The VFW National Home for Children is celebrating its 90th Anniversary throughout 2015. As part of that celebration, we will be focusing on one decade of the National Home’s history each month. This month, we present the 1940's.
The Great Depression takes a toll
The depression took a huge toll on the finances at the National Home. The future of the Home was in question because of the financial crisis that reeked havoc across the country.
For more than 18 years, the National Home had received one penny for every Buddy Poppy that was sold. Members of the National Buddy Poppy Committee where convinced that the VFW and Ladies Auxiliary groups could increase the support of the sales of Buddy Poppy in 1940 to help the Home through the financial issues caused by the depression. In 1941, the National Home received $62,440.54 from the sales of Buddy Poppies, which helped immensely in keeping the Home running during a very turbulent time.
Growth during difficult times
Although times were difficult, the over-whelming support of the VFW National Home allowed the Home to grow.
In February, 1946, the Ladies Auxiliary saw their vision of an onsite nursery for the Home’s youngest residents come to be. Today, the licensed daycare is still a very important service offered to the families that live at the National Home while parents are at work or school.
Once again, the Ladies had a mission……in May of 1949, a new chapel and guest lodge were built on campus by the Ladies’ Auxiliary. In August of 1949, a new wing was added to the hospital because of the focused determination of the Ladies Auxiliary in caring for the veteran’s families.
Residents called to war
By January, 1944 the total number of National Home alums in the service was 74. Sadly, Lawrence Sims, Maurice Chadwick and Anthony Walter of the National Home lost their lives while serving our country during WWII.