Victrola Museum’s virtual Halloween program on Oct. 30, 2020

–Program to be presented free via Zoom; registration required–

(DOVER, Del. — Oct. 20, 2020) — In the spirit of ending mischief and keeping the kids safely at home, Dover, Del.’s Johnson Victrola Museum will present the historical-theater production “Mischief Managed: Throwing a Hotsy-Totsy Halloween Bash” on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020 at 6 p.m. NOTE: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the program will not be conducted in front of a live audience but will instead be streamed live via Zoom.

Illustration from a 1920s advertisement for crêpe paper which could be used to create Halloween costumes
Illustration from a 1920s advertisement for crêpe paper which could be used to create Halloween costumes

Created as the ultimate 1927 guide to throwing the perfect Halloween party, “Mischief Managed” will include a costume-making demonstration, suggested party games, recommendations for the perfect 1920s foods for entertaining and advice for the perfect treats to give out to trick-or-treaters in 1927. The program will be accompanied by 78-rpm recordings of Halloween-related music played on authentic Victor Talking Machines.

“Mischief Managed: Throwing a Hotsy-Totsy Halloween Bash” is free and open to its first 100 registrants. Viewers MUST REGISTER for the program by going to the following sign-up link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gwfSi_tHQO6eZpJsGIHF4A. For additional information, contact the Johnson Victrola Museum via e-mail at JVmuseum@delaware.gov or by telephone at 302-739-3262. Go to the following for information on how to join a Zoom meeting.


The Johnson Victrola Museum is administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.

Picture of the Logo of the American Alliance of Museums

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Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-608-5326
E-mail: Jim.Yurasek@delaware.gov
Web: http://history.delaware.gov


Sussex Gardeners decorate Lewes, Del.’s Zwaanendael Museum for the holidays

(DOVER, Del.—Nov. 27, 2019)—Beginning on Dec. 4, 2019 and continuing through the month of December, the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., will be decorated for the holidays based on the theme “Here We Go a Caroling.” Decorations will be provided by the Sussex Gardeners, a Rehoboth Beach-based horticultural group that will utilize plant material and holiday objects to illustrate the songs “Here We Come a Wassailing,” “The Holly and the Ivy,” “Jolly Old St. Nicholas,” “Let It Snow,” “Silver Bells” and “Winter Wonderland.”

Photo of members of the Sussex Gardeners decorating the Zwaanendael Museum sign for the holidays in 2017.
Members of the Sussex Gardeners decorating the Zwaanendael Museum sign for the holidays in 2017.

The decorations will also be featured in two special programs—“Hospitality Night,” which will be held on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 5 to 8 p.m.; and “Tour Zwaanendael Museum,” which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Presented in conjunction with the Lewes Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Lewes Merchants’ Hospitality Night “Hospitality Night” will present a warm and inviting evening in which luminarias will light the walkway to the museum, and activities will include historical interpreters, demonstrations, music and seasonal refreshments.

The second program, “Tour Zwaanendael Museum,” held in conjunction with the Lewes Historical Society’s Christmas Tour of Lewes, will provide visitors with an opportunity to explore this historic museum which showcases the Lewes-area’s maritime, military and social history.

Photo of Marty Last of the Sussex Gardeners preparing an arrangement for the 2019 holiday display.
Marty Last of the Sussex Gardeners preparing an arrangement for the 2019 holiday display.

Founded in 1937 as the Nassau Garden Committee, the 50-plus-member Sussex Gardeners brings together members of the community who have an interest in the fine art of gardening, landscape design, floral design and horticulture. The group’s community outreach includes programs in garden therapy, conservation and civic beautification.

The Zwaanendael Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., from Nov. 1 to March 31; and Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., from April 1 to Oct. 31. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Photo of Zwaanendael Museum
Zwaanendael Museum

The museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin (architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover), the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped facade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters.

Museum exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history. Current exhibits include “Delaware Railroads: Elegant Travel and Timely Transport” which explores the history of rail travel and transport in the First State; and “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World” which tells the story of His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak, a British warship that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798.

