Find of the Month

March 2015 - Millionair Club

In 1938, the head of Seattle’s Millionair Club wrote to City Council requesting free bus transportation to enable the city’s orphans to attend the club’s St. Patrick’s Day party. The letter from M.G. Johanson began, “Would you share a little joy?” He compares the “wholesome” party to a “’trip through Fairy-Land’ for the little orphans.”

Johanson was not afraid to ask for community support for the organization he founded in Pioneer Square in 1921. He sent out tens of thousands of letters each year to solicit contributions for the club’s work in helping Seattle’s homeless and unemployed citizens.

The wordy letterhead on the 1938 letter sums up the charity’s work and philosophy (“Object: Relief without embarrassment…Endorsed: By every force for good”) while also appealing for monetary contributions, job opportunities, and donations of food, clothing, and household supplies.


Johanson led the Millionair Club for 53 years, waiting to retire until he was 86 years old. The organization – now in Belltown – continues today with a professional staff and expanded services for Seattle’s neediest citizens.