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The Leprosy Federation was started in 1920 by Christine Van Raalte Gilmore as an opportunity to build ecumenical community outreach among the women’s groups of the Holland-Zeeland area. During the ninety years of its operation, the Leprosy Federation organized annual church praise meetings and children’s rallies to raise awareness and funds in the fight to end leprosy world-wide. Throughout that time, the Leprosy Federation worked extensively with the American Leprosy Mission (ALM) on three main projects in Mozambique, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, helping to bring medical supplies and housing materials to create restorative treatment communities for those with leprosy. In total, the Leprosy Federation gave in excess of $350,000, continuing until 2010, when the decreasing membership called for the organization’s official close. The Leprosy Federation collection consists of annual reports, financial statements, and minutes’ ledgers (1920-2010); correspondence between the board members, missionaries, and ALM officials; articles on medical advances in leprosy treatments; photograph collections from the projects; booklets and brochures associated with ALM; and educational materials such as books, videos, and film scripts on the subject of leprosy. Materials also include artwork and crafts made by people with leprosy; programs and flyers for annual meetings (1976-2009); and Sunday School materials, such as posters and collection banks.


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