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News from Boys Home of Virginia

Fall 2017

Mission Groups Make an Impact at Boys Home

Visitors are always welcome at Boys Home. We are especially excited when mission groups arrive. It means that new relationships will be forged, projects on campus will move forward, and new skills will be gained. We were blessed to have a number of groups this year. Trinity Episcopal from Portsmouth led the charge and were followed by St. John’s and St. Paul’s Episcopal Churches in Lynchburg, Northside Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, and Galilee Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach. Each of these groups made significant contributions to needs on the campus, whether it was manual labor or spending time with the residents playing sports. In any case, as we worked, ate, and played together, friendships were built, and memories were made. We are grateful for the sacrifices these missions groups made on behalf of our young men at Boys Home.

We thought you’d like to know... Did you know that Boys Home is home to nearly 60 young men at any given time? The map to the right tells a story of the potential impact made when we see our residents grow into successful men. While the majority of our population is from Virginia, we attract boys from all parts of the nation. Even more interesting, this map shows countries of origin of some of our residents. We are a diverse population with the potential to affect the world with our core values of respect, wisdom, discipline, curiosity, and responsibility. When you invest in Boys Home, you invest in making the world a better place.


Boys Home of Virginia Founded by The Rev. George Floyd Rogers Rector, Emmanuel Episcopal Church Board of Trustees 2017-2018 President Leonard S. Slater Immediate Past President Edwin W. Simpson Secretary Donnie E. Wheatley ’66 Vice President, Treasurer Bernard C. Syme III Ex Officio Alumni Representative Robert O. Mills Jr. Bishop, Diocese of Southwestern Virginia The Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas Members Patrick R. Cafaro James Cox Ross Dionne Dennis Duffy Dr. Yvonne Harris Edwin P. Hopkins Stephen B. Lane Kenneth O. Robison II Ann Vest Todd M. Vie Joseph P. Whittle Honorary Member Dr. Bruce Heilman

The Boys Appeal is published 3 times a year by the Boys Home of Virginia Development Office. 414 Boys Home Road Covington, Virginia 24426 Phone: (540) 965-7700 Fax: (540) 965-7702 For your convenience, you can now donate to Boys Home at


From the Executive Director Donnie E. Wheatley This year, school will take on a whole different look. All of the residents will be educated on campus. Previously, only residents with specific needs received their schooling on campus. It has been decades since Boys Home had an on-campus approach to education for everyone.

This was not an easy decision. Analysis of incoming residents has consistently shown that the majority of our residents are behind in basic skills. Up until last year, we were able to assess a resident’s performance level and then advance his foundational skills to a level where he was able to handle the required courses. Last year, changes in our requirements placed many students in courses for which they were not prepared to handle successfully. To support them, we added additional tutors, increased class hours for selected subjects, and added teachers. Even with these additional resources, our success rate was not as high as in the past. In discussions with staff and school staff, there were concerns that there were many areas in which the residents would benefit from additional instruction. Since they live on campus, it was concluded that we could provide more in-depth instruction for successful manhood by utilizing the full day, thus the decision in favor of on-campus schooling prevailed. As one would expect, we spent a lot of time talking about sports and extracurricular activities. Of primary concern was, “What about girls?” A transition year will help us identify and evaluate such concerns. This year, even though all will be educated on campus, middle and high school students will be using the distance learning options. As such, public school policy allows for participation in sports and extracurricular activities. This has resulted in increased costs, but the benefits will make it worthwhile. We would ask that our supporters consider this as you decide at what level you will support Boys Home. Thank you for making this ministry possible. Remember, “A successful man starts here!” Take care and God bless. Dr. Donnie E. Wheatley Litterarum Humanarum

Summer Fun at Boys Home Summer 2017 is over and it has been an activity-filled experience for both residents and staff. Boys have attended church camps, tent camped, scrunched their toes in ocean sand, fished, biked, played tennis, visited the zoo, and generally had a summer to remember. Boys Home hosted Journey of the Spirit Horse day camp, a 5-week curriculum designed to enhance academic success and build character skills in at-risk students. Sundays were spent visiting churches across the state and making new friends in the congregations. There were picnics in the pavilion and pick-up games of gaga pit ball and basketball. Some young men attended summer school and one in particular enthusiastically applied himself and gained three grade levels in reading! Now, our attention turns to academics and fall sports, but each of the Boys Home residents can reflect on the opportunities afforded them in the summer months and can fondly recall time spent together and enjoying all that summer has to offer.

The little things add up! Boys Home operates on 97% private funds, so our donors mean the world to us. Financial donations are always appreciated– no matter what size, but there are other ways to help as well. •

Box Tops for Education earn 10 cents each for our on campus educational setting.

