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Volunteers of America Co-Founder Maud Booth—A Historical Role Model

Volunteers of America co-founder Maud Booth's legacy continues today. A pioneer in women's rights, non-profit leadership, and prison reform, Maud serves as an example and reminder of the positive influence one individual can have on millions of others. Learn more about our history.

Video Transcript

Volunteers of America actually was established in 1896. And if you think about the turn of the century at that point, the role of women was minimal, if at all. They often were in the background.

And one of the beauties of Maud is that she was not just the founder's wife, she was a co-founder of this agency. It was her spirit and her determination that really helped lead the charge. And it was even before the time that women were allowed to vote.

She actually began as a member of The Salvation Army, and she went to listen to Ballington speak. He was presenting in front of a large group of individuals. And from the moment she heard him speak, was captivated by him. It's really a love story. It's an amazing journey for both of them. At that moment she knew she wanted to dedicate her life to service.

So they, as a couple, began their journey. And the voice that she brought forward was one that had tremendous power, tremendous passion, and changed the shape of how women were viewed within this agency.

The need is still there serving those that were the most impoverished, the most vulnerable. That mission is alive and well today because of their commitment and their passion to serve. But today, we have so many resources and we're blessed in so many ways, and they really, just through their own tenacity and dedication, rode out some difficult, difficult times.

I think of her often. I think of her whenever we're faced with challenges from a funding perspective, when it looks like we might not be able to serve a particular section of the population because funding is at risk.

It's a commitment. It's a promise to our city. And she did it with minimal means and made incredible things happen.

And that's our promise, and we look to her often for that inspiration.