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Logo of the YWCA of India

“An Ever-Widening Circle of Friendship”:
YWCA Overseas Secretaries from China to Liberia

Virginia Heim George (1908-circa 2003)

Virginia Heim George
Virginia L. Heim
(from certificate of accreditation from the YWCA, 1946)
1908 Born in St. Joseph, Missouri
1929 B.A., University of Wisconsin
1929-40 YWCA Program Director, working with industrial workers, Kansas City, Utica, Pittsburgh; YWCA Camp Director
1937 Carnegie Institute of Technology, graduate study in group social work
1940-43 Executive Director, YWCA, Rio de Janiero, Brazil
1943-45 Regional Assistant Director of USO, Brazil, Caribbean area
1946-48 Program Consultant, YWCA, Czechoslovakia; worked with women’s groups in Germany as part of military government
1948-51 YWCA of the USA National staff, working with business and industrial young women
1951-53 Group work and recreational director, YWCA, Oakland
1953-66 Executive Director, YWCA, Yakima, Washington, and Utica, New York
1962-71 Advisor, YWCA, Taipei, Taiwan; Colombia; and Lima, Peru
1971 Executive Director, YWCA, Omaha

View finding aid for Virginia Heim George Papers

YWCA staff, Rio de Janiero
Virginia Heim (fourth from left) with YWCA staff, Rio de Janiero, September 1943

“[Coming to Puerto Rico] I kept thinking of what the past 5 years in Brazil had meant to me – and now – what will this new chapter bring? New experiences, more knowledge – new friends, and I hope an ever-broadening of oneself.”

[Diary entry, Puerto Rico, 14 November 1945

“In the afternoon I went to the ‘Y’ to see the program staff. The ‘Y’ was cold & damp & no heat at all…The spirit of the staff, too, was as cold as the weather…. Am trying once again to get caught up with my correspondence. It seems like a never ending task. There always seems to be no end to the things I should do…It is something trying to speak this language. It seems like an almost impossible task.”

[Diary entry, Prague, 8 October 1946

Virginia Heim’s Christmas letter from
Taiwan, undated (circa 1960s)
New Year letter from Bogata,
Columbia, 1970
“The YWCA Story,” 1965
Virginia Heim (right) and others
in Bogota, Columbia, circa 1966-71

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