2015 Summer Newsletter

Page 1

HELPING HANDS summer 2015

your donor newsletter

POST OFFICE BOX 66 • CLINTON, MS 39060-0066 • OFFICE: 601-853-5000 • FAX: 601-853-5010 • WWW.MCHMS.ORG

Letter from CEO Just a Little of Your Crazy

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation

Raising children for any family is challenging to say the least. When I’m speaking in churches and out in the community describing the work we do, one of the most common statements I get is, “I just don’t know how you do it.” Well, my response is simple: We are passionate about serving kids nobody else wants; we want to help them become the best individuals they can be. Developmental Psychologist, Urie Bronfenbrenner describes that passion in a different way. He believes raising a child successfully requires “one or more adults who have an irrational emotional relationship with the child. Somebody’s got to be crazy about that kid. That’s number one. First, last and always.” So, maybe we are a little crazy. If you have raised children or have grandchildren of your own, I know that you can identify with that sentiment in some way. I’m sure you have put the needs of your children before your own in order to provide for them. I’m sure you spent countless hours teaching them so they would be prepared to face life on their own. In fact, if push came to shove, I’m sure you would give your own life to protect them. So it would seem that you are a little crazy too! I am asking for any leftover insanity that you may have available. Please continue to pray fervently, work diligently and give graciously as you are led. When you help in any way, you are part of our “Crazy” family. Together, we will change how Mississippi serves children and families. Thank you. Because of Christ,

Mike Duggar, President and CEO

*Our youth’s names/pictures maybe changed for their safety.


There is a lot of excitement around campus this summer. Since we purchased the Flag Chapel property in 2010 the pool has been unusable, till now! Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation and the Thomas Family stepped in and both donated $50,000 each to make the Aquatic and Wellness Center a reality. Starting in May the Aquatic and Wellness Center began offering a full schedule of activities to promote healthy lifestyles. There are currently 20 students actively participating in our MCHfit exercise classes, which are held three nights a week. With the extensive renovations to the pool MCH is now able to offer swimming lessons and swim activities three days a week. We are also offering hands on nutrition and cooking classes to our youth. Words cannot express our gratitude to Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation and the Thomas Family for their generosity and support. Together we are making a difference in the health outcomes of our youth.

Princess For a Night

Host a Supply Drive or Fundraiser

As she stood looking into the mirror, she could hardly believe what she saw. There in the reflection was a beautiful, tall, elegant young lady who never imagined that she would be going to the prom. Karah, 17, has lived at the children’s home for three years. She is as sweet as she is pretty, and with her bubbling personality, it is no wonder she found the “perfect date.” Karah met her prom date through a friend and immediately they hit it off. “He is just so sweet and we have so much in common,” Karah said giggling. Dating does not come easy while living at the children’s home, so when Terrance asked her to prom, she was doubtful that she would even be able to go. With persistence, Karah worked hard to make this dream come true. After getting the “ok” from her social worker and the staff at MCH, she was well on her way. “When I found my dress, I just stood there twirling. I felt like a princess!” Karah said. “Terrance made me feel so special and beautiful. He was a true gentleman. His parents treated me like I was family,” Karah said. “I would like to thank my social worker, Mr. Mike and Mr. Devon for allowing me the opportunity to go to prom. I was not able to attend my own school’s prom, so I just assumed that I would never get to go. Terrance and his parents went out of their way to make sure that I had the best night ever. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.”

Our Needs Large Items 2 Four-Door Cars Table Saw with 30”RIP Toiletries Bars of Soap Toothpaste Toothbrushes Deodorant Kleenex Baby Items Diapers Pull-ups Wipes Clinic Needs Band-Aids Medical tape Ace bandages Hand Sanitizer Youth Items 20 Sleeping Bags Gift Cards to Wal-Mart Colorful Picture Frames Twin Bed Colorful Bedding Set


Awards Thank you is not adequate enough for these individuals and groups who pour out their hearts to MCH. We would not be the agency that we are today without their love, support, time spent and devotion. We are better because they are a part of MCH.

Outstanding Missions Group Starkville First United Methodist Church

Starkville First United Methodist Church was honored as the Outstanding Missions Group. Despite the distance from the main campus, they have continued to support the children’s home. They have renovated the MCH gym, decorated our homes for Christmas, helped to purchase a much-needed tractor and each month they provide our Birthday in a Box. The Birthday in a Box is given to each child on their birthday, and includes a $25 Visa gift card, a gift card for a birthday cake, a hand drawn “happy birthday” poster and card, as well as decorations for their room. Starkville’s generosity is definitely inspiring.

