The origins of today’s VFW National Home for Children can be traced to a 23-year-old woman named Amy Ross. In 1922, Ross made it her mission to help find jobs for the thousands of unemployed veterans in Detroit.
News of Ross’ efforts reached millionaire cattleman Corey Spencer, who gifted 472 acres of land near Eaton Rapids, Michigan, to build on Ross’ vision of supporting veterans.
On Jan. 7, 1925, the VFW National Home was founded, helping to fulfill the VFW pledge to “honor the dead by helping the living.” Later that spring, the Home welcomed its first family in an old frame farmhouse, Mrs. Pollett and her six children. Pollett had become suddenly widowed and lost her husband’s military pension.
Since its founding, the VFW National Home for Children has grown from an old frame farmhouse to a sprawling campus with playgrounds; park areas; and multiple buildings, including single-family homes, a community center and gymnasium, child care facility, guest lodge, chapel, and administrative offices.
Over the years, the National Home has evolved to meet the changing needs of America’s military and veterans’ families. Through it all, one thing has remained constant: the National Home’s commitment to honor our nation’s veterans and active-duty military by providing help and hope for their children and families.