Service Bureau for Women’s Organizations

Today, October 24th, is United Nations Day and when I think about the United Nations, I always think about Eleanor Roosevelt because she was chairperson of the UN’s Commission on Human Rights. However, instead of writing yet another entry about Eleanor Roosevelt’s connection to this collection of G. Fox materials, I thought I would discuss an important organization that she supported: the Service Bureau for Women’s Organizations.

In January of 1945, the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation sponsored a Woman’s Service Bureau in order to increase the effectiveness of women’s work through organized efforts. From the beginning, Beatrice Fox Auerbach was deeply involved in the organization. She was the first chairman of the advisory board for the Service Bureau and donated space on the eleventh floor of G. Fox & Co. for the Bureau’s director to use as her office. In fact, the Service Bureau was never far from Mrs. Auerbach’s mind. When traveling abroad, Mrs. Auerbach would speak with women in other countries about the Service Bureau and would often invite them to come speak at the organization’s meetings.

Perhaps one of the reasons that Mrs. Auerbach never took a vacation from promoting the Service Bureau while abroad was that her close friend and frequent traveling companion, Chase Going Woodhouse, was also a co-founder of the Service Bureau. Mrs. Woodhouse also served as the Bureau’s second director, a position she held from 1954 until 1981.

Under the adept leadership of Mrs. Woodhouse, the Service Bureau thrived as a clearing house for women’s organizations in Connecticut.  The agency also researched and developed program materials for use by those organizations.  The Service Bureau’s name was changed in 1970 to the Service Bureau for Connecticut Organizations to be more gender-inclusive.  In the library’s collection, we have two publications created by the Service Bureau as well as a number of their annual reports.

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