MCH Summer Newsletter 2019

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HELPING HANDS Summer/Fall 2019

Your Donor Newsletter

A Forever Home for Penny, page 4

Little Light of Mine, page 9

Something Positive for Cody, page 10

Children’s Promise Tax Act, page 14 POST OFFICE BOX 66 • CLINTON, MS 39060-0066 • OFFICE: 601-853-5000 • FAX: 601-853-5010 • WWW.MCHMS.ORG

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Letter from CEO services we provide to children and families. The process will also ensure we are following all the best practices and standards for therapeutic group homes and foster homes. For each child who enters our gates, I pray for their success, for them to know the love of Christ and for them to understand they have a choice in how their futures will unfold. Realizing that not every child will be a success story, I often worry for the children who have been discharged while contemplating how we could have possibly served them better. My hope is that after the accreditation process, we will have even higher success rates, and that children and families are far better off because we have met one another.

Since 2014, when I first arrived on the Methodist Children’s Homes of MS campus, we have grown, adjusted and changed to meet the current needs of children and families in our State. From the first day I pulled onto campus to today, I can’t help but marvel at what has been accomplished by the board, committee members, volunteers, donors and staff in five years. Today, we continue to pursue excellence through becoming nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation. This is not only necessary due to the Families First Prevention Services Act passed last year, but also upholds the MCH vision to “become a national leader in providing innovative therapeutic services”. The accreditation process began in January of 2019 with the plan of being complete by 2021. I believe this accreditation process is absolutely essential in order to continue providing quality care for therapeutic foster children. The accountability supplied by this process will allow us to serve more children and families through providing the very best evidence based services. Becoming accredited means streamlining all of our policies, identifying gaps in our services, and increasing the overall effectiveness of the


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This project is a big undertaking and it means we still need you! All of the stories in the newsletter wouldn’t be possible without your support. When you donate, pray and volunteer, you are providing hope, and without hope there can’t be healing. Please be in prayer as to how you can help support MCH achieving accreditation. Your faithfulness to the Lord and to the children of MCH astounds me! Thank you! Only by Grace,

Commitment to Christ

Conquering Camp

Seventeen-year-old David arrived to summer camp with low expectations. He was skeptical about the Lake Forest Ranch faith-based itinerary but as the days went by, a transformation began. David felt his faith growing stronger day-by-day. After an in-depth conversation with his camp counselor, he decided to make a commitment to Christ. He accepted Him as his saviour in front of a trusted group of friends and staff members.

Your ongoing support made it possible for our youth to create joyful memories during summer camp at Lake Forest Ranch. DeAndrea, a youth at MCH, conquered her fear of water and learned how to swim during her first time at camp. She was even confident enough to go tubing with a group of new faces. This is something DeAndrea never would’ve thought of doing months ago.

David said, “I felt good after that. I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.” Often times, our children come to MCH feeling broken and alone. Because of you, they have opportunities to connect with Christ. Your love for our children leads to hope and healing. Please be in prayer for David and the two other MCH teenagers who got saved during summer camp.

Magnolia Youth Services Do you know a child who suffers from anxiety, bullying, trauma or depression? What about a child that has trouble focusing or difficulty getting to sleep? Our community counseling service, Magnolia Youth Services, has a team of specially trained therapists who are ready to work with youth who may be facing one or more mental health symptoms.


Hear From Us We would love to come and share our ministry with your church, Sunday school class, civic group, school or business. We have a handful of speakers who travel across Central Mississippi, Northeast Mississippi, and the Gulf Coast to spread the word about our mission. Call Samantha Kalahar at 601-853-5000 ext. 2201 or email to schedule a speaker today. We can’t wait to hear from you!

She also overcame her fear of public speaking. With encouragement from her MCH friends and other youth at summer camp, DeAndrea stood up in front of a large crowd and shared pieces of her foster care journey. “Once I had the encouragement I needed, I knew I just needed to get up there and do it. Now it’s not so scary. I just had to take a leap of faith.” Without you, Deandrea would have never had this opportunity. You made this possible! Your support leads to so many special moments. Thank you for all the ways you love the children of MCH!

