When the Marshall Rotary club, was established, in 1919, no one thought it would play a prominent role in the shaping of a new avenue of service in Rotary, so, when it introduced a novel new element (Youth Services) into what had heretofore been a dignified and austere organization, it attracted little attention.
Outside of Marshall Rotary was focused on building public restrooms, providing clean safe drinking water, planting trees, minimizing social and economic conflicts, promoting cultural understanding, eradiating POLIO, and promoting conflict-resolution instead of war.
To be sure, The Rotary Club of Marshall Texas was vitally interested and involved in those things too and embraced them all in their turn, as well as being active in the civic affairs of Marshall and the surrounding area, but economic and cultural pressures on businesses and large landowners in east Texas, presented a moral and ethical dilemma for the young club.
Cheap labor was plentiful in east Texas, especially child labor, consisting mainly of children of poor parents, and children of ex-slaves and immigrants.  They were being exploited in businesses, shops, and farms throughout the area, sadly, like they are in many countries today.
As a result, the children were either pulled into the system and swallowed up, or cast off with little thought for the consequences or their wellbeing.
Rotarians of Marshall decided that defending and helping those children, essentially reshaping their future, was to be one of their top priorities from the very beginning and has continued as a major part of the Marshall Rotary club’s service projects in one form or the other since.
During the first few months of its existence, the club explored several ways to assist the children in need. First, it sent Rotarians to the schools and brought students from the schools to club meetings in an attempt to encourage those in school to stay in school.
It sponsored a “Father and Sons“ banquet in conjunction with a “Father and Sons” movement being observed by Rotary clubs all over the United States. Though it was a fun and enjoyable occasion, the Marshall club realized that giving those kids a pat on the back occasionally, was not really helping the children that needed it most.
Determined to do more, the club launched a formal program attacking the “gorilla-in-the-room”, with every weapon at their disposal, in this case, the Vocational Guidance and Employment Resolution, stated in “The Marshall Messenger” article,  June 15th, 1920”.  
A defined program for boys was inaugurated, a resolutions drawn up and adopted by the boys committee, and presented to the club by chairman August Carter.
Leading features of the program were the keeping in school of boys who should be in school, securing work for boys who should be at work, and assisting needy boys, in securing an education.”
The following resolution was adopted at that meeting:
“Be it Resolved---
            First – To ask the business men not to employ boys under the age of fourteen years, but to encourage them to attend school and finish a high school education
Second -- That a boy who has not finished the 4th grade, regardless of age, must not be employed during school hours, this being a state law.
Third -- That the school superintendent will allow a special permit to any student in high school after he has finished his last recitation to be excused to take up such duties as he may have in the way of work -- this special permit is to continue for such time as the student keeps up his studies, and when he fails to keep up with his studies, this permit will be canceled.
Fourth – A special committee to be known as the Vocational Guidance and Employment, committee, with Mr. Geo. A. Handler as chairman is appointed.  Mr. Handler will name such members from the Rotary club as he sees fit to cooperate and assist him with this work.  The boys may appeal to this committee, list their names far employment, and the committee will assist them in every way possible as an advisory board.  We urge all boys to let the Rotary club know, through this committee, what can be done to assist them. This committee will also assist businessmen in securing for them such help as they may require from the boys and young men, and they businessmen are required to corporate with this committee.
Fifth -- That any citizen who can suggest a place in Harrison County suitable for a boys’ encampment this summer, is urged to communicate with the Rotary club.  That every businessman will make a special effort to investigate the social, and moral case of each child as he finds in need of assistance.”
In retrospect, this decision was a mini-declaration of war on the ethics and morality that permeated the business practices of the day, and to offer, free of charge, their services to see that no more children were ever exploited in Marshall or Harrison County again.
Sadly, there is no written evidence that the plan actually helped any children, but the Rotary club’s announcement to the world that day, proclaiming to the world, that child labor would no longer be exploited in Marshall or  Harrison County, became but one of many skirmishes that  influenced the larger Rotary organization to become more directly, agressively, and effectively involved in servce to youth and so, will receive a place of honor, when we celebrate “A Century of Changing Lives in Marshall – and Beyond”, August 24th, 2019.