December 4, 1865
The object of this Society is to assist, so far as its means will permit, deserving natives of Switzerland and their descendants by gift, grants or loans of money. Should its resources permit, similar assistance may be accorded to agencies or individuals not of Swiss provenance or derivation.
The Swiss Benevolent Society of Philadelphia was founded on September 14, 1860. It began as an idea of Rudolph Koradi, the Swiss Consul of Philadelphia. The Charter of the Society, written in 1865 and amended in 1915 and 1960, states that the Society's object is "to relieve, so far as means will permit, the urgent necessities of poor and honest natives of Switzerland, either by contributions of money and provisions, or by procuring employment for them. It is not a society for mutual assistance, but of general benevolence." Support has been provided for orphanages and homes for the aged as well as to needy individuals. In addition, the Society has contributed funds to disaster victims throughout the world, and aided relief organizations in Switzerland during the First and Second World Wars.
In 1990, the Swiss Benevolent Society of Philadelphia joined forces with the SBS of New York, which administers the Scholarship Fund founded in 1979.
The Pellegrini Scholarship Fund, the Sonia Streuli Maguire Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award, the Medicus Student Exchange Fund (founded in 1996) and the Zimmermann Fund (founded in 1999) are supporting undergraduate and graduate students in our geographical area and in Switzerland.
Funds for the Society come from dues, investments, and bequests. The annual meeting held in March usually takes the form of a dinner dance and is the one of the social activity sponsored by the Society.
The Swiss Benevolent Society of Philadelphia and its members along with other area Swiss Societies continues to be an active organization.
The Society is a Non-Profit Organization [501(c) (3)] and donations are always welcome.