Youth Services

MY Services caters to anyone between the ages of three and 21. The clinical staff uses the Wraparound Model of Care, which puts the child and family at the center with support from a team of professionals. If you know of a youth in need of therapeutic support, encourage them, or their parents, to call 601.853.5000 ext. 1036 or email admissions@ and schedule a FREE consultation.


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A Forever Home for Penny Jay and Jessica Grisham always knew they wanted to have a big family. They dreamed of a big house filled with little ones running around, laughing and playing. The couple decided early in their marriage that adoption would be a part of their parenting journey. It was a cause near and dear to both of their hearts. However, the process wasn’t as easy as they thought it would be. After months of waiting and constant disappointment, the couple made a choice to put the adoption process on hold and start having biological children. Jessica gave birth to four children; two boys and two girls. A few years after their fourth child was born, they decided to pursue their dream of adoption. As they pursued adoption once more, they began to realize the need for foster parents. Jessica says, “We just started realizing that these kids need someone who will love them unconditionally and be like parents to them. They need someone who can be understanding, and we knew we could extend that.” In the summer of 2017, The couple received a call about fostering a baby girl in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Baby Penny was born prematurely (at 29 weeks) and needed a place to call home. “We were excited to meet this new little person but it was sad to know that a mother was not going home from the hospital with her baby. We did get to meet Penny’s mother, and I was very thankful for that. We fell in love with her immediately, but there was still a certain level of sadness in the situation,” says Jessica. Nervous but excited, the couple accepted the offer and brought Penny home. They were only supposed to foster Penny for a few months, but a few months quickly turned into two years. Jay and Jessica say the last two years have been filled with bliss, but Penny still faces a number of physical challenges. She was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition which causes fluid to build up in cavities deep


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within the brain. Jay and Jessica say the recovery process is full of ups and downs but they’re thankful to have a great support system through their church and through MCH.

Jay says about Penny, “I want to be gracious to her. I want to extend the same grace that was given to me through Christ. I want her to experience love that she may never understand.”

Jessica says, “If you’re going to do this thing, make sure you have a good support system around you. Methodist Children’s Homes really does have an advantage. We have a whole organization that has our backs and they are in our corner with us, helping. We don’t feel alone.”

Every child is different and every foster family has a different story. When giving advice to anyone that may be interested in fostering a child, Jessica says, “If your goal is to build your family with people, then don’t do foster care. But if your goal is to build up people and to raise people who know what it’s like to be in a healthy family and a healthy environment, then foster care is your game.”

By simply looking at Penny, you would not be able to tell just how much she has gone through. She is constantly laughing, singing, running and learning the world around her. She has become the silly yet sassy, seventh member of the Grisham household. Jay and Jessica have maintained a relationship with Penny’s mother throughout the years. They speak with her frequently and have pictures of her alongside Penny’s crib. For them, reunification was always a priority for Penny. But in foster care, there are plenty of twists and turns. The NICU baby who was supposed to return to her biological mother by Christmas of 2017, is now on the path to being adopted by Christmas of 2019.

Because of your support, the Grishams were able to give Penny the stable and loving home she needed. Your love, prayers, generosity and financial support is the key to Penny’s story. Without you, Penny wouldn’t have found her forever family. Only because of your support, were the Grishams able to fulfill their calling of caring for the orphan. Thank you for supporting the ministry of foster care!

Become A Foster Parent Have you ever thought about becoming a foster parent? We are always looking for servant-hearted individuals to stand in the gap for young people needing a home. Methodist Children’s Homes will walk with you every step of the way, and give you weekly support once a child is placed with you. Visit to learn more!

If you are interested in becoming a foster family, please email


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Making a Difference

Making a Difference

A HUGE thank you to the young adults ministry of Hernando United Methodist Church for spending a week volunteering at our campus! They hosted a community fun day for approximately 60 kids from our summer feeding program, led Bible studies with youth on campus, cleaned and organized buildings and everything in between! Thank you for being the hands and feet of Christ!

