Our History:
110 Years of Caroling to Benefit Children

The St. Louis Christmas Carols Association began in 1911, when William H. Danforth and a group of friends decided to bring joy and good will to their neighbors by caroling outside their homes.  Initially, they did not plan to collect money, but found listeners gave money when they sang.  Being philanthropic businessmen, they donated the funds to the Children's Aid Society, the organization's first beneficiary, to help underserved kids throughout the following year.  Over the years, the number of recipients has grown; in 2018, our caroling collections supported 35 metro St. Louis area children's agencies! 

Listen to an interview from December 8,1955 
with our founder, William Danforth!

Our founder, William H. Danforth, died in his home on Kingsbury Place in St. Louis on Christmas Eve, 1955, as he waited for carolers from Pilgrim Congregational Church to serenade him.


Since then, the Danforth family has continued to provide leadership for this wonderful organization as we enter our second century. We are grateful for the leadership of Donald Danforth, Dr. William H. Danforth, and Donald Danforth III through the years.

We also honor the recent passing of Dr. William H. Danforth, Chairman Emeritus (September 16, 2020) - a St. Louis icon!  In addition to his many contributions to medicine, higher education and plant science, he also served as our president, then Chairmen of our Board of Trustees from 1956-2004. His wisdom, encouragement and love for the tradition of caroling made a lasting mark on our organization.  He will be deeply missed.