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Sunday, 9 March 2014

Charitable Organization

In 1191 a pioneering ambulance service was undertaken by the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, a charitable organization originally set up to care for sick pilgrims to the Holy Land. The Hospitallers, who had received instruction in first-aid treatment from Greek and Arab doctors, organized horse-drawn carts to transport men wounded in battle during the Third Crusade back into their own lines for treatment instead of being left to die.

Sir Francis Drake, accompanied by Sir John Hawkins founded the Chatham Chest for disabled seamen, a charitable insurance scheme towards which each seaman contribute 6d per month.

Huge numbers of Ulster Presbyterians came to New England in search of economic opportunity and the religious and political freedom which the Penal Laws denied to Dissenters. Irish merchants and artisans founded the Charitable Irish Society in 1737 with the express purpose of assisting fellow immigrants in the difficult process of settling in a strange new city and country. On March 17, 1737 the Charitable Irish Society of Boston held a St. Patrick's Day celebration, the first in America.

Saint Patrick's Day parade on lower Magazine Street, New Orleans. By Christopher Angell - originally posted to Flickr as sea of green 03, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikipedia Commons

Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821), the first native-born American to be canonized helped found New York’s first ever private charity organization, The Society for the Relief of Poor Widows with Small Children.

Between 1780 and 1844, nineteenth-century British Christians founded at least 223 national religious, moral, educational, and philanthropic institutions and societies to alleviate child abuse, poverty, illiteracy, and other social ills.

In 1837 Angela Burdett-Coutts, the granddaughter of the banker Thomas Coutts, founder of Coutts Bank, inherited much of her Grandfather's fortune. She used the money to finance a multitude of philanthropic ventures. Among the endeavors she helped to found were The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Children.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) was founded in London on July 8, 1884.

After spending one year in St Petersburg, Russia, as secretary of the US legation, Henry Bergh resigned because of his wife's ill health, and became increasingly concerned with the inhumane treatment of animals. He returned to the USA and founded The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1866.

In 1881 in Britain two brothers, Edward and Robert de Montjoie Rudolf went after two boys who had stopped coming to their Sunday School. They found them in a neglected state begging for food from workers at a local gasworks. Their father had died leaving their mother with seven children to look after. It was the start of the Waifs and Strays Society that within 20 years was caring for more than 3,000 street children. Today it is known as the Children's' society,  which is allied to the Church of England and driven by a belief that all children deserve a good childhood. 

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