Outstanding Volunteer Scott Street Attention to detail and hard worker describe Scott Street. Scott worked faithfully on our campus renovating the Waits and Owens homes. Scott sees a need and works until it is complete. He was often found still working long after the other volunteers had left for the day. His faithfulness to MCH is well deserving of the Outstand Volunteer award. 4

Outstanding Volunteer Wayne Gasson Wayne Gasson’s dedication to MCH has been proven over the past four years. He has helped renovate most of our homes on campus including McCarty, Waits, Rowell, Owens and the Two of Us. Because of his immaculate woodworking skills, each home has beautiful cabinetry and molding. Because of his skills, talents, and loyalty, we were pleased to honor him with the Outstanding Volunteer award.

Outstanding Civic Group Junior League of Jackson

The Junior League of Jackson has earned the honor of Outstanding Civic Group. This amazing group has been committed to MCH for eight years. The Grace Project is a life skills program in which the Junior League ladies visit every two weeks educating our girls while building their self-esteem, self-respect, and values. Words cannot describe the positive, compassionate impact they have had on our youth.

Youth Spotlight Diana

The Best Summer Ever

Meet Dianna, one of our precious young ladies with a smile and a giggle that would light up any room. Dianna has seen a lot of pain in her short 17 years. She has been moved ten different times, ranging between temporary family placements, emergency shelters and group homes, before finally being able to call MCH her home. She is an inspiration to us all on how to overcome a painful past. She is a blessing to MCH. Age: 17

Birthday: March 12, 1998

Think back to the first day you stepped on campus and describe how you felt. I felt anxious and I felt safe! What is the most vivid memory at MCH? For my 16th birthday, I received the biggest gift. I asked for pictures and makeup. Mr. Farmer, a local photographer, came out and took pictures of me. He made me feel like a model. MCH made me feel loved and like they really have a heart for me.

This summer the children’s home has big plans to ensure that this is the “Best Summer Ever!” Our youth are going to attend an overnight camp. This three-day two-night therapeutic camp will give our youth a chance to get away from their homes and enjoy the great outdoors. They will be involved in a number of activities including horseback riding, fishing, canoeing, swimming, and just relaxing with friends. This camp will strengthen friendships and create lasting memories for our youth. The rest of their summer will be jam packed with activities such as the Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Mississippi Braves games. The youth will also enjoy relaxing in our pool and hanging out with friends. Thank you to our generous donors for helping our youth experience the “Best Summer Ever.”

What are the values you picked up while living at MCH? I have learned to trust people again. MCH has also been teaching me to trust and respect others and myself. Who has helped you the most? Mr. Devon has helped me a lot. He always comforts me and makes me feel safe. Ms. Jerus, one my home’s staff, always listens to me and is always someone I can talk to. What is your biggest success while living at MCH? For the first time in my life I am making good grades! What do you want to do after you leave MCH? I want to attend Mississippi State and become a veterinarian. I hope to give back to the Methodist Children’s Homes because they have supported me. What would you like to tell our donors and volunteers? Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for helping! You have been a huge blessing, and you provided something that I didn’t have before.


Making a difference

Blessings come in various sizes and shapes! This month it came in the size of a tractor and attachments. Starkville First United Methodist worked hard to raise money for a much needed tractor during their annual missions auction. They partnered with Longview UMC, Adaton UMC, and Jerry and Carla Gant to ensure that we had the necessary implements needed for our campus.

Friends on a UMission from Indiana, a group of 16 individuals representing 11 churches, spent eight days working non-stop renovating our homes. This year they worked on the Waits home and the Arant Family Recreation Center doing a host of projects including painting, wood work, hanging doors, building 20 bunk beds, and installing drywall. This group represents hard work and dedication.

The tractor was put to use within an hour after it was dropped off on our campus! With more than 177 acres, this tractor is truly a blessing to our staff. To everyone who donated to make the Mahindra Tractor and implements a reality, “thank you” can hardly express our gratitude! Christ UMC had an “ALL in Sunday,” a service Sunday where members literally serve the community. We welcomed a wonderful group of hard working individuals who worked demolition inside of our Waits home. Thanks for serving our home and God’s children!

