Our History In 1884, Democrat Grover Cleveland was elected president . . . Susan B. Anthony addressed the House Judiciary Committee, arguing for a Constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote . . . Ringling Brothers Circus premiered . . . Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patented “flaked cereal” . . . and Alaska became a U.S. territory . . . But the U. S. continued to struggle with the lingering effects of the Panic of 1873, an economic disaster that produced at least one positive result: the growth of charitable organizations.

Locally, three organizations – The Friends Benevolent Society, The Provident Society, and the St. Vincent de Paul Society -- combined to form the Associated Charities of Wilmington. Their purpose: “To insure that all who have fallen into distress …shall be wisely helped to regain self-support, and those who are involuntarily in need of support shall be promptly relieved.”

From that tiny acorn sprouted a giant oak. Through various mergers with other charitable organizations, that oak has become Children & Families First – a non-profit social services agency whose branches have touched every corner of Delaware, improving the lives of those in need.


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