The Zwaanendael Museum is administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history and heritage. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.

Photo of the American Alliance of Museums logo


Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs to sponsor nine special programs during the 2019 winter-holiday season

(DOVER, Del.—Nov. 20, 2019)—The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring nine special events, including four winter-holiday-themed activities, between Nov. 28, 2019 and Jan. 1, 2020. A full schedule is included below. All programs are free and open to the public.

Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019
Thanksgiving Day. All museums of the State of Delaware (the John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and the Zwaanendael Museum) will be closed. 302-744-5054.

Friday, Nov. 29, 2019
Day After Thanksgiving. All museums of the State of Delaware will be open: The Johnson Victrola Museum and The Old State House, open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; the John Dickinson Plantation, New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum, open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019
“Hospitality Night.” Holiday-themed program in which the museum will be decorated for the season by the Sussex Gardeners including luminarias lighting the entrance walkway. Activities will include historical interpreters, demonstrations, music and seasonal refreshments. Presented in partnership with the Lewes Chamber of Commerce. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 5–8 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019
“Holidays With Victor.” Guided tours examine holiday music recorded by Victor Records accompanied by 78-rpm records played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Postor featuring a Victor for Christmas
The Johnson Victrola Museum will present “Holidays With Victor” on Dec. 7, 2019.

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019
“The First State.” Guided tours explore Delaware’s ratification of the U.S. Constitution and its legacy as the first state to enter the union. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019
Delaware Day awards ceremony. Event honors participants in the Delaware Department of State’s 18th annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition which challenges students to create displays that help illustrate and explain the U.S. Constitution and the role played by Delawareans in the writing and ratification of the nation’s founding document. Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. 10 a.m. 302-744-5000.

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019
“Tour Zwaanendael Museum.” Enjoy the museum’s festive holiday-décor created by the Sussex Gardeners. Event held in conjunction with the Lewes Historical Society’s Christmas Tour of Lewes. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019
“Delaware Valley Archaeology and History Symposium.” Featuring presentations on the history and archaeology of the lower Delaware Valley that include new research and recent updates to on-going projects including Avery’s Rest and the search for Fort Casimir. Presented in partnership with the Archaeological Society of Delaware and the New Castle Historical Society. The Arsenal, 30 Market St., New Castle. 9:30–3:30 p.m. 302-322-2794.

Illustration depicting Fort Casimir
Image of Fort Casimir after it had been captured by the Swedes, improved and renamed Fort Trefalddighet. The fort will be one of the topics explored at the “Delaware Valley Archaeology and History Symposium” on Dec. 7, 2019.

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019
CANCELLED: Buena Vista Holiday Open House. One-day-only event featuring tours of one of Delaware’s most historic homes decorated for the holidays, refreshments in the library and a hands-on activity for children and adults. Buena Vista: A Delaware Country Estate, 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), New Castle. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. 302-323-4430. NOTE: Event cancelled.

Friday, Dec. 13, 2019
Grey Fox Band. Blues ensemble presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk and the First State Heritage Park. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 7:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019
Spirit of Christmas in New Castle.” One of the best preserved Colonial-era towns in America features a day-long series of events including tours of decorated historic homes, re-enactments, programs at museums including the New Castle Court House Museum, crafts, musical entertainment and more. Downtown New Castle. 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. 302-328-3279.

Photo of the New Castle Green in snow
The New Castle Green with the New Castle Court House Museum in the foreground. The historic town will host the “Spirit of Christmas in New Castle” on Dec. 14, 2019.

Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019
Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 1–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Photo of the Mansion house at the John Dickinson Plantation
Mansion house at the John Dickinson Plantation

Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019
Christmas Eve. The following museums of the State of Delaware will be open: The Old State House, open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; the John Dickinson Plantation and New Castle Court House Museum, open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. The Johnson Victrola Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum, closed.

Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019
Christmas Day. All museums of the State of Delaware (the John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and the Zwaanendael Museum) will be closed. 302-744-5054.

Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019
New Year’s Eve. The following museums of the State of Delaware will be open: The Old State House, open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; the John Dickinson Plantation and New Castle Court House Museum, open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. The Johnson Victrola Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum, closed.

Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020
New Year’s Day. All museums of the State of Delaware (the John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and the Zwaanendael Museum) will be closed. 302-744-5054.

Exhibits and displays

In addition to special programming, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is sponsoring the following exhibits and displays. Admission is free and open to the public:

Through Dec. 12, 2019
Delaware Day Competition Display.” Works by participants in the Delaware Department of State’s 18th annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition which challenges students to illustrate and explain the U.S. Constitution and the role played by Delawareans in the writing and ratification of the nation’s founding document. Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Ave., Dover. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but passage through security checkpoint required. 302-744-4114.

Detail from Bunker Hill Elementary School’s display from last year’s Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition.
Detail from Bunker Hill Elementary School’s display from last year’s Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition.

Ongoing
Delaware Railroads: Elegant Travel and Timely Transport.” Exhibit explores the history of rail travel and transport in the First State emphasizing the New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad (1832), the Delaware Railroad (1852), the Junction and Breakwater Railroad (1857) and the Queen Anne’s Railroad (1896). Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Photo of an antique toy train
Cast iron passenger train including engine, tender and three passenger cars. Made by Vindex Toy Company, Belvedere, Ill., circa 1905. From the exhibit “Delaware Railroads: Elegant Travel and Timely Transport” at the Zwaanendael Museum.

Ongoing
Five Stories.” Display explores the varied lives of people who lived on the plantation including Dickinson family members, tenant farmers, tradesmen, free blacks, indentured servants and enslaved individuals. John Dickinson Plantation Welcome Center, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Ongoing
Letters From a Farmer in Pennsylvania.” Online exhibit explores the life of Founding Father John Dickinson and the publication of his essays that described Colonial American grievances with the British government.

Ongoing
New Castle: Three Forts, One Community.” Exhibit examines the 17th-century struggle for control of New Castle by the Dutch, Swedes and English, and the strongholds that they built to maintain their power. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Ongoing
The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016.” Display explores preservation work that has been conducted since Delaware’s first permanent capitol building in Dover was restored to its original appearance in 1976. From the collections of the State of Delaware. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Photo of The Old State House at night
The Old State House

 

Ongoing
The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware.” Exhibit explores Delaware’s role in the clandestine network that transported American slaves to freedom including the true journey of the Hawkins family from bondage in Maryland, through Delaware, to freedom in Pennsylvania. Part II of the display explores some of the challenges faced by Black Delawareans after the Civil War, and showcases Delaware trailblazers who helped break racial and gender barriers. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-323-4453.

Ongoing
Sculpture by Charles Parks. Display of works by the noted Wilmington artist featuring historical and political figures including a Minute Man, and presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Ongoing
A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World.” Exhibit utilizes artifacts recovered from His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak, a British warship that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798, to tell the story of the vessel, its crew and the historical context within which it operated in the Atlantic World of the late 18th century. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Ongoing
Simple Machines.” Display demonstrating the six “simple machines”—incline ramp, screw, wedge, pulley, lever and wheel—that constitute the elementary building blocks of which many more-complicated machines are composed. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Ongoing
When Janie Comes Marching Home: Women’s Fight to Serve.” Display explores the participation of women in America’s armed conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the present, and their fight to be allowed to serve their country during wartime. Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Ave., Dover. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but passage through security checkpoint required. 302-744-4114.

Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the five museums of the State of Delaware—the John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and the Zwaanendael Museum—tell the story of the First State’s contributions to the history and culture of the United States. Through tours, exhibits, school programs and hands-on activities, the museums shine a spotlight on Delaware’s unique history and the diverse people who came to live there. The museums are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The New Castle Court House Museum and the John Dickinson Plantation are partner sites of the First State National Historical Park. The Old State House is located on the Dover Green, another partner site of the park. Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.


