Interview with John Anderson by Paul Jackson, Board Member
On April 2, I spoke with John Anderson, who was a long-time reporter and editorialist with the Washington Post about his involvement in the development of For Love of Children.
As a result of socio-economic changes, in the late 1950’s and early 1960s, there was a large increase in the number of children in DC’s main orphanage, DC Village. There was limited funding for the orphanage and as the number of children increased, the conditions for the children became radically worse. There were just enough resources to keep them from malnutrition, but the children were rarely talked to and didn’t get any real affection. Children weren’t learning to talk and grew up grossly deprived. Even back then, we knew about the devastating impact of lack of affection on children.
The Washington Post did a series of investigative reports on the conditions at DC Village. I was on the editorial board from around 1961- 1965. During that time, I wrote repeated editorials about DC Village.
Fred Taylor, God Bless him, read the articles and took action.
All the serious work was done by Fred – organizing, fundraising, finding foster homes for the children. Finding homes for the hundreds of children was very difficult.
Over the years, FLOC tried several different things to try to develop long-term solutions to problems encountered by the youth of the District of Columbia. Over a period of considerable time, FLOC figured out supporting educational help and moral support to the children of the District of Columbia was the most important thing it could do and it has done so admirably for over fifty years.
In retrospect, those stories I wrote may have been the most impactful of all the things I did in my career.
“I have the highest respect for Fred Taylor, I can honestly say that there is nobody on the planet who did more for the children of the District of Columbia” (John Anderson)