The fifty-first year of Orphan Asylum work has proved to be a satisfactory and successful one; notwithstanding that it was begun with some anxiety, because of the unusually large family and the probable difficulty of meeting expenses. During the year eighteen children have been admitted, and for twenty-three, homes have been found; either with friends or in families where they will be well cared for. The investigation of the many applications for admission and of homes for the children, also the general oversight of those still partly in care of the Trustees, makes the work of the Admission and Indenture Committee constant and demanding.
The Committee on Education has continued the careful supervision of the work of the school, striving to have the children trained in the rudiments, thus giving them a foundation for future work. A change of teachers has been necessary owing to the resignation of Miss Benedict. Miss Walsh, the present teacher, by her ability to interest and instruct the pupils in music and calisthenics gives added life to the school.
The Housekeeping Committee has met monthly to consider the various needs of the household, each member in turn taking the care of the home for a month, visiting frequently and giving help and advice. The neatness of the house, the health of the children and the happiness of the family all testify to the efficiency and faithfulness of the matron and her assistants.
The Wardrobe Committee meets every week, cutting out and preparing garments, the work on which has been largely contributed by outside individuals and societies; needlework guilds have materially helped this committee by timely gifts of clothing and household linen.
The resignation of Mrs. L. B. Bonnett as a member of the board is deeply regretted, not only because of her own efficiency, but also because she represented her parents and carried on the work in which they had taken an active interest for many years. Mrs. C. J. Silvers has been elected to fill the vacancy.
To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary a reception was held in October, when the Asylum was opened to the public who manifested their interest by large attendance and at the same time greatly encouraged the trustees of the institution by liberal donations of money, food and clothing; for, although the children had been more abundantly supplied during the summer months with generous gifts of fruit and vegetables than in any year heretofore, the needs were greater, owing to the increased number, seventy-two in all, about the largest family ever cared for at one time in the home. Again, at Thanksgiving and Christmas, Sunday schools, day schools and individuals filled the storeroom and added to the treasury.
A valuable addition to the training of the girls has been introduced by Miss Mildred Carlton, who, with her assistants, conducts a sewing class each week. A class in manual instruction for the boys would be another desirable advance.
Mr. Clark and his self-denying corps of teachers have faithfully carried on the Sunday school, and Miss Morrison and Miss Brown have kindly come on Sunday afternoons to sing with the children.
The Ocean Grove Committee added another to the successful series of excursions, and Mr. I. F. Randolph made the day a happy one for the children with various treats and personal attention as in previous years.
Various entertainments have been given which have added generous sums to the treasury. A concert kindly arranged by Mrs. C. F. Keppler and Miss Alice Brown; the von Ende concerts, for the success of which Miss Daland gave much time and thought. A fair at the home of Catherine and Frances Vergillius, and one given by Helen Dick and nine friends; also the ball game between the Broad Street Clerks and the P. S. Employees. Receipted bills have been sent by the Oliver & Drake Co., Mr. George H. Sayre and Mr. J. O. Brokaw, and generous reductions have been made on many others. Large donations of canned goods have been received from Mr. W. B. Timms and liberal donations of money are reported by the Treasurer.
Mr. George Seeber most kindly sent his automobile one afternoon each week during the summer that all the inmates in turn might enjoy a ride. For these and many unmentioned kindnesses and favors grateful acknowledgment is made.
To Dr. Mravlag, Dr. Wilson and Dr. Adelberg sincere thanks are expressed for many kind services cheerfully rendered.
The record of the year shows that many new friends as well as old have given time, thought and generous assistance, all helping the institution to be a prosperous, happy home, of which the city may well be proud.
1. "FIFTY-FIRST ANNUAL REPORT", Fifty-First Annual Report of the Elizabeth Orphan Asylum Association, Elizabeth, New Jersey, 1909, Pages 5-7.