Child Welfare Club offers Scholarship Award

June 23, 2022

The Child Welfare Club in Centralia offers a scholarship award. Minority Centralia High School graduates with at least a “C” average are eligible for this scholarship.

To qualify, you must submit your final high school transcript and show that you are enrolled full time in a 2-year college or university.

Applicants will be selected based on academic achievement, volunteer service, activity, and personal expression, as well as a 200-word essay. An amount of $200 is awarded as the scholarship.

History of Child Welfare Club
The club is an umbrella under the National Association of Colored Women. The Centralia club was originally named Child Welfare Society, but was changed to Child Welfare Club in 1934. The organization was founded by Mabel Coleman in 1931. The club’s colors are pink and blue. The motto of the club is: Be cheerful; key to happiness, be wise; lamp or lantern of wisdom, and be charming; spreading kindness through lasting love. Their creed is: I believe that I should be honest and just with myself and others, courageous and truthful in word and deed, faithful to any trust reposed to me, unwavering in my allegiance to the highest interest of all girls and boys. At the end of each meeting they close with these words, “Because the road was steep and long and through a dark and lonely land, God set upon my lips a son and put a lantern in my hand.”

The mission of the club has always been to help minorities in the community by providing food, shoes, and other basic necessities. Money is raised through member dues, annual fall tea meetings, quilt raffles, and various other fund raisers.

A water fountain was once purchased for Lincoln School, and a nursing student was given scholarship aid for tuition, books, and clothing. In 1944, the club raised $7.20 from its Annual Fall Tea meeting. Even though it seemed like a small sum back then, it helped families who needed it.

Child Welfare Club donates to Sickle Cell and Heart Foundation every year. Other donations recently made were for the Juneteenth celebration, food pantries, pregnancy center, and a plaque for the Centralia High School girls softball team. In the future the club will be filling up containers with socks and gloves for local nursing homes and schools.

Founder Mable Coleman wore many hats during her lifetime. To name a few, she was the owner of Ma-Col beauty shop, Grandmother at Murray Development Center, a member of the sewing circle, Kings of Daughter, NAACP, and the Lincoln Summer Playground project.

“Segregation was so rampant in the earlier years, so there was a need for the group to encourage blacks that they were important,” says fourth generation member Mary Ann Collins.

The club has had many presidents during its 91 years, including Pearlie Mae King, Helen Mason, Lola Walker, Viola Walker, Arminta Woods, Fern Coleman, Thelma Garrett, Eunice Bradford, Irene Owens, Allineal Norwood, Doris Clark, Mabel Meeks, Mary Ann Collins, and Rowena Patrick.

Application can be picked up at Land of Lincoln, Centralia Community Youth Center, or by contacting Club President Rowena Patrick at 618-322-3247.

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