Greenville UMC hosted a baby shower and put together Layette Baby Kits for our newborns. This will be a special gift to our teen mothers when their little one arrives! Each kit was specially made with love and care. Thanks for taking care of God’s children!


Springhill UMC hosted an auction to benefit MCH. This church raised $4,000.00 to benefit the children we serve. There is nothing more humbling than seeing how God is consistently providing for the children’s home. Thank you Springhill UMC for your faithfulness!

Madison UMC VIP Group spent the morning learning about the children’s home and touring our campus. This was a wonderful group of individuals who have a heart for MCH!

Jerry and Carla Gant, some of our faithful supporters, noticed that we were in need of a Gator (sports utility) vehicle for our maintenance department. Mr. Gant stepped in and gave us his! The Gator makes our work much easier. We appreciate the Gants!

Girl Scout Troop 6101 in Brandon made baby blankets for our infants. This was a part of earning their Bronze Award. Thank you so much for choosing MCH as part of your project!

Girl Scout Troop 0586 made gift bags filled with beanie babies, treats, and t-shirts, for our youth. They also brought diapers for our babies! Thanks for making our youth feel so loved and special.

The Faith Builders Sunday School Class from Madison UMC stepped up in the nick of time. They responded to a last minute call for volunteers to help move all of the furniture from the Waits Home to begin the renovation process. This group worked four hours moving everything. We are thankful for their spontaneous service!


Ashley’s Story You saved my life, you gave me a home and you allowed me the opportunity to be a mother to my little girl. You’re my hero! Because you support the Methodist Children’s Homes, my story has a happy ending. You’re one of those special people who care about me, I hope that after you hear my story you will make another gift to my home. “My friends saw it, the neighbors heard it, but no one stopped it.” I awoke in a dark room, the walls were painted deep red and it smelled of sweat, beer, and smoke. I could not move. My hands were tied. I suddenly remembered the lady from the night before. She noticed that I was dirty and hungry. She was beautiful, wearing a red dress with her dark hair swept up in a bun. She told me she would take care of me. And then I was screaming for my life, and no one seemed to hear my cries. The lady had tricked me into her prostitution ring. She owned me, and sadly, at 13, I was not the youngest. We all screamed, cried, and begged. It was a living nightmare, and I cry every time I think about how I made it here. Little did I know that you were already providing a safe place for me at MCH. I lived with my aunt and her boyfriend. I was only five years old, but he would sneak into my room at night. I hated him. My aunt never made her boyfriend move out; she just put a lock on my door. For five years, I slept in fear of him. Eventually a counselor stepped in, and I was taken from my home and everything that was familiar to me.


My birth dad received custody. He dropped me off at my grandmother’s house and never returned. She was terrible; her house was hot and dirty. The abuse started again. My two uncles raped me over and over again. So I ran away! That is when I met the beautiful lady in the red dress, who told me that she wanted to take care of me. You are probably wondering how I got out of the abuse and am now living safely at the Methodist Children’s Homes. While I was in prostitution, I begged a man to take me away. He saved me. I was free! Life was going good until my uncle found me. I ran. He attacked me and raped me. I somehow ended up at a hospital. I was skinny, my hair was falling out, and I was covered with bruises. I found out that I was pregnant and all alone . . . I was empty.

After another round of abuse, the Department of Human Services took custody of my baby Laney and me. Laney was everything to me. We were separated while in custody. And once more, my already broken life had fallen into a million pieces. But you came to my rescue. You supported MCH, the home that gave me my life back. Today, at 17, I am picking up those pieces. By the grace of God, Laney and I now call the Methodist Children’s Homes our home. Because of you we are living together, where I am healing from my past, and learning how to be the best mother for Laney. You allow us to be together, and that is all that matters! I am now in school for the first time in seven years. You also provided me an amazing tutor to help me get back on track. Most importantly, I am learning how to trust people again. Because of you, I have heard the gospel and received Christ as my Savior. You are changing my life one day at a time. Thank you for rescuing me, and thank God for the Methodist Children’s Homes.

