History & Mission
In 1949 a group of pioneering women changed the lives of children at Bellevue Hospital. At that time, gloomy, overcrowded children’s wards were scattered throughout the huge Bellevue complex, leaving these young patients anxious and scared. Children of Bellevue’s journey began with the simple purchase of a washing machine. The children had to wear skimpy gowns embossed with a large letter B so that the uniforms would not get lost when they were sent to the laundry. The new washing machine allowed for the laundry to be done on the premises so children could have their own clothes. This spirit and vision to provide the highest level of care during hospitalization is the lasting foundation for Children of Bellevue’s programs.
Children of Bellevue, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3), founded in 1949, to initiate, develop and fund special programs and to act as an advocate for children and their families within Bellevue Hospital Center. Children of Bellevue was founded to provide recreational services and activities for hospitalized children. The evolution of families and of health care brought about change within our organization, encouraging Children of Bellevue to establish programs that
- Ease the pain and loneliness of hospitalization;
- Help abused children to cope, recover, and heal;
- Advance language development among at-risk children; and
- Nurture children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders.
Our programs can be found all over Bellevue Hospital Center and fall into five general areas: Child Life and Development, Child Protection and Development, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Reach Out and Read and the Video Interaction Project.
See more photos from our archives on the Bellevue flickr account!