Whenever someone asks us who we are, the easy answer is; Christian Home Association – Children’s Square U.S.A. is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3), non-denominational organization, serving the needs of children and families since December 1882.
Children’s Square U.S.A. is a diverse organization of professional caregivers dedicated to serving children and families.
We welcome you to explore our website to learn more about the services we offer, how you can help, employment opportunities and most importantly – how our mission to serve children and families.
To teach each child, every day, the values and life skills essential to a successful life-one full of Caring, Contribution and Commitment empowering each with:The Vision To See… and the values of setting an ideal for which to reach;
The Courage To Try…
and the value of accepting each obstacle as a challenge to meet;
The Will To Succeed…
and the value of making the commitment to persevere.
Be a community based resource and a life education center that is responsive to child, family and community needs, and through an array of programs & services, provide opportunities to develop life skills and values that enhance overall well being.
Like most institutions of its kind, the Christian Home Association was born from a specific need. In 1881, a flood in Council Bluffs left many residents weakened, many of whom were already struggling financially. Remnants of that disaster came in the form of helpless widows with little or no means to care for their children, destitute elderly persons and orphans. By late 1882, the situation had grown quite alarming.
On the evening of November 3, 1882, Reverend Joseph Goff Lemen addressed a large congregation at the First Baptist Church in Council Bluffs. He related his experiences with the countless poverty-stricken families in the city. In his sermon, Reverend Lemen gave several examples of the poverty and challenged his listeners to visit these unfortunate people. The Pastor then appealed to the group for goods and financial assistance to help the poor and friendless.
“Let us give liberally and God will bless us for it,” he proclaimed. Donations were gathered after the service as church women were urged to meet weekly to sew for the poor.
Soon, Reverend Lemen’s church was a clearinghouse for the poor who needed clothing, food, fuel and medical attention. The effort was enhanced by every church and charitable organization in the city.
Recognition of the plight of the unfortunate was basically unheard of in the late 1880′s, much less dealt with. Prominent at that time was a philosophy of Social Darwinism, which held that society evolved according to the laws of survival of the fittest. This theory provided for a rationale that reflected a strong reluctance to trying to change social situations if people were born to live in a certain way.
Economic conditions in Council Bluffs in 1882 were such that most people could offer little financial relief to others even less fortunate than themselves. However, in the name of Christian Charity, Reverend Lemen led a drive to assist the otherwise friendless persons from Council Bluffs and also, later, from most of the country.
Source: ”Christian Home Association History” by Mary C. Tourek, InterSearch Inc. January 1983