Center for Children at a Glance

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Looking Forward with Excitement to the Next 100 Years!

For more than 100 years, the El Paso Center for Children has evolved with El Paso, continually customizing its programs and services to meet the needs of our community.

Our organization’s roots lie in the first two orphanages founded in El Paso. In 1919, our country was experiencing the end of World War I, Prohibition, and women getting the right to vote. In the same year, the first orphanage opened in El Paso – St. Margaret’s Orphanage. Nuns kept diligent journals peppered with first communions, the donation of pigs, hail storms, orphans admitted, Easter Egg hunts, schoolwork, doctor’s visits, and drives to Fabens to treat the kids to ice cream.

A few short years later on a summer evening, Reverend and Mrs. Hogg opened their doors to find five children with tear-stained faces and a note on the door. Their mother had died and their father could not care for them. At the end of the day, Reverend Hogg turned to his wife and said, “I believe we’ve just founded an orphanage.” By 1927, two critical people, Kathleen Drury and Victor Moore, who were brought together to work at the orphanage were married and became fixtures at what became the Southwestern Children’s home. Sadly, Mr. Moore died in 1939. Kathleen Moore was appointed manager of the home, but donated her salary back to the home until her death. Her youngest son, Victor Junior, served on our Board of Directors his entire adult life and served on the Southwestern Children’s Home Trust Board of Trustees until shortly before his passing in February 2022. It was his daughter, Tamara Moore, who took his place as a trustee, ensuring the continuance of the family legacy. Our agency’s very existence is owed to Victor’s leadership and support as a board member when he helped oversee the merging of Southwestern Children’s Home and St. Margaret’s Orphanage. A garden is dedicated to the Moore Family on our campus today.

Eventually, St. Margaret’s Orphanage and Southwestern Children’s Home realized they could be even stronger together. They merged and became the El Paso Center for Children in 1984. As we continue to serve El Paso – hopefully for another 100 years — our active and dedicated volunteer Board of Directors assures the Center’s continuing evolution in response to the changing needs of our community’s children and families.

“I appreciate all the help and patience. I wasn’t expecting this to impact our lives as much as it did. Thank you!”

– Center for Children Client

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