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Buttercups to Bigger and Better Things

This is the true story of our being here today- why and how our commitment began and developed.

In 1938, five ladies met in the home of Mrs. M.F. (Pearl) Waters to plan what to do with their leisure time. All five ladies felt that they wanted to do something aimed at helping the less fortunate.

A nurse at the Tulsa Boys’ Home informed these five friends that the boys had plenty of stale bread, but no butter. So, the women pledged then and there to “butter the boys’ bread”- thus becoming known as the “Buttercups”. They took butter to the Home for five years. After that the Buttercups were asked to furnish cookies for the 20th anniversary Open House at the Boys’ Home. They were asked after that to help raise money to pay off the mortgage. At the time, the home was 20 years old, but still had a mortgage of $15,000. Mrs. Walters and Myra Whiteside worked for ten weeks and raised $4,500, and the Men’s Board of Directors raised the remainder and the mortgage was burned.

Mrs. Waters had the idea of forming a Women’s Organization to better aid and assist the boys at the Home. She and Mrs. Smith met two ladies who had been furnishing the milk for the boys and formed a Board. Pearl Waters became the first President. Notices were sent to 150 prospective members. The response was overwhelming. Mrs. Waters’ original idea was for each member to give up smoking, costume jewelry and pay $10 monthly dues. This idea was quickly doomed. However, out of that group Myra Whiteside found 75 girls who were willing to pay $2.50 a month to become “Junior” members. Myra was their first President. In May of 1939 the Junior Association held a benefit bridge party at the Home. Some 500 men and women attended. The sense of commitment grew and blossomed.

Fifty-plus years have passed since out of Buttercups came the idea of the Senior Women’s and Junior Women’s Association of the Tulsa Boys’ Home. Hundreds of women have committed themselves heart and soul toward the Home. The Tulsa Boys’ Home is no longer an institution, but a place where troubled youth receive guidance and care. If for a minute you should slack in your endeavors, remember well that this Home is operated primarily from the United Way contributions and your donation of yourself. Without your support and strong love of this home, the Home would quickly become an institution once again on a limited level. Take pride in your volunteer contribution and pledge yourself the rewarding experience of helping a boy help himself.