MISSION & HISTORY
"To create environments within our communities that empower children to have access to quality and appropriate opportunities to reach their optimal potential."
Continental Societies, Inc.®, is a not for profit 501(c)3 international public service organization. Founded as a national organization in 1956 by a group of energetic and dedicated service-oriented women. These women structured an organization to foster, promote and develop the welfare of underprivileged children and youth.
Four groups formed the nucleus of the Continental Societies when women from Baltimore, Maryland; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Newport News, Virginia; and Washington, D.C. met at Colton, Maryland, in June 1956. This gathering of members from the four chapters constituted the first official Conclave of Continental Societies. It was during this first official Conclave of the “Continental Societies” that the Continental women gathered and pledged to continue to work for underprivileged and disadvantaged children and youth…. giving services and assistance, which commenced in 1952 while affiliated with a group founded by Marie Poston of New York City, named the Continental Society for the Children of the Virgin Islands.
Committed to giving their time and efforts for the benefit of children and youth, Continental women promoted and sponsored programs and projects in each chapter’s locale. At annual summer meetings, designated as The Continental Conclave, the women, organized as local chapters, exchanged ideas and renewed pledges of untiring support to children and youth.
As determined efforts of these women increased, their work became known and groups of women in other cities across the United States joined them. In June 1959, the Chapters decided to unite in giving a combined annual financial gift to a selected charity for children and youth in the locale of the hostess chapter for the Annual Continental Conclave.
In 1962, as more chapters were added, it was proposed that a Central Advisory Committee be established as a governing body. Under this committee, expansion of membership increased, and the group stretched hands across the sea and welcomed a group of young, vibrant women of Bermuda into the sisterhood.
The Continental Societies quickly became a visible and viable organization of concerned women and it was inevitable that in November 1972, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Continental Societies became nationally incorporated.
Continental Societies, Inc.® embraces 48 chapters in 21 states in the Continental USA, District of Columbia and Bermuda and is continuing to grow.
Through our Five-Point Programmatic Thrust: Health, Education, Employment, Recreation, plus Arts and Humanities programs; Continental women nationally and internationally strive to adhere to the humanitarian precept of sharing with those in need.
Nationally, regionally and locally, Continentals have created innovative activities while they volunteer their time through outreach programs in youth centers, schools, pediatric wards, homes for the underprivileged and disadvantaged youth. All programs and projects are financed by member donations, annual benefits, grants and corporate donations.
Continental Societies, Inc.® serves over a 360,000 children and youth annually.
PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY CHAPTER
The Prince George’s County Chapter of Continental Societies, Inc.®, was formed through the efforts of the late Willie Mae Gaston-Ferguson (Deceased), Chapter Founder and Organizer. Under the sponsorship of the Baltimore Chapter, the chartering ceremony was held on March 20, 1999.
The Chapter has served over 40,000 children and youth since 1999. Many of the over 20 County schools served have benefited from viable programs, which have fostered the growth and development of their children; enriched their lives culturally; and enhanced their social and emotional skills while giving them a better outlook on their socio-economic lifestyles. The Chapter has overwhelmingly embraced women and children in homeless shelters and provided services that directly influence the health and well-being of children in the county.
Annual fundraisers and charitable donations have been established to support programs within the schools and provide scholarships to deserving high school seniors including
students enrolled in Special Education programs.
We serve children in youth in Prince George's County through our various programs and committees.
H.E.E.R + Arts & Humanities Committees
Arts & Humanities Committee