Adopt-An-Object Project: The St. James Chapter has adopted three English samplers for acquisition and conservation since 1998. One is by Sarah Herbert (1793) and one is unsigned but dated 1728. In 1999, the Chapter adopted for conservation an English sampler by Mary Cooper, dated 1690, which was featured in the DAR Museum Exhibition "As Centuries End" in Spring 2000.
Friends of the Museum: The St. James Chapter has donated a sterling silver pepper pot by George Hindman, 1775, two George III, 1760, sterling silver salt bowls and a late George II, 1727, sterling silver punch ladle with a turned wooden handle. (Photos below.)
||Eagle Heights Conservation Centre: This rescue centre, specialising in birds of prey, receives annual financial support from the St. James to sponsor Kayla, an American Bald Eagle whom they rescued, and a baby American Bald Eagle, Chilcot, born at the Centre. The Centre gives the Chapter annual photographs of Kayla and Chilcot with annual Certificates in Recognition of our Sponsorships as well as displaying recognition of our contributions publicly at the Centre. The Chapter arranges a Thanksgiving Day 'treat' of fresh trout or salmon for both eagles. We assist with fundraising and publicity for the Centre and are continually exploring other contributions.|
Give-A-Book Project:The Education Committee:
The St. James Chapter has donated the following books since 1999:
- The Art of Dress by Aileen Riberiro
- From Knowledge to Narrative by Lisa C. Roberts
- English, Irish and Scottish Silver at the Francine Clark Art Institute by Beth Carver Wees
- Samplers from the Victoria and Albert Museum
- The Invention of Comfort: Sensibilities and Design in Modern Britain and Early America
- English Silver in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Donation of Educational Materials: The St. James Chapter donates books, pamphlets, maps and teachers' support materials on American history and culture including the American Constitution, to British and American schools in the United Kingdom. In 1992, the chapter won the NSDAR Continental Congress Units Overseas Divisional Award and the Fourth Place National Society Continental Congress Award for Outstanding Observance of Constitution Week.The Royal London Society for the Blind:
American/Scottish Pen Pals: In cooperation with the Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council, the chapter located American pen pals for Scottish school children.
National Society Outstanding Teacher of American History Award: The Chapter sponsors a yearly competition for Outstanding Teacher of American History. The recipient need not be an American citizen. The winner receives a certificate and a donation of American history books to their school library.
National Society American History Essay Competitions: The Chapter participates in this annual competition. The Chapter presents award medals to the winners of the competitions, and we donate American history books to their school libraries. All of the participants receive a Certificate of Participation. In 1999, our 10th grade Christopher Columbus Essay winner won the Units Overseas Division Award, and placed second in the National Society Competition which comprises competitors from all 50 States and the Units Overseas Division. British schools will soon be able to participate in an American history contest developed by the chapter.
American Thanksgiving Day Information Education Package: These multimedia materials are currently in development.
Donation of Books: The Chapter annually donates books, printed or in Braille or audio, on a variety of subjects to Dorton House School for Blind Children, The New School at West Heath for Traumatised Children and upon consideration, to other schools both public and private.
Sponsorship of Applicant for the J. E. Caldwell Centennial Scholarship: The Chapter sponsors annual applicants to this scholarship. In the recent past, we have sponsored an applicant who has chosen as her Ph.D. dissertation 'Medieval Islamic Plaster and Coloured Glass Windows: Technology, Characterization, Deterioration, Cleaning, and Conservation of Qamariyyat'.
Dorton House School for Blind Children: An innovative approach to educating visually impaired children from nursery age to young adults earned this school its international reputation. Its facilities and specialised teachers and equipment provide a rich academic environment as well as develop the student's social skills. The needs of the entire family are supported. Dorton House has developed a supportive relationship with schools for the blind in Romania, which are in desperate need of help. A new initiative from Dorton House is to place volunteers in hospitals to give information and support to families whose child is recently diagnosed as visually impaired. The Chapter supports Dorton House through donation of volunteer time, Braille materials, annual financial contributions, help with fundraising and publicity. We also donate books to their library.The New School at West Heath for Vulnerable and Traumatised Children: (Formerly known as the Beth Marie Centre for Traumatised Children) The New School at West Heath educates children aged eleven through sixteen, after illness, abuse, family difficulties or other serious life events prevents them from learning in a traditional classroom setting. Before admission and throughout their schooling, the students receive the individualised emotional and academic support of the school director, an educational psychologist, a special needs representative and an education welfare officer. Their pastoral care involves the whole family and continues when the student leaves the school. Boarding of students at the school has been available since January 2000. St. James Chapter members volunteer their time at the school; the Chapter makes annual financial contributions plus donates books for the school library and teaching materials. St. James Chapter donated a solid teak bench with a brass plaque commemorating the visit to the school of NSDAR President General, Mrs. Dale Kelly Love, in September 1999. The bench is located on the grounds of the school called the American Garden that the Chapter intends to renovate. (West Heath is the former boarding school of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.)
