Founded in 1932, the Service League began with 19 women whose goal it was to meet the urgent needs of many Westfield residents suffering from the effects of the Depression. Working with the local District Nursing Association (DNA), these women elected Esther Nicholas as President and became involved in knitting sweaters, delivering holiday baskets and assisting in the Motor Corps.
In 1933, the DNA asked the Service League to take over management of its Thrift Shop. Additionally, the WSL ran a lunchroom at the YMCA for 100 undernourished school children, collected pennies for the Milk Fund and began a long association with The Children’s Country Home, now known as Children’s Specialized Hospital.
In 1953, the League purchased a building on Westfield Avenue to house the Thrift Shop and in 1962, a Consignment Shop was established on Prospect Street. In 1964 both shops were relocated to 122 Elmer Street. Finally in 1968, WSL purchased its current location at 114 Elmer Street. Over the years, the League has renovated and expanded the building to accommodate its increasing business.
Since its conception, the WSL has provided many community services, including volunteering at Muhlenberg Hospital during World War II, staffing a Well Baby Station to provide regular monthly checkups and purchasing Lif-Paks, pagers, radios and defibrillators for the Westfield Rescue Squad. The WSL has given a medical control room and helped to equip an audiological room for the Children’s Specialized Hospital. Also, the WSL supplied the Westfield Police Department with bulletproof vests and purchased a station wagon for the American Red Cross.
The Westfield Service League organized the first Historic Homes Tour of Westfield in 1964, which included what is now the Miller Cory Museum and planted the seed which led to its becoming an historic site.
Currently the WSL operates a Thrift and Consignment Shop from September to June, delivers Mobile Meals, volunteers and stocks the Food Pantry and provides volunteers for the Westfield Rescue Squad.
The WSL has 49 Active members, 29 Senior Active members, 16 Associate members, 81 Sustaining members and 7 incoming provisional members. In the past year, our members have donated more than 8,000 volunteer hours.
Since 1941, the Westfield Service League’s success has enabled the organization to donate over $2,600,000.00 to Union County agencies.