The Maria M. Love Convalescent Fund Board is a 501(c)(3) Corporation responsible for raising the funds necessary to carry on its mission and the vision of Maria M. Love.
Maria M. Love was a prominent Buffalonian and social services pioneer. In 1881, she established the Fitch Crèche, at 159 Swan Street in Buffalo, New York.
The Fitch Crèche, nationally recognized as the first day care center in the United States, provided childcare, medical treatment and early education for the young children of poor working women.
As the Director of the Crèche, Miss Love frequently visited the homes of these children and observed that their mothers, as well as the children, were often physically and mental exhausted and at risk for serious medical conditions. The emotional strain of being the sole provider for their family, coupled with the demands of physical labor and poor living conditions meant that many of these women needed care just as much as their children.
In 1903 Miss Love organized a group of 31 prominent Buffalo women to raise funds and implement a program of convalescent respite care for mothers and their children. The fund, named after its founder, also provided milk and eggs to men, women and children with special dietary needs.
Currently, the Maria M. Love Convalescent Fund provides short-term emergency financial assistance for Erie County residents with qualifying medical conditions. A medical diagnosis must be provided. Requests for services require a referral sheet from a recognized human service agency. Direct referrals from individuals are not accepted. Finally, all other possible funding sources must have been exhausted.
There are five categories of assistance, including:
While the scope of the Maria M. Love Convalescent Fund has grown, its mission remains true to Miss Love’s original vision: helping to alleviate the medical-related needs of the working poor of Erie County.
Money is raised through the annual children’s Charity Ball as well as private donations.