Relief from the Great Depression

In 1931, seeing the great need caused by the world wide depression, employees of Upper Merion schools organized relief for some local families.  They caught the attention of the Upper Merion Benevolent Association, which began to support their efforts to feed breakfast and lunch to school children.

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In 1932, the Upper Merion Releif Association was created, and in January of 1933, it began distributing relief to people throughout the township.  We have a small notebook in our collection listing the recipients of relief by area.

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Relief seemed to take of the form of foodstuffs and cash, but at least one person received a layette according to this note tucked inside the book.

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A newspaper article enclosed in the book shows that the organization was still around in 1935, but I couldn’t find out what happened to the group.  Perhaps as the economy improved and it was no longer needed, or it may be that the organization turned to the war effort after 1941.

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This group and all the people who supported it are great examples of the generosity of Montgomery Countians.  Do you know anything about the Upper Merion Relief Association?  Are you aware of similar groups in other parts of the county?  Please tell us about them in the comments.

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2 Comments

  1. I was hoping someone would get back to you with the identification of the old school house pictured in your last “Found etc” I forwarded the pictures of the school house to a resident at the senior community here where I live in Harleysville. Russ Moser, age in the later 80’s, was “THE PHOTOGRAPHER” in Souderton during his working years. Russ could not identify the school but was familiar with the photographer’s name..

    Did you get any info from viewers?

    Faye Hoffman

    On Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 4:09 PM, Found in Collection wrote:

    > nancys2013 posted: “In 1931, seeing the great need caused by the world > wide depression, employees of Upper Merion schools organized relief for > some local families. They caught the attention of the Upper Merion > Benevolent Association, which began to support their efforts to ” >

  2. Hi, Faye,
    We did get two replies, One suggested the Blooming Glen school in Bucks County, and one the Sundae School House on Bethlehem Pike. I don’t think it’s the Sundae School House, but I couldn’t find a picture of the other one. Thanks for investigating for us!

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