Short History

About the 21st Century Fund

The 21st Century Fund for Delaware's Children, Inc. was founded in 2004 on the occasion of the 21st birthday of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families. This endowment fund, created through a public/private partnership is housed at the Delaware Community Foundation and is to be used to enhance the lives of children and youth ages, birth through 21 who are dependent, neglected, abandoned, abused, mentally ill, substance abusers or in trouble with the law or at risk of being same. The fund can be accessed by workers involved with children active in services through State, non-profit or faith-based agencies.

In 2005 a Board was created and non-profit (501c3) status was secured. At that time the Board set criteria for grants from the Fund and created a system for administering and overseeing the Fund. Margaret Rose Henry was the Board's first President. In 2006 and 2007 approximately fifty grants were awarded for items such as art and music lessons, summer camp fees, and other items that would enhance the self esteem of the child. In 2008 there has been an increase in the number of grants that have included annual college expenses.

Since the inception of the Fund, annual events have been held that have featured a presentation of the Muriel E. Gilman Award. This award is given annually to someone who has made a long-term and outstanding contribution to children in the State of Delaware and bears the name of a founding Board member and long-term advocate for children's services in Delaware.

The Board is very proud of its contributions and feels it is moving successfully toward its vision of creating a better tomorrow for Delaware's children.