Mrs. Vantrease Russell, founder of The Russell Home, operated The Russell Home for Atypical Children in south Orlando without a penny of government support up until her death at age 89 in June, 2003. The Russell Home is the only private, nonprofit facility for severely handicapped children in Central Florida. Mrs. Russell's legacy of nurturing care will be continued by her daughters and grand daughters.
The Russell Home for Atypical Children was the first non-profit institution in the country for brain-damaged children. The Home proudly displays a dusty occupational license dated Nov. 13, 1951, when Mrs. Russell opened her home to the first child to "see if it would work out." Since then she has opened her home to hundreds of youngsters, sometimes after hearing pleas from desperate parents, in more than one instance finding them on her doorstep.
The physical plant consists of a nursery, dormitory wing, playrooms, living room areas, kitchen and large laundry room. The nursery, done up in bright colors with many posters and stuffed animals around, is cheerful for the children, but the kind of place where those of us who have been blessed with "normal" children find it a tough place to visit.
For further information on the Russell Home, it's history, purpose, and mission, please visit The Russell Home web site (sponsored by CFCA and Web Positions). If what you see touches your heart as it has ours, please contact the Russell Home directly at 510 Holden Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32839, (407) 855-8063.