The Portsmouth Service League is a volunteer organization composed of women who are interested in the welfare of their community. It is a training organization with its objective being to produce responsible civic leaders for the community by exposing, educating, and involving its members in all facets of community life.
The Service League was founded in 1955 by a group of 34 young women, who were concerned with the affairs of their community and decided to organize a group with similar social and educational backgrounds. With much help from the Norfolk Junior League, those charter members drew up bylaws, elected officers, advisers, and began selling the idea of the Service League to agencies in the community. In the beginning, it was difficult to convince these agencies that volunteers would be dependable, but through dedication and hard work those charter members were soon able to gain the respect of the agencies which they served, a respect and admiration maintained to this day.
In 2011, the Portsmouth Service League took ownership of the Woman's Club of Portsmouth and completed a capital campaign to raise funds to renovate the beautiful Portsmouth icon. Currently, in addition to being the premiere wedding destination in Portsmouth, the League allows the building to be used by area nonprofits that do not have a home. All of the profits brought in by the rental of the Woman's Club are donated to the Portsmouth Service League which in turn distributes the money through grants to other nonprofit organizations and community projects throughout Hampton Roads. The success of this business venture has allowed the League to expand its philanthropy and impact within the community.
Today, the Portsmouth Service League is a volunteer 501(c) 3 organization composed of young women dedicated to improving the welfare of the community. The League has been instrumental in the founding of several community institutions including the Children's Museum of Virginia, the Naval Shipyard Museum, and Girls, Inc. Center for Youth. During 60 years of service, the League has raised and distributed over $1,000,000 in the Portsmouth and Hampton Roads communities.