Education: Johnstown Flood Museum

Johnstown Area Heritage Association
Primary source: Report

Statement of the Union Benevolent Association

Helen Moxham and Cyrus Elder

Johnstown, PA., November 30, 1889

To the Public: - The President of the Union Benevolent Association of the Conemaugh Valley and the President of the Ladies Branch have been authorized to make the following statement for publication:

The Association is a charitable organization for the relief of the destitute. It is intended to be a permanent organization, and it is not in any way limited in its charities. It is not organized merely for the relief of flood sufferers, or to make good their losses by the flood. Such stores and funds as it can control will be used to prevent suffering among the destitute and worthy poor, and none others need apply for relief. The District Committees of the Ladies Branch are charged with the duty of ascertaining the condition of the people within their districts and sections, so that if any persons are suffering for food, fire, clothing, or other of the necessaries of life, and are worthy of assistance, their distress may be relieved. In no case is it intended to give anything without personal investigation by the District Committee or District Visitor, and no attention whatever will be paid to any requisitions or recommendations where there have not been such personal investigation and such a report of the facts as will show there that there is a necessity for relief.

Any needy person, or any person having knowledge of a case of distress, should write the facts to the Union Benevolent Association of Johnstown, and the communication will receive attention by being referred to the proper committee for investigation and action. It is useless for the people to make personal application by besieging the members of the committees in their houses or going to the headquarters of the Association. Whenever any application for relief is granted, prompt notice will be given to the parties of the Secretary of the Association.

The Association has but a small stock of supplies, and but a small amount of funds at its disposal, but it is now, and will be hereafter, able to relieve all cases of actual distress, and all such cases should be promptly made known to its officers. The visitors will also make known to the Committee in charge of the Infirmary any cases of infirm persons who cannot be made comfortable in their homes, and in such cases, when investigated and found to be of proper character, the Committee in charge of the Infirmary have authority to grant an order of admission. Persons able to make payment, or partial payment as inmates of the Infirmary, will be expected to do so.

We wish to say again, and say it emphatically, that the Association has the means of relieving any case of distress among our people. It is organized for this purpose, and it is unnecessary for any poor person in Johnstown to beg, and it is unnecessary for anybody elsewhere to beg for Johnstown. If there is anywhere in the hands of the committees, funds or stores contributed for Johnstown, and belonging to Johnstown, the Association would be pleased to receive them, and will endeavor to make good use of them.

Cyrus Elder

Helen Moxham

From Through the Johnstown Flood, Rev. David Beale, pages 292-293

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