The Pueblo Day Nursery Children's Foundation

 Pueblo Day Nursery Children's Foundation has a very rich history. The Day Nursery was started in 1926 by Beta Tau Delta, a national sorority made up of prominent local young women. After several years the sorority members decided to withdraw from Beta Tau Delta and to form the Pueblo Service League.

The mission of the Nursery beginning in 1926 was to fill an important need in Pueblo: to provide a place to care for children of working mothers and single fathers. From caring for six children in 1926, the Nursery was at full capacity in 1976, serving 126 children.

The sorority and later the Service League worked continuously to raise money to operate the nursery. They did receive financial help from the Community Chest and other granting organizations. However, they were very involved in their own fund raising activities as well.

Pueblo child by pond.The Nursery had many homes. The first home was at 525 W. Sixth Street, the second home was on West 8th Street, while the third was at 419 W. Fifth Street. The final move was in 1937 when they moved to 807 Greenwood. The Greenwood property was purchased for $1,200 in 1937, and a building campaign began to raise the money for the building. Many generous Puebloans contributed to the completion of the building. Once the building was completed, more gifts were given to furnish the building. The Day Nursery received a bequest from Robert Young's estate in 1952 that was used to continue the support, care and education of Pueblo children.

In 1972 there was another name change for the Service League when it became associated with the National Junior League Association. In 1980 the Junior League turned over the administration of the Day Nursery to a 21 member board of trustees. The Day Nursery cared for children and operated until 1990 when it closed its doors because of building codes and other city, state and government regulations concerns. The Day Nursery Board of Trustees determined that it wanted to concentrate on the management of the endowment fund and the awarding of grants from the fund; however, the Board was uncertain about the building itself.

Pueblo kidsIn 1992 the Board of Trustees voted favorably on a proposal from Puebloan Bob Jackson. The Board would deed, as a gift, the property to the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center. The Arts Center in return for the gift of the property would assume some of the indebtedness and make a contribution to the Day Nursery endowment. The Arts Center sold the property and with the proceeds from that sale establish an endowment fund for the PAWS Children's Museum in the name of the Day Nursery.

This brilliant and unique transaction was a win-win for the Pueblo Day Nursery Children's Foundation and the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center. The Arts Center won because they would have extra funds for enhancement of the wonderful program at PAWS Children's Museum. The Day Nursery Children's Foundation won when it did not have to care for an empty building and did not have to pay property taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc. The Day Nursery Children's Foundation then proceeded with its new mission to fund projects of merit benefiting children in Pueblo and Pueblo County. Since 1993 the Pueblo Day Nursery Children's Foundation has given away on average $40,000 annually.