In 1930 amid the beginning of the Great Depression, Mary Butler, a Waukesha community leader, shared her vision of a service organization to ease poverty in the Waukesha community. Seventeen young women became charter members of the club with a mission of “donating to help the Municipal Hospital serving the sick and needy and befriending the less fortunate of the Waukesha community.” The strong bond formed with the Municipal Hospital continues today through Waukesha Service Club’s financial support to the ProHealth Care Foundation. This support is funded through proceeds generated at the Waukesha Service Club Hospital Gift Shop.
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In those early years a clothing committee was also formed. Due to the great need in the community, the clothing shop was eventually established, and the committee distributed donated clothing items to those in need. The demand for gently used clothing made it necessary for the shop to relocate to larger spaces several times before settling into the current location. This shop is known as the Waukesha Service Club Thrift Shop.
Waukesha Service Club is proud to have been a part of the founding of the Visiting Nurses Association, the Blood Donor Program, the Waukesha Training Center and the Christmas Clearing Council. Support for these organizations came from fundraisers such as bake sales, luncheons, cookbook sales and charity balls. These events were the forerunners of the current “Inspired to Serve” Luncheon. Proceeds from this event provide monetary and clothing assistance to Waukesha County residents who have been referred through social service agencies. Money generated from the luncheon also helps to fund grants to Waukesha County non-profit social service agencies.