The Hope Chest is an entertaining and whimsical tale created to honor the legacy that the 12 Founding Women of The Danish Home have made culturally and historically, as well as within senior care communities. Blending facts with a fictional story line, this is a celebration of Danish and Scandinavian contributions to American culture (and vice versa) and a way to cultivate and preserve The Danish Home Foundation, its residents, staff, volunteers and donors, and communicate our mission.

The Hope Chest weaves historical and fictional past and current day events into a rich tale spanning over 125 years. Our characters are created, although based on the actual group of Danish women who founded The Danish Home of Chicago. All current day guests featured are real, unless otherwise stated.

As of March 2017, The Hope Chest story evolves with five new writers sharing their experiences with The Danish Home and Danish heritage, still weaving the past into the present day in many ways – culturally, traditionally, socially, etc. In this next generation of The Hope Chest, the writers characterize descendants of five of the original founders: Anna Mikkelsen, Christina Hansen, Olivia Rose, Isabella Sandler, and Margrethe Olsen.

As the continuing tale goes, these descendants have the delightful opportunity to meet one another at a planning meeting for the 125th Anniversary Celebration of The Danish Home as well the original Hope Chest narrator, whose “Mormor” (grandmother) is a resident of The Danish Home. When she tells them about The Hope Chest, they are all eager to share their own stories from a first-person perspective. Their enthusiasm matches the narrator’s the day she discovered an old chest brimming with letters, photos, and personal effects belonging to the first Danish Home president, Emma Thorsen. This chest and its contents inspired the narrator to create The Hope Chest online diary, and our new characters are excited to embark upon the journey to find out more about their own founding ancestors and share their discoveries with The Hope Chest readers.

Come along on this journey with usand be a part of this wonderful community! We invite you to participate in the story by subscribing to and following our posts. There is so much happening at The Danish Home of Chicago, and we have such a rich history. We are so excited to be able to share it all with you! By showing your support you are helping us preserve a tradition of caring for our elders and continuing our wonderful heritage. Thank you!