Phi Mu Sponsors a War Worker in France, 1919

Phi Mu made its first venture into social service on a national level during World War I, when the Fraternity voted to send an official war worker to France. In 1918, a plan was devised to donate $2,500 to the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), which was sending a limited number of people to France. Grace Lumpkin, an alumna from Mu chapter, met the YWCA qualifications and was sent to France in January 1919. Although peace had already been established at this point, YWCA workers continued to provide aid in war-ravaged France. Grace was first stationed at a base hospital in Bazoilles, near Nancy, and then at the nurses' embarkation center in Savenay taking care of the needs of nurses as they waited to return to the United States. Later in the summer, she was stationed in a camp for Foyer girls on the coast of Brittany. The women at the camp were often overworked, uprooted from their homes, and adjusting their lives to the loss of husbands, fathers, and brothers. With Grace's encouragement, several Phi Mu chapters "adopted" these French girls, agreeing to write to them and send them occasional gifts. Later that year, Grace was sent to Chateau Thierry, where she was in charge of a house for American relatives of deceased soldiers near Belleau Woods and Fere en Tardennois cemeteries. As relatives journeyed to France, Grace gave them assistance and solace as they looked for the places where their loved ones were buried.