Dorton College for the Blind: Visually impaired students from the age of sixteen to adults receive the emotional and technical support that they need to succeed independently in local university settings or employment with the sighted population. Currently scholarships for visually impaired students from New York State are in its trial phases. The Chapter seeks to promote additional scholarships for students throughout the United States and with other Units Overseas Chapters.
The Royal London Society for the Blind is actively involved in finding employment, educating potential employers and supportive of the student and their families for as long as they are needed.
Distribution of NSDAR Materials: British libraries and genealogical societies receive donations of the NSDAR Library Catalogues, volumes of The Patriots Index, "A Century of Service", subscriptions to the National Society's Magazine 'American Spirit' and other published materials.
St. James Chapter Cookery Books: After six printings of our sold-out first cookery book, the second volume is currently on sale. Work has begun on the third volume. Proceeds will benefit our scholarship projects.
Television, Radio Interviews and Speaking Engagements:
Articles: Appear in local and national newspapers and magazines on the St. James Chapter, in the Units Overseas Committee's website newsletter, and in the National Society's DAR Magazine.
- Meridian Television spent a day with the St. James Chapter interviewing us on the history of the DAR and programmes of St. James Chapter, and also interviewed two of the charities we support asking their view of our contributions. The interviews were shown during a news programme on the 4th of July 1998. Meridian television kindly gave St. James Chapter a copy of this newscast.
- Interviews by newspapers and BBC Radio about the John Paul Jones Museum Trust and what 'a British traitor' contributed to the American War of Independence.
- Speaking engagements to British and American societies and clubs on genealogy and the history and programmes of the National Society, the DAR Museum and the St. James Chapter.
Expatriate Exhibitions and Fairs: Participation in activities designed to promote knowledge of the presence of the NSDAR within the United Kingdom and to highlight the aims and work of the Society and St. James Chapter.
American Patients Sub-Committee: These sub-committee members assist American accident victims, usually tourists, in the United Kingdom. After contacting our sub-committee, the American Consulate or the hospital notifies patients, their relatives and medical staff of our support services and our contact number. Sub-committee members act as liaison with family members in the United States, with medical staff and when appropriate the American Consulate and local police. In serious trauma cases, our assistance has been needed to help the patient upon their release from hospital to return to the United States or their country of residence.Allied Forces Veterans Committee: Committee members' assist with existing veterans' programmes and make compassion visits to veterans.
North American Prisoner Sub-Committee: Her Majesty's Probation Service notify this sub-committee of female American prisoners held in British jails. At times, the American Consular official will also notify American female prisoners of our volunteer work. The American Consulate is forbidden by American law (U.S. Privacy Act 1974) to release names not considered to be in the public domain without consent of its citizens. The members of this committee, having signed the U.S. Privacy Act of 1974 are in the same position. Members of this sub-committee also require British security clearance and British Home Office approval as they visit prisoners in their cells and other secure areas of the prisons. Once we establish that our interest is welcomed, we ask the inmate to consider signing an Authorisation for the Release of Information under the U.S. Privacy Act of 1974 detailing exactly whom we may discuss their situation with and the circumstances. We are also given permission and details of whom to notify should this become necessary. In informal meetings with prisoners' representatives, U.S. Embassy officials, British prison officials, usually including the Governor of the prison, British Probation Officers and us, the Chapter explores ways to meet the needs of American prisoners in each particular prison. These prisoners are usually first-time offenders. All foreign nationals are under deportation orders at the completion of their sentence. Sub-committee members join representatives of the U.S. Consulate and the American Church to participate in Foreign Offenders Day, which is to raise the awareness of prison officials to the problems and culture of foreign nationals in British prisons.
Culture support has included the following:
- Purchasing and donating traditional Thanksgiving Day lunch produce and table decorations adequate for the number of American and Canadian offenders and prison guests.
- Donating traditional Thanksgiving and other American recipes to the prisons catering chefs, as required.
- Providing American newspapers, magazines and books for the prison libraries.
- Explanations about the differences of cultural expectations between two countries commonly viewed as similar.