A big THANK YOU goes out to Bar-T Adventures, LLC Challenge Course & Zip Lines for helping our youth reach new heights, both physically and mentally! Our group of boys had a blast zip-lining and maneuvering through the challenge course. Thank you to Philadelphia United Methodist Church of Heidelburg for providing an unforgettable experience for our children. This was the perfect activity to boost their confidence before the new school year!


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One of the many ways a church can bless the youth at MCH is through providing gift cards. Leavelwoods UMC did exactly that by providing $500 worth of Wal Mart gift cards towards buying back to school clothing. Thank you for allowing them to have a brand new outfit for their first day at a new school!

MCH loves having the Junior Auxiliary of Clinton involved with the group homes on campus. This year’s kick off started with a birthday party Luau. They provided lunch, decorations, outdoor games and volunteers. Thank you Junior Auxiliary of Clinton for celebrating the youth of MCH!

The 8th annual Tee Off For Missions was a success once again! Crossgates UMC led the efforts and raised $7,500 for the children at MCH. We love this event and are so thankful to Crossgates UMC for all their hard work to support the Methodist Children’s Homes! You are truly a blessing!

MCH was so blessed when Jumpertown United Methodist Church spent several days on campus. They brought all ages of volunteers from their church in order to have a BBQ for our group home youth and provide a day of VBS for the children in our summer feeding program. Plus they spent an entire day volunteering around campus completing maintenance projects. Thank you for loving the kids of MCH!


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Making a Difference We were overwhelmed by the support of the community for the MCH Prom. All hair, make up and nail services were donated. Chaney Day Parade photography and Ashley Warren photography donated their services so the youth would have memories from this night. The Junior Auxiliary of Clinton provided decorations in our cafeteria and the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department donated dinner. The prom was hosted at Embellished Events and Interiors with decorations donated by Everything’s Nice. Plus, Crowd Pleasers DJ donated the DJ and photo booth. Executive Suits and Fancy Formals helped to provide outfits for the youth. Plus so many more donors and volunteers! The youth had a wonderful evening and created memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you SO much to all the donors and volunteers who made this possible.

We are blessed to have wonderful supporters like April Bigham. April hosted the second annual Exclusive Soirée Fashion Show to benefit Methodist Children’s Homes of MS and raised over $3000 for our ministry! It was a great event with lots of fun and awareness for foster care. Thank you to April, her team and the event sponsors.


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Methodist Children’s Homes Facts

Did you know? •

T his school year we have two youth starting their Senior year.

n average, a youth has had 14 difO ferent placements before coming to a MCH group home.

E ach placement results in two to three months of school regression.

ost people who are interested in M fostering, think about it for two years before starting the training.

T he average age of a foster child placed in an MCH foster home is eight.

E ach child we serve sees a staff therapist once a week!

ll youth living on our campus have A their own Child and Family Team meeting where their voice and choice drive the discussion.

fter a youth is out of Child ProA tective Service custody, MCH still offers them support through letting alumni in need live in our Wells Tonkel Apartments.

any MCH Alumni still receive theraM peutic services through our community counseling program, Magnolia Youth Services.

s of July of this year, you have volA unteered 7,380 hours at MCH!

Something Positive for Cody

Youth Recreation Center

I’m 16 years old and I’ve been in and out of facilities and juvenile detention centers since I was five-years-old. I grew up in really bad areas and me and my family really don’t get along. I’ve been stabbed, shot at and abused. After awhile, I just started feeling resentment toward the state and toward my family. I felt like nobody was really there for me. I felt like I was left out in the world by myself. A good friend of mine told me about Methodist Children’s Homes. He saw me going down the wrong path and he said the staff here would help me get my life together. When I first got to MCH, I thought it was amazing. It was different from every other place I have been to. Of course, every place has pros and cons but I get to experience so much. I have a roof over my head now. I have food and water. I’ve already made a ton of friends. I have people who care about my future. I don’t have to worry about looking over my shoulder anymore. I was going down a long and dark path that I couldn’t see the end of, but now things are a lot better. I’m about to celebrate my 17th birthday… something I thought I’d never live to see. I am working toward getting my GED and my faith is getting stronger and stronger each day. I like to live by the quote, “Life is all about what you make it, not what you see it to be. If you see something negative, there’s always something positive hidden inside.”

