The Birmingham Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary was established in 1962, and
In 1962, 40 women gathered for a doll show, hoping to raise money to help local children. They featured figurines used for distribution to little girls in area hospitals. It was very popular and raised enough funds to buy gifts for boys as well. Thus began the development of a committed community of women that would become the largest Women’s Auxiliary in the world. Under the direction of Mrs. Major Houston Ellis, the city commander’s wife, this organization grew to over 1,300 members. A clear purpose for these women began to immerge that same year when The Salvation Army took over the Mercy Home. It became housing for the homeless and the hub of all Army activities in the Birmingham area. It was evident plenty of needs would have to be met. To secure a strong Auxiliary for the future, their primary purpose became fundraising and volunteer services. Mrs. David Roberts, III served as the first President and had tremendous support from Divisional leaders Colonel and Mrs. Frank Longino, as well as Area Commanders Major and Mrs. Houston Ellis.