Skip to comments.Orphanage home to only fond memories
Posted on 06/03/2011 10:50:27 AM PDT by Deo volente
HARVEYS LAKE - Orphanages are often portrayed as grim, cheerless places where children are mistreated, but to Joe Penxa, nothing could be further from the truth.
"I have absolutely no remembrance of anything bad about the orphanage. I can't recall a thing," Penxa said, reminiscing in the Harveys Lake home he shares with his wife Helene.
He can recall the nice things, though: getting treats literally "under the table," having fun with his classmates and, best of all, spending summers at the orphanage's camp in Noxen.
Penxa, now 94, was born in Larksville. When his father died in the influenza pandemic of 1918, his mother, unable to care for Joe and his four sisters, put them in the Wilkes-Barre Children's Home - called the Home for Friendless Children at the time - at 335 S. Franklin St.
(Excerpt) Read more at citizensvoice.com ...
Hey I was born in Luzerne County(Kingston), Just a bit later though!
"I have absolutely no remembrance of anything bad about the orphanage."
Agrees completely with my experience in a NY orphanage.
My great grandfather adopted two orphans from the “orphan train” that would come to New Orleans. One became a Dominican nun the other a Jesuit priest. My grandfather was a very devout German Catholic immigrant family man and a successful businessman in the early 1900s. He would often send bushels of oranges and other treats to the orphanages and kegs of beer to the nuns. I have and album of letters of appreciation written in the beautiful, elegant handwriting of that time thanking him for the gifts. Evidently the nuns liked a little nip or two after the children were in bed:)
I’ve always thought that children would be better off in a good orphanage than being shuttled from one foster home to another without really knowing what kind of people the foster parents are.
She was very grateful to have been removed from an abusive situation and placed in a stable situation where she felt people really cared about her welfare. She believes it made a big difference in her life, including exposing her to people from different backgrounds and ethnicities. Being away from her family gave her the insight to not repeat many of the mistakes and she is happily married to a man who treats her well. She is able to be a good mother to her own children and, now that they are no longer small, she is starting to pursue her own career dreams with her family's support.
Children's Homes are something we probably need more of; however I will say that I have met some wonderful foster parents who are not "in it for the money" but who really care about the children they take in and who are trying their best to make a positive difference in the life or lives of a child or children.
I’ve known two women who were brought up in orphanages in the 1950s. One joined the order of sisters that ran the orphanage (because she was so happy there!) and the other went on to get married and have a very normal life.
Neither one of them was an orphan, strictly speaking; at least one of their parents were alive but simply left them there. In one case, the mother visited occasionally (not a happy memory) but in the other case, the parents had nothing to do with the child. Still, they grew up happy and healthy, thanks to the orphanage.
We need those orphanages to come back again.
we do need orphanages.
Old friend lived in the orphanage in our area with his sister. Then the place was closed in the early sixties and he was sent to live on a farm in the country in a foster home.
Where he was tied to a tree and beaten regularly
Except when the social work (demons) showed up.
No real oversight in a foster home.
He considered the orphanage his family and was devestated being separated from his sister and in foster care.
Remember too, many orphanages took kids while parents were ill or trying to get back on their feet.
Yes we do need the orphanages. We also need the county “homes” for the homeless and those who have no hope of employment. We called them the “poor house”, and I was threatened with the poor house every time I failed to do my duty as a productive student & citizen.
I’ve read many accounts of older people who remember their orphanage experiences very fondly. Frankly, I think we should think about bringing orphanages back. People react with horror when you say that...thinking of Oliver Twist workhouses, I guess. But orphanages CAN be done right, or at least they used to be. And it beats being shuffled around in the foster care system, living with an abusive or neglectful relative, or a mom who only had you so she could get a bigger welfare check.
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