Evangeline Whipple used her wealth to improve the lives of women, people of color, and the poor. She supported social justice for American Indians in Minnesota, for African Americans in Florida, and for villagers and World War I refugees in Bagni di Lucca, Italy.
During World War I, families began to hang flags in their windows that displayed a gold star for each relative killed in military service. The title “gold star mother” was used unofficially to describe a woman who had lost a child in service until the national organization American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., was established in 1929. Many Minnesota mothers claimed membership, and local Minnesota chapters followed.