These Courageous Women Led The Way


Harriet Ware (read more about her here) is well known at Children’s Friend, as the founder of the Children’s Friend Society in 1834. This society started as a home for abused children and today, Children’s Friend has evolved into one of the state’s most innovative human service agencies.

In 1827 a seed was planted in Dublin, Ireland. Catherine McAuley opened the first House of Mercy. Their ministry expanded to the U.S. and in 1851 – four years after the death of Harriet Ware – Mother Frances Warde and her four sisters arrived in Providence.

The Sisters of Mercy established an orphanage to help  women and children, and today they are involved in education and social service ministries. They sponsor a number of organizations, including McAuley Ministries.  McAuley provides help with basic needs for the most vulnerable in the Providence community.

Today, Children’s Friend and McAuley Ministries are partners, providing Head Start, Early Head Start and childcare with the common goal of meeting the needs of the most vulnerable children in the city of Providence.

The efforts of Harriet Ware and Mother Frances Warde are still improving the lives of children and families over a century later.  If these courageous women had the opportunity to meet each other, what an interesting conversation they would have, knowing their impact generations later!