New York Foundling, St. Agatha Home

In its Summer 2006 Focus magazine, the New York Foundling featured a full page story of Rancho Bernardo's own, Nancy Canfield contributions.

The NY Foundling, opened in 1869 to care for homeless babies. They administer the money Canfield donates from the sales of her book, Home Kids, the Story of St. Agatha Home for Children: and the story of how the Canfield children came to live there in the sixties. "Think of home and most people think of warmth, love, happiness, and family-a security blanket, so to speak, with four walls and a ceiling. And when pieces of that security blanket get torn apart, threatened by abuse, death, or poverty, home simple becomes a place, any place at all, where one may hang a hat," said the Focus.

"Nancy Canfield's role as the keeper of an important part of St. Agatha's history is dynamic and ongoing. Everyday she receives emails, photos, letters and reminiscences from other "Home Kids" that are shared by that group of children, who, for a poignant time in their lives called St. Agatha home." In her book, Canfield chronicles the long history of St. Agatha Home from 1884 to a small group remaining on the main campus today. The rest of the children are distributed in over one hundred group homes in and around New York City. She includes the stories of "Kids" who lived there in every decade, who recounted to her what their lives were like during the depression, the World wars, and every other national upheaval.

Published in October, 2005, Canfield set a donation goal for herself of $10,000 for the first year, and is almost there. All of those profits are designated to St. Agatha Home Services. Her greatest wish is to have Home Kids considered for Oprah's book list, and thus generate enough money from book sales to create a foundation that contributes to the children, year after year. To learn more, or buy a book and contribute to the care of the thousands of foster children still in need of your help, visit the website at

Though St. Agatha has closed the main campus except for a small group of disabled residents, a low income senior housing complex, and ancillary services, the land was purchased in February 2006 by the local school district for parks and recreation. Now, former Home Kids from every decade can come back, sit on a bench or under a tree, and remember when they lived and played there. For some, the only home they remember.

Canfield is the Honorary Mayor of Rancho Bernardo, a Realtor with Prudential California Realty, and heads up the Fundraising Committee for the Rancho Bernardo Historical Society's new museum.