CLARKSBURG — When Sarah Starkey had a baby as a college student without health insurance, she was able to get care for herself and her daughter, now 16, through the Clarksburg League for Service’s mother and baby clinic at United Hospital Center.
Several years later, as a social worker earning her master’s degree, she was asked by a friend to join the League, which turns 80 years old this month.
“The League’s mission is to help women and children and the less fortunate, and often- times, the population the League serves is the same one I’m working with,” Starkey said.
“My job as a social worker is making sure that kids are safe and that they have what they need.”
When Starkey joined in 2007, she also signed up her mother, Jeannine Amos, who rose through the ranks and this year serves as president.
“It was hilarious,” Amos said. “She filled out my application, and I had people congratulating me about joining the League before I even knew.”
Clearly, Amos ended up enjoying the work she did for the Clarksburg League for Service, including spending time at Amy’s Attic in Glen Elk, the shop where mothers can get items for their babies. The shop was named after the woman who founded the Clarksburg League for Service in 1934, Amy Roberts Vance, the mother of Cyrus Vance, U.S. secretary of state during the administration of President Jimmy Carter.
“I started volunteering right away during my provisional year at Amy’s Attic, and I fell in love with it,” Amos said. “I was hooked as soon as I started working at the Attic. I found it some of the most rewarding work that I’ve ever done in my life.”
Vance started the Clarksburg League for Service on Feb. 20, 1934, said Carolyn Reynolds Burnside, who wrote a history of the organization for the 75th anniversary five years ago called “Unto the Least of These: 75 Years of Service in Harrison County.”
“She invited 125 women to the Waldo Hotel, and they took it from there and organized the League for Service,” Burnside said.
The League would support an existing baby clinic, called the In As Much Clinic by the physician in charge, Dr. Robert C. Hood, for the Bible verse from Matthew: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto Me.”
Over time, the clinic’s physician and locations would change until finally ending up at UHC and eventually closing, but after 80 years, the Clarksburg League for Service is still going strong.
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