940-1941Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box-Folder
8/5
Junior Red Cross Sheet Music
1940 November, ; 1941 January

Series XII:  Scrapbooks, 1941-1969Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box-Folder
9/1
Chapter scrapbook
1941-1943
9/2
Chapter scrapbook
1946-1948
9/3
Blaine chapter scrapbook
1941-1943
9/4
Thank you letters
1943
10/1
Newspaper clippings
1947-1948
10/2
Chapter scrapbook
1948-1950
10/3
Chapter scrapbook
1948-1953
11/1
Chapter scrapbook
1953-1963
11/2
Chapter scrapbook
1963-1964
11/3
Chapter scrapbook
1964-1967
11/4
Chapter scrapbook
1967-1969
12/1
Chapter scrapbook
1975-1978
12/2
Junior Red Cross
1950
12/3
Junior Red Cross
1947-1952
12/4
Fund drives
1948-1949