The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
CredoResearch digital collections in Credo

Helping Hand Society Papers

Helping Hand Society Papers

6 boxes
Call no.: MS 1216

Sign from the Helping Hand House, out of which the Helping Hand Society operated.

Formed in 1887, the Helping Hand Society began as a missionary society for young girls who learned about the world (foreign missions) while also learning how to sew, developed by Emily Graves Williston. Within that same year, the Emily Mission Circle transformed into The Young Ladies’ Missionary Society, a society which became devoted to charitable work in Easthampton. The Society’s name was changed to the Helping Hand Society in 1894, and the group was incorporated in 1913. In 1919, the Society started operating out of a house purchased and endowed by Franklin W. Pitcher. The Society went on to establish a Visiting Nurse program, providing room for the nurse in the house, as well as an apartment rented out to caretakers, and at one time the Society operated a Benefit Shop. Membership in the Society has fluctuated over the years, and while specific projects may have been discontinued over time, the Society continues forward with its mission to provide help to those in need by donating time and resources to Easthampton and the surrounding communities.

The collection documents the history of the Helping Hand Society from its inception to around 2017. This includes minutes and annual reports, by-laws, and ledger books. There are also scrapbooks and photo albums, the framed incorporation document, and the original sign that adorned the Helping Hand House.

Gift of the Helping Hand Society, 2023


Social service--Massachusetts--EasthamptonWomen in charitable work--Massachusetts--Easthampton


Helping Hand Society (Easthampton, Mass.)

Types of material

Annual reportsMinutes (administrative records)Scrapbooks