Our legacy organizations began with strong women
According to the National Women’s History Alliance, this year’s Women’s History Month theme is Providing Healing, Promoting Hope. “It is both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.”
To celebrate Women’s History Month, we are sharing a few stories of the history of our legacy Augustana and legacy Elim organizations, both of which had their start with influential women.
Legacy Augustana Care
“We were twelve women on the board. Augustana was built on faith. We had so little, when we think back, I think we had a lot of nerve to go ahead with it. Twelve women on the board with and Sister Elfrida as our deaconess. No men. We did everything. We were just plain little ordinary people. But I guess it’s just plain little ordinary people that build things. We’ve been servants you know. Servants of God. It’s easy to write a check if you have the money.
We didn’t have the money. We had to give of ourselves.”
Edith Oberg , Augustana Care Board Member
The 1907 Mission Committee annual report recorded the following activities of the deaconess at Augustana during the year: 392 house calls, 227 sick calls, 82 mission calls, 98 charity calls, 199 days of nursing care (56 free), 253 young girls lodged, 12 homeless children lodged, 4 aged women lodged.
The Mission Association was very nimble, changing its focus as the needs changed. During the Depression, they served 15,613 meals in six months, to the homeless and unemployed. Over 86 meals a day outside those they were caring for at the Mission Cottage.
Legacy Elim Care
The first Matron of Elim Home was Miss Clara Peterson in 1927. She made $40.00 a month to watch over 25 residents. When someone passed away Miss Peterson had to manage all their earthly property and arrange and pay for their funeral expenses. They soon changed this financial model. Matron Miss Lindgren served there for 9 years. Her responsibilities included firing up the furnace, caring for the residents and in her spare time, doing all the baking for the home. Elim Home was indeed “a resting place for the weary elderly.” However, these founders didn’t seem to have much time for rest.