Relief. Compassion. Action.
WHAT: 100 years ago, Ebell members created the “Rest Cottage Association” which was a home that served as a refuge for women in need of a place to convalesce. Today, the RCA has evolved into a department which awards grants to charities that help needy women and their children in Los Angeles County.
WHO: All Ebell members are invited to get involved. Membership in the RCA is open to all members for the modest sum of $12 a year. Members meet once a month, and work side by side with the Social Services Committee to provide volunteer and material assistance to the charities it supports.
The Ebell Rest Cottage Association, more than over 100 years old, is the Ebell Club’s oldest philanthropy and the best example of its commitment to “Women Helping Women.” It’s Bylaws call for the Rest Cottage Association to use the income from its endowment “for charitable purposes designed to benefit females, who, for whatever reason, are in need of loving care and helpful assistance of a charitable nature.” Today, nearly 100 years later, it still does.
Just over a hundred years ago, in late 1917, an Ebell Club member named Miss Lillian B. Flanders deeded a small home she owned at 135 West 95th Street to the Club for use as a non-profit convalescent home for women in need. Staffed by volunteers from the Ebell, the building was named the “Rest Cottage” and was dedicated to providing care to help the women recuperate from surgery, serious illness, or, sometimes, breakdowns or sheer exhaustion due to overwork. It provided the rest and quiet they needed to allow them to resume their pre-illness occupations.
A year later, in December 1918, the Ebell Board of Directors voted to authorize the creation of a non-profit association of Ebell members with an operating fund to maintain the Rest Cottage and assist the women it sheltered. Known as the Ebell Rest Cottage Association, it had (and has) its own board and membership but operates under the auspices of the Ebell Board. RCA membership cost a dollar then in addition to the regular Club dues, and members volunteered to raise funds and do errands, chores, and whatever else was needed by residents at the Rest Cottage. In 1922, members commissioned a larger building at 135 North Park View Street, where the work of the association continued for several more decades until the advent of Medicare and Medicaid in the ‘60’s, and then the increased availability of educational and employment opportunities for women, made it both less urgent and more difficult for Ebell members to accomplish. The house on North Park View was sold, and the proceeds of the sale were used to endow a fund to further the original mission of the Rest Cottage, to help provide care and necessities of life for women in need throughout LA County. That endowment now amounts to well over $3 million.
This year, after reviewing submissions from a pool of 21 extremely worthy candidates using the RCA’s online application process, the members deliberated at length to select eleven charities that align with our mission of assisting Los Angeles women in need and their children. The grantees are: Alcoholism Center for Women, Alexandria House, Families & Criminal Justice, Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and Children (Farley House), House of Ruth, Jewish Family Service/Hope Transitional, St. Barnabas Senior Services Women’s Emergency Fund, The Teen Project, Treasures Ministries, WeSPARK Cancer Support Center, and Women Crowned in Glory/Safe Passage.
Membership in the RCA is open to all Ebell members for the modest sum of $12 a year, and we invite you to join us in helping to protect our endowment and choose our next grant recipients. Members meet once a month, on the second Monday of the month. You also may choose to join the Ebell Social Services Committee, which works side by side with the RCA to provide volunteer and material assistance to the charities it supports, in keeping with RCA’s motto: “Relief, Compassion, and Action.”
Join us today! It’s a great way to become involved in both the Ebell community and the larger one outside our walls. Please contact Stephanie Kaiser, RCA Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.