History of NGA

A long history of serving others

The Needlework Guild began in England in 1882 following a mining disaster in nearby Wales. Lady Diana Wolverton gathered a group of people together to make clothing (one to wear, one to wash) for the children whose parents had died in the disaster. She “glimpsed the fact that old garments might pauperize, but new garments equalize.”

In 1885 Mrs. Harpence from Philadelphia was impressed with the work that was being done.  She shared the concept with her niece, Laura Safford, who in turn told 6 of her friends. They agreed to help her sew for the needy.  The first year, they collected 921 articles which were donated to hospitals and orphanages.  The Needlework Guild of America (NGA) was founded in Philadelphia in 1885 and later incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1896.


NGA-Hancock Park is one of 33 chapters of the Needlework Guild of America. We have been providing new clothing, linens and personal care items to our less fortunate neighbors in Los Angeles since 1895.