Our History

Since its founding in 1958 The Doll League, Inc. has been an active civic and service organization ever Since its beginning in 1958 around the kitchen table of esteemed founder the late Ethel Sissle. Mrs. Sissle believed that a  small group of dedicated women working together in a club devoted to service could positively impact  the lives of children in New York City. 

For years, The Doll League “adopted” the orphans of Graham House in New York City, awarding scholarships, sponsoring field trips and serving as role models for the girls.


Our name was inspired by one of our earliest activities, distributing dolls at Christmas to children in orphanages and our annual Children’s Christmas Party, complete with toys, Santa, food and fun, remains a cherished activity.


From the installation of the club’s first elected officers by Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. to our ensuing decades of service and millions in scholarships to young women and financial grants to community organizations, The Doll League has grown and grown.

We now operate  two ongoing

scholarship funds that honor  the memories of late Doll League members and we established The  Living Doll Award in 1962 to honor

individuals who are outstanding in their fields of endeavor. 


In addition to the New York Metropoltan Chapter, the tax-exempt, non-profit group has a second chapter in Detroit, Michigan.


With generous support from

individuals, small businesses

and corporations, The League will continue to support young people pursuing higher education and 

community organizations whose work helps to make life better for our youngsters.


Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. installs founding members of The Doll League in 1958

Founder Ethel Sissle is a lasting inspiration

for the work done by members of The

Doll League

Donating a kidney machine for the pediatrics

ward at Harlem Hospital was an early Doll League project