Alumni Reunited The alumni breakfast was unforgettable. As each person walked into the cafeteria, there were screams, hugs and tears as they were reunited with one another. After they ate, each shared their personal story, how long they lived at MCH and their fondest memory. There were memories of favorite house parents, swimming, singing in the choir, going on trips and of course friends. However, the one memory that remained constant was Christmas time. “I loved Christmas the best because I always got something that I wanted . . . not needed. At my mother’s house at Christmas I would get socks or a new toothbrush. At school my peers would brag about getting a new bike or skates, and I would be too embarrassed to say what I got,” one alum said. “But here, I actually had my own ‘stack’ of presents with my name on it. And it was all stuff I wanted! I felt like someone really loved me and cared about me. It was such an amazing feeling to know that I was cared for.” After listening to so many testimonies of the legacy of MCH, it is apparent that because of our donors the Methodist Children’s Homes was and continues to be a safe haven for abused, neglected and hurting children. As stated by so many of the alumni, “This place saved my life!” The alumni are our history, but they play a major role in the future of MCH. If you are an alumni of the Methodist Children’s Homes, we would love for you to be a part of our group. Please contact Rburchfield@mchms.org with your information so that we can include you!

I am happy, safe and loved because of you!


Day of Hope More than 300 individuals joined us for our second annual Day of Hope, which was held on Saturday, April 25th. The day began with an alumni breakfast, tours of our homes, a program, and then concluded with a grand fish fry lunch. Our youth were beyond excited to show off their homes. They greeted each tour van with big smiles and open arms. Most of our youth come to MCH with only the clothes on their backs, and it is because of our faithful donors who give generously to our youth that they have so much pride in their belongings. After the tours and the delicious fish fry, guests were given more insight into the lives of our youth. Our Chief Operations Officer Devon Loggins interviewed one of our youth, Tywain, who brought both laughter and tears to the crowd. Tywain told his story of abuse and neglect and how he is overcoming the tragedies in his life and changing his story. He is changing because of donors who are giving him the opportunity to grow and prosper at MCH. Thanks to all those individuals who came to the Day of Hope. MCH is the organization that it is today because of our generous donors, faithful volunteers and prayer warriors who make it their mission to give hope to hurting children.

Get Involved Heal with your prayers Pray for our children and staff. Heal with your resources Donate monetary gifts. Your financial support allows our children to be raised in a safe and spiritually grounded home. Join our Circle of Protection by giving as little as $1.00 per day or $30.42 per month. Remember the children in your Will. After taking care of your family, please consider making our children part of your legacy. Bequests may be made to “The Methodist Children’s Home, Inc.” Donate Assests. Some of our donors 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.


special to our sponsors

Heal with your time

GUARDIAN Bancorp South Insurance Services Mr. Discount Drugs

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

FRIEND Albert Moore Insurance Agency Baptist Health Foundation Community Bancshares of MS Entergy The Nowell Agency Wilson Tire & Auto Care


Give items from our Wish List.

Honor/Memorial In Honor of (Given 1/9/2015- 5/4/2015)

J.C. Arban By Cecelia Burks Britton Girls Dream By Michael Britton Britton Girls Dream By Michael Britton Becky H. Dotson By William O. Moore Robyn P. Griffin By Tom Powell Beulah Hawthorne By Vance Wilson Richard Henley By Amanda Cascio Joseph B. Miller By Beverly Edwards Pat Noble By James F. Noble Mike Nowell By Kendra Flynn Carolyn Purvis By Dale Purvis Stan Purvis By Carolyn Purvis Phil Roberts By John Roberts Tim Rosamond By Wendell Meacham Michael Summerford By Martha Summerford Keith Tonkel By David G. Powers Shaun Walker By Belinda Moore Mary Young By Jeff Livesay

In Memory of (Given 1/9/2015- 5/4/2015)

Mary C. Alexander By Alexander J. Simpson Carolyn Armistead By Garland C. Norris Company Cliff Barber By Karen Barber Carrie A. Barham By Patricia M. Bailey-Brown Missy Bartling By Bruce Bartling

Lutie Black By Mack Stallings Charles R. Bobo By Willie Bobo Judi Bosarge By New Augusta Presbyterian Church

Judi Bosarge By James M. Wilkinson Ventrice Box By Tommy Box Ventrice Box By Tommy Box Tommy D. Brown By Patricia M. Bailey-Brown Mike Campbell By Glenn Young Mike Campbell By Nela C. Hughes Mike Campbell By Bill West Linda H. Caulder By Joe R. Moore John Clark By F. R. Clark Frankie Cook By Charles Cook Doris Cooper By Treves H. Cooper George H. Crawford By George H. Crawford Eva Dawson By Deborah Ainsworth John Defiore By Carol A. Bond Cecile E. Dorris By Dennis H. Perkins Jim Draughn By Dennis H. Perkins Bill Easom By Michael McMahen Nancy Edmondson By Dennis H. Perkins Richie Edmondson By Dennis H. Perkins L.C. Ellis By Allen Wood Andy Foretich By Mary Foretiich Bobby Fortenberry By Deborah Ainsworth Dave Gammill By Torrence- Crisler Properties Betty Goodman By Brenda Cobb

