Philanthropy can be defined as voluntary action for the public good. It includes both financial donations and contributions of time and talent. Over the course of history, women have played an integral part in the promotion of philanthropic endeavors for children and families. The altruistic efforts of these women have led to the development of many impactful organizations, one of which is Springfield School Volunteers (SSV). In fact, SSV has an interesting connection to one of the first significant philanthropic exchanges by a woman for this country.
Way back in 1643, Lady Ann Mowlson (nee Radcliffe) contributed £100 to Harvard College to help poor scholars. SSV’s history can be traced to five alumnae from Radcliffe College (now Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard) whose History page states that in 1894 the college was named in honor of Ann Radcliffe (Lady Mowlson), who established Harvard’s first scholarship fund. Her contribution set the tone for a trend among women’s giving that continues today.
Over the course of its fifty-year history women have continued to shape the direction of SSV. From those five Radcliffe alumnae to the countless women who have historically filled most of the volunteer and staff slots at SSV, women have played a huge role in the impact SSV has had on the lives of countless Springfield Public School students.
To pay homage to the extensive contributions of time and talent women have made throughout SSV’s history, we will be sharing highlights of individual women during the month of March on our social media platforms. Be sure to look out for these highlights to learn more about the Women of SSV!