Celebrating 150 years of caring for children

Beginning Monday, New Directions Youth and Family Services will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the

The Lockport Home for the Friendless, 1892. The home for “destitute” children, incorporated by the Lockport Ladies Relief Society on Feb. 8, 1871, was relocated to the Wyndham Lawn estate in 1892 and was later renamed Wyndham Lawn Home for Children.

Lockport Ladies Relief Society, the forerunner of Wyndham Lawn Home for Children.

The Lockport Ladies Relief Society began dispensing food, coal, clothing and bedding to families in need in 1865. The society became incorporated on Feb. 8, 1871, and established a permanent home for “friendless and destitute” children on High Street in the city of Lockport. Needing more space, the society then moved to Wyndham Lawn in 1892 and became the Lockport Home for the Friendless. In 1917, the name was changed to Wyndham Lawn Home for Children.

Sharing similar philosophies, values and goals, New Directions Youth and Family Services was created by the merger of the Wyndham Lawn Home for Children and the Randolph Children’s Home in 1999.

Today, the Wyndham Lawn campus offers residential care for 30 children, as well as the Henrietta G. Lewis Campus School, the Wayne A. Secord Therapeutic Preschool and an array of services delivered in-home to families in Niagara and neighboring counties.

“We are proud to be standing on the foundation set by the courageous and compassionate women who founded the Lockport Ladies Relief Society 150 years ago” said James W. Coder, New Directions CEO. “Their vision and commitment to children in need sets a high standard for us and guides our work as we embark on the next 150 years of service at Wyndham Lawn.”

A year-long celebration is planned to honor the 150 years of service, showcasing the rich history and personal stories of individuals and their time on the Wyndham Lawn campus. Activities will be announced throughout this year on social media and the agency’s website, www.fosteringgood.org.

Additionally, New Directions is asking members of the community to support its mission by donating $150 to celebrate 150 years, throughout 2021. Any amount is appreciated, and monthly pledges are also welcomed.

Community members wishing to share their Wyndham Lawn experiences are invited to fill out the contact form online at www.fosteringgood.org/shareyourstory or contact New Directions Development Office at 433-4487.

Leslie Disbro is the development director for New Directions Youth & Family Services.