Albert L. Haasis Fund: A Friend to Boys
In 1947, Albert L. Haasis left a gift of $101,000 to The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven to be used for broad charitable purposes including what is now known as the New Haven YMCA – Friends of Boys.
In 1947, Albert L. Haasis left a gift of $101,000 to The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven to be used for broad charitable purposes as well as support the repair of Fair Haven's St. James Episcopal Church and its walkway, the Connecticut Humane Society and the New Haven Friends of Boys organization. The latter was created in 1906 by the Rev. John C. Collins, a Yale-trained clergyman, who was troubled by reports of police harassment of news and shoeshine boys. Rev. Collins agreed to act as a sponsor of the boys in question in exchange for leniency.
That agreement led to the creation of The New Haven Friends of Boys. According to the organization's charter, the mission of The Friends of Boys, "…[was] to make helpful contacts and give friendly supervision to street trade, misdirected and underprivileged boys, to guard over those boys under 16 who are permitted by parents to roam the city streets in leisure hours and make of these boys good citizens through the promotion of a program that encourages clean living and worthy achievement." In the early years, Friends of Boys athletic events, leadership classes, and other activities helped to prepare many boys from working-class Irish and Italian neighborhoods for productive careers. Today, the organization is known as the New Haven YMCA – Friends of Boys and it receives nearly $10,000 annually from the Haasis Fund.
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