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Cerebral Palsy Program

Members of Alpha Chi Omega have long found service to others – on Hera Day and throughout

the year – to be one of the most fulfilling and meaningful parts of their membership.

During World War I, for example, members reached out to support French children who were orphaned during the war.

During World War II, members supported nursery schools serving families with parents serving in the war or working on the home front..

The Delta Delta (West San Fernando Valley, California) and Alpha Kappa Alpha (Pasadena, California) alumnae chapters led the effort to adopt the cause of cerebral palsy,

and by unanimous vote of the 1947 National Convention delegates, the Fraternity began its support of the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults, assisting at the local and national levels by funding scholarships and providing equipment and service locally.

This provided members the opportunity to reach out to children who were suffering from and to educate members and the public about cerebral palsy.

The Fraternity made an initial gift of $5,000 to provide fellowships and scholarships that would enable doctors,

therapists and educators to further their study of work with children with cerebral palsy.

In May 1948, the first scholarships were granted. In her 1948 report to the membership, National President Gladys Drach Power commented on the success to date of the project, saying,

“It is very heartening to note that this enthusiasm extends to all parts of the country, includes all age groups, and has stimulated the work of alumnae groups, active chapters, and mothers’ clubs.”

At the 1951 National Convention, delegates voted to expand support by making self-help

toys designed to provide both entertainment and orthopedic value for affected children.

 A popular “traveling toy exhibit” helped collegiate and alumnae chapters promote the project,

and members created the Toy Book, which included patterns, instructions and photographs of the toys.

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