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Former orphanage provided a family atmosphere
Written by Melissa Burden   
Tuesday, 21 September 2010 11:26

For many, the word “orphanage” brings about visions of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist uttering his famous words, “Please, sir, I want some more.”

For those who lived at the former Lutheran Orphans’ Home in Oregon, the reality of life in an orphanage was more home like with a true “family” atmosphere.

On Aug. 6, 1860, Pastor Johannes Doerfler and four members of Salem Lutheran Church, in Toledo, established the Lutheran Orphans’ Home Society. Soon after, Pastor Doerfler took two orphaned boys into his home.

The first orphanage building was dedicated July 7, 1862. The two-story, wooden frame building, located on Seaman Street, would provide a home to orphans until 1919. Deeming the building inadequate, LHS built a brick home known as “The Dormitory,” which was dedicated April 6, 1919.

Due to the way some people in society began to think of orphanages and the best way to serve children, the Orphans’ Home closed in 1964.

The Lutheran Homes Society (LHS), which it is now called, held a reunion of “orphans” Aug. 5-7. The weekend was a celebration of the non-profit’s 150 years of service to both children and the elderly in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

John Jenkins
John Jenkins, one of several former residents of the Lutheran Orphans’ Home, led tours of the old orphanage building during the 150th Anniversary weekend festivities.

Lillian Meadows (Hartsel), of Walbridge, was one of the alumni in attendance. In 1951, at age 6, Meadows, her sister Bonnie and brothers, Larry and Robert were brought to the Home after their mother became gravely ill.

“There was a divorce, and my mother was working many jobs to support us,” Meadows explained. “She became sick with pneumonia and almost died. She had us go to the Home as her way of making sure that we were schooled, fed and taken care of until she was well enough to take care of us.”

Meadows said she remembers the sisters at the orphanage being strict, but they were not mean to the children.

“We had duties – chores to do every day and they made you listen, but they had to. There were many kids there to take care of, but they were not mean,” Meadows said. “We did not scrub the floors with our toothbrushes. The teachers were strict but that was just a part of life. Life is what you make it.”

Meadows said she remembers having a lot of fun at the orphanage.

“We loved playing in the sand box and sliding down the hill in the back of the campus in the winter,” she said. “During the holidays and Christmas, we put on pageants and we got gifts. We saw our mom on the weekends.”

Rocking, rolling & walking at Sacred Heart Home
Written by Tammy Walro   
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 12:15

A wonderful time was had by all the participants and guests at the Sacred Heart Home Saturday, Sept. 25 at the  Little Sisters of the Poor “Rock, Roll and Walk-athon.”

Residents of the Sacred Heart Home and their families rocked in rocking chairs, rolled in their wheelchairs and walked with their walkers and canes to raise support for the Little Sisters of the Poor mission of caring for the elderly poor.

Guests enjoyed great food, live entertainment, a DJ, clowns and three prize raffles. There were many smiling faces and joyful spirits in the Home as everyone enjoyed “moving and grooving” for a great cause.

The event also included a unique “Cake Walk” were participants played musical chairs to win a home baked cake or pie. Young attendees enjoyed assorted festival games.

The highlight of the event was the live entertainment provided by two different singers doing their renditions of some of Elvis Presley's classics. The grand prize raffle winner, winning a free weeks stay at a Daytona Beach, Fla., condo, was John Mockensturm of Maumee.

Members of the St. Joseph Auxiliary planned and hosted the festival. Since 1885, the Little Sisters have cared for NW Ohio and SE Michigan’s needy elderly, offering them a home in which they can feel a sense of respect, safety and love. The Sacred Heart Home offers a continuum of care from independent living apartments to licensed residential and nursing care.

For more information about the Little Sisters please visit


Free balance screenings Sept. 22
Written by Tammy Walro   
Tuesday, 21 September 2010 15:05

In observance of National Balance Awareness Week, all five greater Toledo-area locations of Heartland Rehab Services will offer a complimentary balance screening from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday Sept. 22.

Screenings will be conducted at Heartland Rehab at Oregon (419-697-8000); Heartland Rehab at Perrysburg (419-874-2657); Heartland Rehab at Arrowhead Park (419-897-9824); Heartland Rehab at Westgate (419-536-8030); and Heartland Rehab at Bedford (734-856-6737).

Balance is easily taken for granted. However, when the fragile vestibular organs of the inner ear are damaged by illness or injury, anyone can lose the ability to balance—not just physically, but the
demands of school, work, family, and independent living.

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