MyCokeRewards points add up at 3 points per bottle cap code entered.

Other programs we’re involved with include GoodShop, Farm Fresh Rewards, AmazonSmile, Kroger Community Rewards program, and Tyson Project A+. To learn more about each of these programs, visit our website at

Development office intern Anthony Darcus makes a tower of Coca-Cola™ caps as he puts the information into the computer. Save your caps and donate them to Boys Home!


College Orientation Workshop Graduates Two Boys Home Residents

Abe A. and Frank C. at Boys Home as graduates of College Orientation Workshop. Boys Home had two graduates of the College Orientation Workshop (COW) in July. Abe A. and Frank C., both 16, completed the program that is designed to prepare male minority high school rising juniors and seniors for success and get them accustomed to associating with college students and professors. The program is also focused on building self-esteem and confidence through a series of field trips, physically rigorous expectations, and cultivating leadership skills. It is held at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA. For the first time, participants of COW came to the Boys Home campus as part of their summer experience. Here, they took part in a character-forming activity that tested their limits. Boys Home Associate Director Chad Whitmer engaged everyone in moving rocks from the creek bed to the top of the hill where they will later be used for a project at Boys Home. In the end, some of the COW participants said it was the most difficult thing they had ever done, but they persevered and experienced the pride of a job well done. Frank knew he would like the challenge of COW. The four weeks were a challenge he was ready to embrace. Now that is it over, Frank can flash a friendly smile and say, “It was really hard—but not too hard for me.” At one point, the participants had to climb 80 feet and jump from a pole onto a monkey bar and do pull-ups. “It was scary,” Frank admits. The most challenging aspect of the workshop for Frank was “doing things as a team.” He goes on to say that it was hard because it required talking to people in order to work situations out. His favorite activity was the lengthy canoe trip down the James River. Abe had a friend who had attended the workshop previously and when his friend advised him not to go to COW, Abe knew he was destined to apply. “I took it as a challenge. I came in with the right attitude that I was going to finish this program no matter what and I was going to give it all I had.” At first, the workouts were the hardest. However, as time went on, Abe found himself getting stronger. After all, he had attended two sports camps previously and had “learned to perform under that kind of pressure.” He also did not struggle with the academic expectations. It was the leadership component that presented the biggest area of growth for him. Abe describes himself as someone who generally competes against himself. At COW, he learned that he needed to “stand up and speak up.” He explained the process of the workshop helped him learn that, “I need to speak out and pull people up while I’m climbing instead of just climbing by myself.” Boys Home is especially proud of Frank and Abe’s determination and successes in the COW program.


Boys Home Rocks How can a simple rock improve someone’s day? Boys Home houseparent Kristina Nelson wants her boys to find out and has them busily painting rocks this summer that contain uplifting messages. The activity is modeled after the Kindness Rocks Project. Their website gives this description of the goal: To promote random acts of kindness to unsuspecting recipients whether by painting and dropping inspirational rocks or some other cool creative way to bring kindness into the world. Kristina wanted to teach her cottage of young men to “be kinder and reach out to others by saying helpful things.” So, rocks were collected and discussions were held about what it means to write something that inspires others. Paints and brushes were introduced and the result was a colorful collection of rocks ready to be dropped where others might see them and be encouraged. At first, some of the boys were reluctant, but by the end of the effort, everyone from her cottage participated and at least one resident from each of the other cottages joined in. Boys “hiding” the rocks are to take pictures, post them to Facebook, and add #BoysHomeofVirginia. It will be fun to “follow” the rocks as people find and read them. Kristina plans to host another rock painting session in the near future, giving residents the opportunity to express themselves and reach out to others in a positive way.

Ice Cream! What’s the best day of the week at Boys Home during the summer? Ice Cream Day! One afternoon each week, Hannah’s Ice Cream truck rolls to a stop at the top of the hill. Residents, staff, and guests enjoy their choice of an ice cream treat, thanks to a generous donor. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the Boys Home community to spend time together and make some wonderful summer memories.

Resident Samson K. enjoys his ice cream!


You are cordially invited to “A Lifting of Voices” A Lifting of Voices is the second annual celebration of uplifting a cappella music to benefit Boys Home of Virginia. The concert is FREE and includes four of the Richmond area’s finest a cappella groups coming together to perform songs from across the musical spectrum. Every song has been selected to fill your heart and lift your spirit and all proceeds go to children who need your support at Boys Home of Virginia. The concert will be held at the Robins Theatre at The Steward School in Richmond, Virginia on Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 3:15 p.m. Join us for some great music and celebrate all that is happening at Boys Home! Visit for more information. Groups performing this year are: The Virginia Girls Choir, Richmond Octaves, Main Street Station, and Soundworks.