Judy Gray By Billie Hughey Don Leslie Green By Eva Nell Green Charlotte Griffin By Dennis H. Perkins Peter Hairston By D. W. Holaday Barry Hanks By Basil King David Hannon By Lillie Hannon Gene Hannon By Lillie Hannon Neal Harwell By Dan Young Barbara H. Hegwood By Donnie Brock Marguarite M. Henry By Hembree Brandon Jack Hodges By Bob Kyzar Pat Hussey By Dan Young Johnny Jones By Jo Ann Smith Gladys Lamb By Allen Wood William Leflore By Allen Wood Nora E. Lipscomb By Allen Wood C. A. Luper By Luran L. Buchanan Mayo By Gene Ward Bennie McClellan By Allen Wood Camille McIiwain By Clarence M. Shannon Samuel W. McRaney By Carolyn McRaney Janet Mitchell By Edrel Coleman Mary Annis Clayton Mitchell By Bruce Bartling Miles “Jelly” C. Mitchell By Wayne Darby Miles “Jelly” C. Mitchell By Charlie Beck Graves Miles “Jelly” C. Mitchell By Otis T. Marshall Miles “Jelly” C. Mitchell By Edward Woodall

Clinton C. Moore By Miffy Woods Earl Moore By Dennis Staer James C. Moore By Miffy Woods Walter C. Moses By Allen Wood Walter C. Moses By Anthony Cascio Gerald Mulhall By Abner C. Young Gerald and Mary Ann Norton By Martin Dempsey Carl Orr By Abner C. Young Dean Pannell By Adeline Jones Sunday School Class

Ken Pouncey By Alice Pouncey Barbara A. Price By Bobbie P. Rhodes Ella Mae B. Pringle By Clifton Taylor Suzanne Rutledge By Dan Young Wally Scholl By Friendship Sunday

Harmon E. Tillman By Alice Hammond Harmon E. Tillman By Joe R. Moore Harmon E. Tillman By Patricia Martin Harmon E. Tillman By Carol Leggett Harmon E. Tillman By Jim Barfield Harmon E. Tillman By H. V. Pittman Harmon E. Tillman By William W. Watkins Harmon E. Tillman By Andrew R. Townes Donna Vance By Imogene Brown James M. Vance By Patsy Vance Bill Wagner By Tom Wagner Jimmy Waring By Martha Klaus Benjamin Wax By James Friend Benjamin Wax By James Friend Kim B. Westmoreland By Independence

School Class

Methodist Church

Helen R. Scott By Gerald A. Scott Mary Scott By Thomas G. Clark Ellen Shook By Larry Duckworth Joe Skinner By Betty Skinner Milton F. Sparrow By James M. Sparrow Jimmy Sutherland By Wiley G. Strahan Henry Thornton By Grace M. Ackle Harmon E. Tillman By Julian H. Halfacre Harmon E. Tillman By William R. Rhodes Harmon E. Tillman By Hamilton Tiger-Cats

John David Whaley By Hembree Brandon Joe White By Friendship Sunday

Football Club

Harmon E. Tillman By Martha Wilson

School Class

Blackie Wiggins By Don Conger Opal Williams By Marsha W. Darnell Ollie W. Wilson By Allen Wood William J. Wood By William L. Hydrick Arlean Yates By Wayne Potter

Contact Robyn Burchfield, Rburchfield@mchms.org if any changes need to be made.


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

Post Office Box 66 Clinton, MS 39060-0066

JOIN US ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER Keep in Touch with the Methodist Children’s Homes on Facebook and Twitter Find the MCH on Facebook and “like” our page to receive frequent updates. www.facebook.com/pages/ Methodist-Childrens-Homes-ofMississippi/272796689457795 Follow us on Twitter. Our Twitter handle is #MCH1896 https://twitter.com/MCH1896.


Circle of Protection Join the Circle of Protection by becoming a monthly donor. For less than a $1.00 a day, you can help provide a safe home for a child in our care. Become a monthly donor, today by marking “Monthly Draft” on the enclosed envelope.

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