Founded in 1756, Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York is the oldest charitable organization in New York State. Its original mission to “provide relief to Scots and their descendants, who may be in want or distress” continues today through the work of the Almoner’s Program. The individuals we assist come from all walks of life and have varying degrees of need. We provide assistance to the elderly, but also to families and children in crisis, the terminally ill and the disabled. In addition to financial assistance, individuals also receive guidance and emotional support from our staff social worker and members of the Almoner’s committee.
The wide historical reach of the Saint Andrew's Society makes it unique in the annals not only of New York City and State, but also in the country itself. Society members were influential in finance, medicine and the arts in the city and country from early days. The first president of the Society, Philip Livingston (1756-57), was a delegate to the first Continental Congress and along with fellow Society members Lewis Morris and Rev. John Witherspoon, signed the Declaration of Independence. Livingston also assisted in founding King's College (now Columbia University), where another Society member, Alexander Hamilton, studied. He was, of course, Secretary of the Treasury in George Washington's cabinet and it has been said that his financial acumen was crucial to the Saint Andrew's Society successful functioning in the first years of the organization. Other names will be familiar to New Yorkers: Robert Lenox’s (16th President) farm became the area known as Lenox Hill and he and his son James were founders of New York Presbyterian Hospital. James Lenox was instrumental in founding Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church and his library formed a basis for the New York Public Library. Archibald Gracie’s (18th President) home became in 1942 the official residence of the Mayors of New York. James Taylor Johnston (31st President) was one of the founders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Andrew Carnegie’s charitable outreach has been heralded throughout the city and the world.
Throughout the years members of the Society have continued to celebrate Scotland and its culture and to this day contribute to the fabric and diversity of life in New York City.