St. Petersburg Woman’s Club was the first club in the State to begin War Work, with their Belgian Relief in 1915 exceeding all clubs. They worked closely with The National Red Cross. Locally they worked for better sanitation for Negroes, child welfare, aided tubercular patients, took care of individual needy families and constantly worked for the Susan B. Anthony Amendment promoting women’s suffrage.
Hospital and war work were continuous. Mrs. Greene became Mrs. Charles A. Esterly in 1917. During that year, Mrs. Esterly called the initial meeting of what became the local Red Cross, drawing many of its officers from St. Petersburg Woman’s Club.
There was always support for the National YWCA, but “St. Petersburg was not large enough for a local branch.” Undaunted, in February 1918, women’s club members enlisted 150 girls as members of the National Patriotic League, which early in 1919 became the city YWCA. The Christmas Concert in 1918 had over 1000 in attendance.