Heads Up, Golfers! Boys Home is excited to announce a fundraising golf tournament at The Snead golf course at the Greenbrier Sporting Club in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia on Monday, October 2. Register your foursome and take advantage of the opportunity to play this members-only course. The cost is $1600 per team and mulligans are 4/$100. Call 540965-7715 to register your team. We will need the names of the players, their email addresses, and payment at the time of registration. See for more information. (You can register from this site but fees will apply.) First place team wins a foursome on The Snead course. Second and third place teams win gift certificates to the pro shop. Join us for a great day of golf and support Boys Home of Virginia!


Photo of The Snead golf course at The Greenbrier Sporting Club.

Fall Wish List • • • • • • • • • • • •

3-inch binders Pillows Towels Twin and Twin XL Comforters Twin and Twin XL Blankets New or gently worn tennis shoes (men and boys) Dress socks (men and boys) Dress belts Wallets Pots and pans DVDs– rated G or PG 3-Drawer Medium Storage Carts

Jonathan’s Summer Vacation Jonathan S., 17, has been a resident at Boys Home for two years. This summer, he had the opportunity to work with Southern Air. With their headquarters in Lynchburg, Southern Air employs over 800 people throughout the Southeast and specializes in the design, installation, and service of heating, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, and piping systems for both commercial and industrial applications. Jonathan was assigned to the Richmond area and worked in the mechanical department. When asked about his summer job now that he has returned to Boys Home, Jonathan replied, “When I heard about the job, I thought it was a phenomenal idea. They train and certify through NCCER (National Center for Construction and Education Research). It’s a tremendous company.”

Dates to remember… 10/2: Golf tournament at The Snead, White Sulphur Springs, WV 10/7: Hall of Fame 10/29: Lifting of Voices Concert, Richmond 10/30: Trustees Meeting, Richmond 10/31: Drawing for P. Buckley Moss print raffle 11/22-24: Thanksgiving Break 11/28: Giving Tuesday 12/21-1/3: Christmas Break

Like many new employees, Jonathan felt apprehensive in his new environment. “I was a little nervous,” he admits. “I wondered, ‘Am I carrying my tools the right way?’ But they helped me. Everybody really cared about me.” Jonathan talks about the long work days and how he learned how to properly connect and seal ductwork, building his skill set. “I even got some blueprint experience,” he adds. However, when asked the biggest thing he learned as the summer job continued, Jonathan says that the importance of communication would definitely be number one. He went on to explain that he worked with many types of people and quickly learned that getting along with others was a key to success in the workplace. He sees that lesson as something he can now apply to every aspect of his life. A rising senior, Jonathan is looking forward to the start of the school year. He will take classes at Boys Home and will also participate in dual enrollment at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College where he hopes to obtain a welding certificate. When asked if he saved any of his earnings this summer, Jonathan raised his eyebrows slightly and looked a little sheepish. “I saved my money,” he confirmed. Then he grinned and said, “Now, I just have to work a little harder on learning how to keep a budget.” Thanks to Southern Air for hiring Jonathan for the summer. We appreciate the partnerships we are developing as our trades curriculum grows at Boys Home. And yes, we will ensure that Jonathan and the other residents add budgeting to their tool belts before exiting the campus as young men ready to face the challenges of adulthood.



414 Boys Home Road Covington, Virginia 24426 (540) 965-7700 Change Service Requested

Boys Appeal - Fall 2017

A successful man has to start somewhere... 2017 Boys Home of Virginia P. Buckley Moss Raffle __________________________ Name __________________________ Address __________________________ City/State/Zip (_____)____________________ Phone

At $5 per ticket or $45 for ten tickets

Drawing is October 31.

I enclose $______for Boys Home. Mail to: Boys Home of Virginia Attn: Moss Raffle 414 Boys Home Rd. Covington, VA 24426


P. Buckley Moss Raffle Duck Pond Reflections Issued in 2004, #470/1000, Framed: 42" x 24" The setting of Duck Pond Reflections is Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. The white house on the left is "Solitude," the oldest structure still standing on campus, built in 1859. The brick house, known as “The Grove," is the university president's home, built in 1902. Tickets are $5 each or 10 for $45. We’ll draw the winner on October 31. Best of luck winning this beautiful print!

Boys Appeal - Fall 2017  

School is back in session after a busy summer at Boys Home. In this issue- Mission groups, summer camps, upcoming events, and more!

Boys Appeal - Fall 2017  

School is back in session after a busy summer at Boys Home. In this issue- Mission groups, summer camps, upcoming events, and more!