The first residents – the children and widow of a World War I veteran – arrived at the VFW National Home for Children outside Eaton Rapids, Eaton County, on March 9, 1925.
Edward Pollett’s wife and six children, ages 2-15, moved into a farmhouse on the property a week after the 48-year-old retired sergeant was hit by a streetcar while crossing the street in Detroit. Pollett was in the city to collect his military retirement check from Ft. Wayne.
A 1926 newsletter explained kids would “receive the same care at this Home that they would have received if their parents had lived and in their parents’ home,” such as quality educations, life-skills training and opportunities to play.
Today, the VFW National Home for Children boasts 70 buildings, including three dozen individual family homes, two duplexes and a community center, on its 629 acres.
Zlati Meyer, This Week in Michigan History, March 8, 2009, B.4.
Rachel Greco, “90 years in, VFW Home makes an impact”, Lansing State Journal, March 20, 2015. Appears in March 22, 2015 paper edition.