The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.

Picture of the Logo of the American Alliance of Museums logo

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Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-739-7787
E-mail: Jim.Yurasek@delaware.gov
Web: http://history.delaware


EVENT CANCELLATION: Dec. 7, 2019 Buena Vista Holiday Open House

Buena Vista

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Buena Vista Holiday Open House, originally scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at the Buena Vista: A Delaware Country Estate, has been cancelled.

Following is information on the event prior to cancellation:

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019
Buena Vista Holiday Open House. One-day-only event featuring tours of one of Delaware’s most historic homes decorated for the holidays, refreshments in the library and a hands-on activity for children and adults. Buena Vista: A Delaware Country Estate, 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), New Castle. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Free admission. 302-323-4430.

Located at 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), southwest of New Castle, Buena Vista is one of Delaware’s most historic homes. The main section of the house was built between 1845 and 1847 by John M. Clayton, United States secretary of state from 1849 to 1850 under presidents Taylor and Fillmore, and United States senator from 1829 to 1836, 1845 to 1849, and 1853 until his death in 1856. The home later became the residence of C. Douglass Buck, governor of Delaware from 1929 to 1937 and United States senator from 1942 to 1948. Buena Vista and its grounds were donated to the state by the Buck family in 1965 and now serve as a conference/event center administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

 

Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-739-7787
E-mail: Jim.Yurasek@delaware.gov
Web: http://history.delaware.gov


Community Volunteers Needed to Sponsor Residents for the Holidays at Public Nursing Homes

DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker visits residents at Governor Bacon Health Center.

NEW CASTLE (Nov. 12, 2019) – The Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill (DHCI) in Smyrna and the Governor Bacon Health Center (GBHC) in Delaware City are asking members of the community to sponsor a resident for the holidays at either nursing home operated by the Department of Health and Social Services. Since many residents have little family involvement or support, the two nursing homes rely on the generosity of community members including neighbors, local businesses, community organizations, and volunteers to help fulfill resident wishes at the holidays through the Adopt-A-Resident Program.

“Each year, the community steps up to make sure that the residents at our Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill and the Governor Bacon Health Center feel loved and cared for during the holidays,” Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker said. “We are grateful for the outpouring from community members and for the difference that their generosity makes in the lives of our residents.”

Members of the community, as individuals or as groups, can participate in Adopt-A-Resident at Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill or Governor Bacon Health Center in one of three ways:

Adopt-A-Resident: Sponsors are provided with the identification code and the wish list of a resident. The sponsor is asked to buy the wish list items and deliver them unwrapped in a gift bag to the Volunteer Services office at the facility of their choice. Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill is at 100 Sunnyside Road in Smyrna. Governor Bacon Health Center is at 2546 Colter Road, Delaware City.

Monetary donation: Make a donation by gift card or check and leave the shopping to staff at DHCI or GBHC. Donations may be mailed to the Volunteer Services Office: Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill, 100 Sunnyside Road, Smyrna, DE, 19977, or Governor Bacon Health Center, P.O. Box 559, Delaware City, DE, 19706

General donation: Buy items from the list of suggested gifts that coordinators will email to you or you can pick up in the lobby at each facility. During the holidays, these items are utilized to fill gift bags for residents who have not been adopted, and during the rest of the year they are utilized to fill resident birthday bags and special requests for residents.

To participate in Adopt-A-Resident, please email Tina.Wagner@delaware.gov or call 302-223-1431 and let us know how you wish to help. Please also leave your name and the best way to contact you.

We ask that the items be delivered by Monday, Dec. 2, to allow us time to update each nursing home’s list, do any last-minute shopping, and ensure every resident has a gift bag to open during the holidays. Gifts may be left at the switchboard reception area at each facility seven days a week.

“Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill and Governor Bacon Health Center are truly grateful for the continued generosity and kindness of those who step forward to make a difference for our residents over the holidays and throughout the year,” said Dava Newnam, director of the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities, which oversees both nursing homes.

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The Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of life of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.