Like many fraternal organizations whose origins are traced back to the 19th century or earlier, the Native Sons of the Golden West began as a mutual aid society. In the days before such programs or concepts as old-age pensions and workers’ compensation had come into prevalence, and when insurance often was expensive and difficult to obtain, people depended upon mutual aid societies literally to care for their orphans and widows. As time passed, the Native Sons cared for orphans more generally, whether they were the offspring of members or not, and for many decades provided adoption placement services. By the middle of the 20th century, foster care and other government-directed social welfare programs had assumed those functions; so the Native Sons sought out some new venture to provide charitable services to youngsters whose needs had been overlooked.
Cleft Palate Fund;
Founded in 1953, this fund is a registered 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to helping children who are born with a cleft palate or other craniofacial birth defects. The idea took hold and snowballed. Today, the Native Sons Charitable Foundation annually contributes approximately $200,000 to hospitals that treat children with cleft palates and other forms of cranio-facial anomaly. Typically, about one-half of that amount goes to UCSF, the original recipient; almost 30% goes to St. John’s hospital/health center in Santa Monica; and 20% goes to Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento. From time to time, additional donations have been made to other hospitals that also work in this field of endeavor. Cleft Palate Fund Donation Form