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Helen Whittier Andrus Benedict, youngest daughter of John Emory Andrus

Rich History & Philanthropy

For over seventy years, Andrus on Hudson has provided different levels of compassionate care in our nursing home thanks to Helen Whittier Andrus Benedict (1888–1969). Helen was the youngest daughter of John Emory Andrus, and a significant figure in the philanthropic landscape, continuing the legacy of her father. After her father's passing, she played a crucial role in upholding and advancing his legacy and philanthropic vision, especially through the John E. Andrus Memorial, Inc., established in Hastings-on-Hudson. This initiative underscored her dedication to her father's legacy of providing care and support for the elderly, embodying his wish for communities to offer "opportunity to youth and rest to the aged"​​.

Her contributions and a foundation established in her memory highlight the Andrus family's ongoing commitment to philanthropy, community service, and the well-being of society's older population. 

John Emory Andrus


John Emory Andrus was born in 1841 in Pleasantville, New York. The son of a Methodist minister, Mr. Andrus was a lay leader of the Methodist Church.

In his 60s, he was elected mayor of Yonkers, New York, and then served four terms in the U.S. Congress.

A devoted family man, he founded the Surdna Foundation (Andrus spelled backwards) in 1917, a charitable organization, and the Julia Dyckman Andrus Memorial Home for Children in 1928, an orphanage that was a tribute to his beloved wife, an orphan herself, at the site of her adoptive family’s farm in Westchester County, New York.  

John Emory Andrus

After his death in 1934, much of Mr. Andrus’ fortune went to the preservation of the Surdna Foundation.

In 1953, his youngest daughter, Helen Whittier Andrus Benedict, continued his legacy establishing the John E. Andrus Memorial, Inc., just north of the Children’s Home in Hastings-on-Hudson.

Today, Andrus on Hudson as a skilled nursing facility provides post-hospital care, long-term care and memory care. Thanks to Helen Whittier Andrus Benedict, we continue Andrus’ expressed wish that
his legacy provide communities with “opportunity to youth and rest to the aged.”

  • Little Leaf at Andrus on Hudson
    This program is a pre-school for children ages two to five. Their classrooms are housed on the lower level of Andrus on Hudson with class taking place from 9:00 to 3:00 on school days. Theresa McCaffrey, Founder and Director of Little Leaf, believes children benefit most from free play in nature, a nurturing community, and activities to nourish the spirit. When given the chance to delve into their own meanderings, children naturally imitate the adults in their lives in their play. The teachers attend to the environment and to the children with care and respect. The children come to Little Leaf to discover and experiment and the teachers follow the lead of the child. The children and the seniors share stories, songs, games, nature and cooking. Seniors and young children actually have much in common and benefit by helping each other out. The sound of children playing and laughing brings life to our nursing home.
  • Hudson Lab School
    Hudson Lab School is a new, independent K-12 school which opened in September, 2017 in a single mixed-age classroom at Andrus on Hudson, teaching grades K-5. Cate Han, Founder, has begun the school with a mission to instill a love of learning and to teach children how to design and build a life in which they can thrive. Hudson Lab School integrates collaborative, interdisciplinary project based learning and thoughtful self-reflection with the academic fortitude of a classical liberal arts education. Teachers guide and support students as “lead learners” in their investigations rather than the person holding all the answers. Hudson Lab School incorporates intergenerational learning and is working on building an intergenerational library at Andrus on Hudson. The children’s confidence grows as they explain their latest project to our seniors while our seniors are realizing they still have an appreciation for learning.
  • Greenburgh North Castle Vocational Internship
    This program is a high school transition program developed for Greenburgh North Castle UFSD and is targeted for students whose main goal is competitive employment. At the completion of a successful internship the student receives a Career Development and Occupational Skills Credential. Since the onset of the program in October, 2014 the interns have accrued over 10,000 hours at Andrus on Hudson. A student’s typical day includes classroom instruction at Andrus on Hudson and immersion in internship locations and rotations throughout our facility, while simultaneously receiving feedback from instructors and job coaches. The rotations are designed to complement each student’s interests, skills, and strengths. Students participate in a variety of internship areas including Recreation, Housekeeping, Dietary, Business, Beauty Salon, and Maintenance. These students have the advantage of learning new job skills. Our seniors benefit by their assistance and the opportunity to interact with young people in our hair salon, dining room, auditorium and lobby.
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