MCH is excited to re-open the Arant recreation center this fall! SCU Underwriters generously gave $5,000 which helped to sponsor TVs, game consoles, chairs, pub table sets, an air hockey table, and more. SCU then spent a day volunteering setting up all of the items purchased.


This project was brought to completion through several other volunteer groups coming together. A big thank you goes out to Hernando UMC volunteers who helped prepare the building for all the renovations. Madison United Methodist Men’s Club also played a big role by spending two Saturdays painting the walls. Plus, Kim Davis and Scott Street built two walls in order to give more individualized spaces for the youth. After

We’re beyond grateful for the many people who dedicated their time to such a special project. It’s heartwarming to watch what used to be a plain space transform into an area where any teenager would want to hang out. MCH volunteers are the BEST!

Most people may look at my situation as negative, but MCH is my “something positive”.

You make all of this happen! Thank you for changing the lives of children!


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Honor/Memorial In Honor of

(Given 2/19/19- 8/22/19) All M. Children Ms. Norma P P. Caviness Angela Cockerham Mr. Worth Thomas Ann Bartling Mrs. Jane Leech Annie Melton Ms. Beverly A. Clark Arley Methodist Church Mr. and Mrs. James Bailey Bobbie Jean Walker Ms. Majorie Walker Callie Clayton Mr. and Mrs. Paul Wright Carolyn Roberts Mr. John Roberts Chuck Meador Mr. and Mrs. Ross E. Henley Dedicated staff at St. Mark’s U. St. Mark’s UMC Mrs. Martha Hand Devon Loggins Mr. and Mrs. John Robertson Diane Cothran Mrs. Genevieve Harris Don Garforth Mr. Ezra Garforth Eight Roark Grandchildren Belinda B. Roark Frances McEwen Mr. Ancel Tipton, Jr. Glenn Powers Mr. and Mrs. Don L. Glisson Hazle Stacey Mrs. Sarah Willis James H. Taylor Mr. Jameson Taylor Jane Dalton Mary Bozeman Sunday School Class Janell Johnson Mrs. Patricia Triplett Joann Barnard Ms. Beverly B. Roberson Joe Barber Friendship Sunday SSC, Carthage UMC Katie Robertson Mr. John Chatham Marvin Miller Mr. and Mrs. Robert Heath Mary Darby Mrs. Janie Estes Mary Darby Mrs. Patricia Triplett Maurine Parker Ms. Joyce Orr


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Mike Childers Mr. and Mrs. Gene Ward Prentiss M. Gordon Mr. Bill Broyles Prentiss M. Gordon Mr. Larry Blocker Rose Pitts Mrs. Merre T. Dorman Ross Ford Mrs. Judith Kilpatrick Shirley McMillin Friendship Sunday SSC, Carthage UMC Tim Livingston Mr. and Mrs. Paul Wright

In Memory of

(Given 2/19/19- 8/22/19) Allen Roark Mrs. Sarah Willis Angela Schrieffer Mr. and Mrs. William R. Yordy Annie S. Upchurch Mr. and Mrs. Robert McBryde Ara M. Pratt Mr. and Mrs. W. Stan Pratt Archie Baldwin Ms. Bonnie Baldwin Barbara Carroll Mr. and Mrs. Eddie Woodruff Betty H. Harrington Mr. and Mrs. Allen Wood, Jr. Beverly Habert Mr. G P. Delivorias Beverly Smitherman Ms. Bettie Cummings Bill Ware Mr. and Mrs. Clint Ware Billy Sanders Mrs. and Mr. Judy Sanders Birdie Carr Mr. and Mrs. John Owens Bobby Renfroe Mrs. Willie Bobo Brad Massey Ms. Bettie Cummings Carl D. Jenkins Mr. and Mrs. Allen Wood, Jr. Casey King Mrs. Nancy K. Ketchum Charlene Cotton Mrs. Jane C. Hanes Charles Burrell Mrs. Clara Sue Pierce Charles Coleman Mrs. Willie Bobo Charles McCann Ms. Gwen Ross Charles Rutledge Mr. and Mrs. Milton Johnson

