On March 6, 1930, 19 Needham neighbors came together at the MacGregor Instrument Company to create an agency to support residents during the difficult days of the Depression. Rev. Harry Kimball acted as the presiding officer. The group who assembled unanimously approved the name “Needham Community Council” for this new venture. Membership comprised 1 representative from each organization in town devoted to social welfare with a stated purpose of creating a “focus for community spirit” to cement all organizations in the town in like work.
Bylaws were written and officers were elected to “aid in the coordination of all the organizations of the town for the community welfare and to initiate new community activities where there appears to be a need. There shall be no membership dues, and from time to time the Council shall devise ways to raise whatever money may be necessary for its work”.
The first programs supported by the Council included a Red Cross Welfare Bureau, the creation of a Labor Exchange in Needham [which became a free employment bureau for the town] and endorsement of the Community Christmas Celebration. An early need to address hunger in town was met by the distribution of holiday food baskets and the creation of a town-wide Food Pantry.
It has been 90 years , and the Needham Community Council continues today to fulfill the vision of that first group of residents and, we continue to raise whatever funds may be necessary for our work from the generosity of the community – no tax dollars support our programs!