In 1895, a pioneering group of pastors and community leaders came together to devise a way to care for members of their community who could not rely on immediate family in their senior years. The result was the Holland Christian Home, established in Paterson, NJ. In the 125 years since, the Home has expanded, moved to North Haledon to make way for Interstate 80, added nursing care, expanded, renovated, expanded again … all with our original mission in mind.
Our story is the story of people working together to love their neighbors as themselves. In celebration of our recent 125th anniversary, here are just a few of many highlights from the Home’s long legacy.
NOVEMBER 24, 1896
A THANKSGIVING DAY DEDICATION
The original Home at 110 Iowa Avenue, Paterson, was fittingly dedicated for service on Thanksgiving Day! This photo of the Home was taken circa 1898.
A WORLD WAR II CONNECTION
Published following the end of World War II, a 50th anniversary booklet includes the story of donations received by members of Battery D – 894th Anti-Aircraft Artillery. The Home had opened to the “boys” for reading, writing, showers, shaves and occasional meals while they were stationed nearby serving in the Coast Artillery, protecting a factory in Paterson. Once reassigned overseas, the men showed their appreciation by mailing back several $100 donations.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU FROM THE QUEEN
Contributing to the National Disaster Fund at the Hague, residents of the Holland Christian Home donated from their own Christmas money to aid their countrymen in the aftermath of heavy flooding in the Netherlands.
In a letter accompanying the donation, residents of the Home expressed “It is our prayer that our Father in Heaven in His mercy may show the people of Holland that He is still mindful of them, and that He may fulfill His promise of which we read in Matthew 11:28: ‘Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.’”
POLIO VACCINATION PROGRAM
As members of the same community, residents of the Home do their part to look out for each other. Back in 1964, 95% of residents participated in a polio vaccination program. The North Haledon borough nurse was “delighted with the response” and hoped “the example set by these fine men and women will inspire equally enthusiastic participation” in the rest of town.
Over 50 years later, we continue this tradition today. In 2021, over 90% of residents were among the first US citizens to receive the COVID-19 vaccine!
RECOGNITION FROM WASHINGTON, D.C.
In the year of the Home’s 100th anniversary, Congresswoman Marge Roukema delivered a poignant speech on the floor of the House of Representatives recognizing the Home’s contributions to the community.
“The Holland Home is an excellent example of what private citizens can do to help those in need through their churches, civic groups and other organizations,” she said.
“The Holland Home shows [what] people with vision can do when confronted with a problem in need of a solution. The founders of the home were church and community leaders who applied Christian principles to help all in their community.”
WARM UP AMERICA QUILTERS
Residents of the Home were featured in the newspaper after crocheting blankets for the “Warm Up America” program. In less than a year, more than 60 blankets were crafted by residents and donated to American Red Cross disaster victims, the Salvation Army, and the Good Shepherd Mission in Paterson. Some were presented to evening chef Santos Rodriguez, who took them with his church to Nicaragua following Hurricane Mitch.
The program continued strong in following years. By 2000, over 200 blankets were crocheted. In 2001, blankets were donated to 9/11 responders within less than 24 hours of the September 11 World Trade Center attacks. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. sent official congressional recognition to applaud residents’ efforts.
Our mission and our purpose has remained the same throughout our 125 years and it will continue to endure: creating a warm community bound together by common faith in Jesus Christ and providing devoted care to our residents.
To find out more about our 125 year history, visit https://anniv.hchnj.org/history/