Charles Skinner Mr. and Mrs. Eddie Woodruff Charles W. Nicholson Mrs. Dimple G. Nicholson Charlotte Griffin Mrs. and Dr. Cissy Powell Clinton C. Moore Ms. Miffy Woods Clyde Hall Mr. and Mrs. Tom Claudia A. Lampkin, Jr. David Winfield Ms. Kathy Prentice Dewayne Stroud Ms. Frances S. Hill Donna Reeves Mr. and Mrs. Robert McBryde Dorothy Lance Mr. and Mrs. William R. Yordy Duane Thomas Mr. and Mrs. Duane Thomas Elizabeth Combs Shuqualak United Methodist Church Elizabeth Combs Mr. and Mrs. Ted Skipper Mr. and Mrs. Allen H. Mapp, Jr. Elizabeth Patton Mr. Richard D. Patton Eva Pierce Mr. Ancel Tipton, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Paul J. Salvo Gene Still Kirk Thornton Ms. Carolyn Hale Gerald Nolan Mr. and Mrs. Graham Spencer Gerald W. Chatham Mr. Mike Pharr Gregory Thompkine Mr. and Mrs. Joe R. Moore Hattie Doreman Ms. Anne Sanford Helen Holland Mr. Barry Whitt Hembree Brandon Dr. English Department Dan Punday Dr. Ted Atkinson Dr. Lucy H. Senter Mr. and Mrs. John W. Fuquay Mr. John Fraiser Ms. Rebecca Nassif Mr. Ronald Smith Mr. and Mrs. Ed Phillips Mr. and Mrs. Hembree Brandon

Mr. and Mrs. Ed Phillips Mr. James C. Pigg Mr. Glenn Luedke Mr. Dan Barton Howard A. Brown Mrs. Joan C. Brown Imogene Triplett Dr. Glover Triplett Jackson Woodall Mr. Thomas M. Landrum James C. Moore Ms. Miffy Woods James Crook Mr. Ronnie Crook James Pierce Mr. and Mrs. Paul J. Salvo Jason Harris Mrs. Judith Kilpatrick Jo and Bill Holladay Mr. Robert Lawson John Clark Monticello United Methodist Church John M. Curlee Mr. and Mrs. John Mac Curlee Johnny Marrow Mrs. April Crout Juanita Mitchell Mrs. Mona Harrison Katherine Bush Mr. Charles Leggett Kelly B. Hutchison Ms. Linda Hutchison Kelly Segars Mr. Tommy Whitaker Kent Michael Curtis Mrs. Janet Pearson Lanelle Boler Mrs. and Mrs. Joanne Keeton Linda Jenkins Ms. Miffy Woods Lisa McNeese Mrs. Barbara Camp Lucy Toy Gandy Clark Mrs. Martha Klaus Lynn Floyd Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Greer Mae Mardis Mr. and Mrs. Steve Frazier Martha West Mr. Joe P. Cox, Jr. Mary Ann Seal Mr. Charles Manberg Mary Ann Seal Mr. and Mrs. Charles Marquette Mary Margaret Cox Ms. Bettie Cox Merle Williams Ms. Elizabeth B. Hill

