|History of The West|
The West evolved from a series of events that began in the early 1960’s as a means for funding The Brewster Home, a home for unwed mothers. The Brewster Home was established in response to a survey by the Tucson Community Council of Adoptions showing a need for a shelter for unwed expectant mothers. As a pilot project, The Junior League of Tucson voted to assume responsibility for the Home. The Brewster Home Auxiliary was organized in 1966 to serve the parent organization.
On October 1, 1968, the Auxiliary volunteers opened a shop at Plaza Antigua with funds donated by the founders. To obtain merchandise for stocking the shop, hand-made articles were sought on a consignment basis. The Auxiliary joined the Women’s Exchange Society, a national clearing house for hand-made items, and the shop’s name became Women’s Exchange Specialties of Tucson (acronym: The West). The Needlepoint Corner was established later with money donated to the Auxiliary expressly for that purpose.
In 1971, the group made its first financial contribution to the Brewster House. The shop continued to expand and in 1976 moved to larger quarters on North Campbell. In 1978 The West moved to Swan and Sunrise.
In 1980 the group home closed. The home, in 1981, became a shelter for victims of family violence.
In 1981, the Auxiliary became the Brewster Home, Inc. electing to be a Granting Corporation, with proceeds donated to charitable community agencies serving women and children of Tucson. The Auxiliary, from its inception through 1981 had given $191,000 to the Brewster Home.
In 1988 ownership of the property held by our organization was deeded to the Brewster Center for Victims of Family Violence. That year we officially changed our corporate name to The West, Inc.
In 1991, the shop moved to its current location at the River Center, Craycroft and River Roads, providing expanded space for all departments and a marked increase in business. Further expansion at that location took place in 1993. In May 2007, the shop was closed for a complete remodel and renovation and re-opened in June.
From 1981 through 2009, The West has granted to Tucson women’s and children’s charities, including the Brewster Center, a total of $1,946,024.