perhaps, is to begin at the climax, to tell of the synthesis, the culmination of all charitable effort as we know it to-day, and afterwards to mention the organic parts, the helpful accessories, historically precedent though many of them are to the comprehensive scheme which now embraces them and shows them the way to a fuller, more scientific efficiency.
The Associated Charities came into existence in Cambridge
in the spring of 1881 (incorporated January, 1883), two years after its establishment in Boston
, four years after Buffalo
introduced the system into America
, and twelve years after the idea of a Charity Organization society was put in practice in London
Its aim, the annihilation of pauperism by studious mastery of its causes, its motto, “Not alms but a friend” --neither of these needs elaboration or elucidation in this sketch.
If any reader of this book and citizen of Cambridge
is ignorant of the working and ideals, the difficulties and successes of this organization, full information is not far to seek, and it is a simple duty rather than a privilege of citizenship to acquire it. If anyone is dissatisfied with the results of its efforts let him look to it that he does his part towards making them better.
This is not a scheme to lighten the responsibility of any individual for his needy neighbor, but to direct it, and to make it as far as possible helpful instead of mischievous in its effect by means of conference, the exchange of experience and advice.
Since the time when the study of medicine replaced the seeking for charms and incantations, no reform has promised such amelioration of the physical condition of the human race as that which is substituting for the old heedless, harmful almsgiving