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A special crippled children's wing was set up at Burge Hospital when a polio epidemic swept the country in the early 1950's.

Always helping hands.

The city has always provided, through governmental and private organizations and facilities, a great many services for those who needed help in living, in learning, in developing. Many of these services have been supported over the years through a blanket community fundraising organization. Formed as the Community Chest and known now as the United Way, it helps support today (1980) 27 health, community betterment and youth-serving organizations. A list of these agencies gives an overview of the many services available for Springfieldians; Association for the Blind, Speech and Hearing Center, Cerebral Palsy Development Center, Infant Development Program, Children's Dental Clinic, Mental Health Association, Guidance Clinic, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Service to Transients, Springfield Area Literacy Council, Underprivileged School Children's Fund, Preschoolers Milk Fund, Community Planning Council, Missouri Association for Social Welfare, Kiddie Kove Day Care Center, Springfield Community Center, United Service Organization (USO), Boys' Club (two centers), Girls' Club (two centers), Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, Girl Scouts, YMCA and YWCA.

There have also been active a number of organizations devoted to conquering . . . or helping those who have . . . specific health problems, such as cancer, heart disease, lung difficulties, physical handicaps and mental and emotional problems.

This important aspect of the city's history relies heavily upon the strong spirit of volunteerism: the willingness to help when called upon to serve. Springfieldians have been their brother's keeper.

The Young Men's Christian Association, started here in 1887, moved into this unique building at Jefferson Avenue and St. Louis Street in 1911. It burned two years later and the YMCA moved into its present building. (Jefferson Avenue and Patton Street).
The Salvation Arm has been providing service to transients and indigent families for many years. Its presence is especially obvious each year at Christmas.
The Kiwanis Club organized support, in 1937, for a special classroom in the public schools for physically handicapped youngsters which was known as the Kiwanis School. It is now included as part of the regular school program.
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