The Associate Benevolent Society was founded in 1885 by representatives of local churches "to help those in need of a higher moral mode of living" and has served the needy and underprivileged population in Clinton County for over 127 years."

In 1969, a local donor established a utility fund, and this fund has continued to grow through assistance from the United Way and various donations.

In conjunction with Pantries United, the Associate Benevolent Society began making food bags and/or boxes available in 1982. A freezer was purchased in 1984 enabling perishable foods to be purchased at a savings and stored until needed for distribution.

The Promise Program was established in 1987 to provide appropriate clothing for clients as they entered the work force.

The agency has given assistance to many flood and fire victims over the years and was instrumental in the formation of the Holiday Network. For many years, dolls were donated to the agency then, turned over to R.S.V.P. volunteers who dressed and handed out the dolls to needy children at the annual Christmas party.

The Associate Benevolent Society was a co-founder of the Holiday Network. The network, a collaborative effort to provide food, clothing, and toys to needy families for the Christmas holiday was established in 1987 to reduce duplication of services. The doll program mentioned above was incorporated into the larger Holiday Network, and the agency's current role is to provide new socks and underwear to underprivileged children.