About Chums

Mary Barnes, Joyce Tate Brown, and Theodora Jackson -formed a social club and name it after their friendship:  Character and charm we strive to attain,  Honesty and humility are always our aim, Understanding and unselfishness we exhibit each day, Modesty and moderation light our pathway - CHUMS."   Their legacy is carried on by 40 Chapters throughout the U.S. 

Chums, Inc. is a national organization that began in Norfolk, Virginia when three women -  Mary Barnes, Joyce Tate Brown, and Theodora Jackson - got together in friendship and from there built an national organization that now includes our Cleveland Chapter


The idea for Chums came about on a cold, rainy night in February of 1946. The three founders were sitting in Barnes' red Ford convertible. The war was officially over, each of the young women had a boyfriend serving in the military who wasn't home yet, and segregation was still the norm. That particular night, the three friends couldn't think of anything to do so they decided to form a social club and name it after their friendship "Chums."  


Chums Cleveland Chapter was formally installed in May 1968.  Since then, we have proudly served our community, given freely of our time, and lived up to the National Chums motto:

"listen to the children . . . enrich their lives."

Chums, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for women to meet in friendship and fun, to encourage the spirit of helpfulness, and to use their many talents in service to the community.  

Chums, Inc Cleveland Chapter is a 501(c)(3) organization. Your generous gift is fully tax-deductible and will help us fund our mission to help those in need. 

We welcome and encourage you to join and get involved today. 

Our Mission

Our Mission


CHUMS are united in our mission to develop critical programs to support the enhancement of the youthful leaders of tomorrow. Each member and chapter of our organization understand our primary purpose incorporated in our theme, “listening to our children.”

We continue to co-exist with boycotting elections, disruptive political agendas, and tears of fear for black lives, as our organization stands fundamentally founded after 73 years of service… We Stand as a team, United in Purpose. As we progress through our current social and civic climate, we remind ourselves of the strength of our Founders who united in a time of war and bonded together for the greater good of humanity.


Elizabeth S. Saunders

National President

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