Glen Ellyn Infant Welfare was established in 1926 by five women who made and sold aprons to raise money for families with children who needed assistance. Infant Welfare paid half the salary for the first village nurse and furnished the first audiometer to the schools to test children’s hearing. The group established and staffed the first preschool examination programs. In 1942, the first isolette for premature babies was donated to the Memorial Hospital of DuPage County. In the 1980’s Central DuPage Hospital received funds from Infant Welfare to purchase intensive care equipment and neonatal equipment for the pediatric department. Other areas of funding over decades have been to Marion Joy Rehabilitation Hospital, Sunny Ridge Home for Children, DuPage Childcare Associations, The Attention Group, the Food Pantries of Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, and Milton Township, and DuPage County Anti-Vandalism to name a few.
The Children’s Clinic, sponsored by the county health department, was an ongoing commitment since the early years of our history. Members once volunteered to help weigh, measure and chart pertinent information about the children brought in to see the doctor. No longer needed in this capacity, Infant Welfare membership now helps local agencies fill their volunteer needs in food pantries and cloths closets through Community Service. Family Aid is a way of assisting local families in immediate need. Eye Glasses, medicine, clothing, baby equipment, shoes, and interim daycare are but a few of the emergency requests that Infant Welfare receives from the DuPage County Human Services Division, the schools, the village of Glen Ellyn or from institutions that we help fund.
There are several local institutions that provide medical care, counseling, rehabilitation and custodial care for children residing in Glen Ellyn school districts. Infant Welfare provides funds, as per requests from these institutions, on an annual basis. In the early 1990’s, an annual scholarship fund was established to be awarded to graduating high school students.
Infant Welfare has had many sources of funding over the years. They range from winning $250 (during the depression) from Ball Bries, for sending the largest number of home-canned products to the World’s Fair, Christmas Balls, care parties, Spring Auction to this years Housewalk, Fall Fundraiser Event “Witches Bash”, a bowling party and various plant sales. Tag Day is one fundraiser that has been in place since the beginning of Infant Welfare.
The women of Infant Welfare throughout the years of its history have made a commitment to the well-being of Glen Ellyn’s children. They have chosen to use their unique talents and imaginations to creatively raise the monies to fund many projects over the years. Most importantly has been the donation of their time. Time that they have chosen to spend being with the children at the agencies we fund, touring and learning about the agencies and schools that help children, making and distributing holiday baskets and time spent fundraising. Glen Ellyn Infant Welfare has and will continue to be an integral supporting link, between the children and the community, in providing a stronger tomorrow for those in need of help.