Mike Douglas Mrs. Warren Strickland Myrna Pontiff Mr. Guy Pylant Neda Anderson Eva Cook SSC Orafine Vanderburg Mr. and Mrs. H.S. Vanderburg Prentiss Gordon Mrs. Stephanie Carr Rebecca Stone Mr. and Mrs. T. A. Stone, Jr. Regina Simmons Mr. and Mrs. Robert McBryde Rhonda McGrew Mrs. Karen M. Wagner Richard Yordy Mr. and Mrs. William R. Yordy Robert Alderman Rev. and Mrs. Don McCain Robert Speed Mrs. and Mrs. Joanne Keeton Mr. and Mrs. Gary Mitchell Rodney Tackett Mr. and Mrs. Robert McBryde Ruth Murtagh Ms. Doris Ellison Samuel C. Huffstatler Mrs. Falba L. Hill Steve Dyess Ms. Judi McCaskey T. H. Landrum Mr. Thomas M. Landrum Tom Shivers Good News SSC Virginia Read Dr. and Mrs. Dale G. Read W. C. Curtis Mrs. Janet Pearson Walter Lance Mr. and Mrs. William R. Yordy William P. Hite Mr. and Mrs. J. Carlos Smith Zenobia Oaks Mr. and Mrs. James F. Oaks Contact Trina McNair, if any changes need to be made.


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Youth Spotlight Tell me about yourself. My name is Nate. I’m 16 years old. I’m funny. I’m goofy. I’m a people person. I like playing basketball and listening to music. I like making new friends. Tell me one thing that most people don’t know about you? I was born and raised in Indiana and I have two middle names.

How to Get Involved Heal with your resources. ■

onate monetary gifts. Your finanD cial support allows our children to be raised in a safe and spiritually grounded home.

onate assets. Some of our donors D find that giving stock is easy and best for them. When you give a donation of stock, you do not have to pay capital gains tax on the stock.

J oin our Circle of Protection by giving as little as $1/day (or $30.42/ month). Your gift goes toward creating a safe place for children to thrive and feel loved.

ive items from our Amazon Wish G List. The gifts will automatically be shipped to Methodist Children’s Homes.

emember the children in your R will. After taking care of your family, please consider making our children part of your legacy.

How long have you lived here at MCH? Since May, so about four months. How did you feel on the first day you stepped on campus? I was excited and nervous at the same time. I knew this was a good place and I didn’t want to mess it up. The Mississippi Legislature passed the Children’s Promise Act which is a tax credit legislation for individuals and businesses who support organizations that work with Mississippi’s foster children. Methodist Children’s Homes is a Qualified Foster Care Charitable Organization (QFCCO) and donations to our organization are eligible for this dollar for dollar state tax credits.

There is $3 Million in credit available for individuals and $5 Million in credits for businesses who contribute. The allocation of the tax credit takes place through the MS Department of Revenue and is on a first-come, first-served basis. We encourage donors to make your donation as early as possible to be ensure you are allocated your portion of the credits.

Now, when you give to MCH, you can change a child’s life and receive a tax credit! What a blessing!

Summer Feeding Program

This summer MCH had a wonderful opportunity to reach out to the local community through providing a summer feeding program. During the summer months many children go hungry when they don’t have their school providing meals. We partnered with Mississippi Food Network to provide breakfast and lunch to children ages 18 months to 18 years old. This program ran throughout June and July. We also had several days of fun which included Bible study, crafts, games, and more! Thank you to all the community members who made this special outreach project happen! We hope to bless many more community members next summer!

How do you feel about MCH now? I like it here. It’s starting to feel like home. I love the home setting, family-style dinners, and the fact that I have a room. Who is one person you look up to the most at MCH? My house manager, Ms. Trena, because she is nice and assertive at the same time. It seems like she really cares. What would you tell a new person here at MCH? Ignore negativity and do the right thing. This place is better than any other place you may go. What are your dreams and goals for the future? I want to own my own clothing store. I’ve always loved clothes and I have a good eye for fashion.

Heal with your time. Volunteer to serve at events. ■ Share the story of Methodist Children’s Homes with someone you know.

What would you tell our special donors? I would tell them that they are putting their money toward a great cause. You help us experience so many new things whenever you donate to MCH.

Heal with your prayers. ■


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Pray for our children and staff.


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Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PA I D Jackson, MS Permit No. 450

Post Office Box 66 Clinton, MS 39060-0066

CIRCLE OF PROTECTION You can make a difference for just $1 a day! Join the Circle of Protection by becoming a monthly donor. A dollar a day can help provide a safe home for a child in our care. Become a monthly donor today by donating online and clicking the "recurring gift" or by marking "monthly draft" on the enclosed envelope. Any amount can help!


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