Memories made here!
Kids may not remember to turn in their homework. They may even forget to clean their room. But just ask a kid about their first Little League home run or favorite family vacation, and their ability to remember seems to magically reappear.
Some things in life just can’t be forgotten. Memories often last for a lifetime.
Helping hurting and needy children and teens make fond and lifelong memories is a goal of the ministry of Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries
(ABCHomes). ABCHomes raises much of its support through an annual Thanksgiving Offering, traditionally observed by Arkansas Baptists churches since 1908. The theme for the 2015 offering is “Memories made here!”
“How often do we recall experiences from our past,” asked ABCHomes executive director David Perry? “I never go long without thinking about my wonderful parents and my childhood. Those are good memories.
“Those we care for will also have their memories. Memories of people, of growing experiences, and life changes. Thanks to the many churches and donors that give generously to the Thanksgiving Offering and for being a part of helping us provide good memories.”
Through gifts to the annual offering, ABCHomes has helped create wonderful and happy memories for countless children and teens who live or did live at six state-wide locations.
Claudette is one of these residents. The Baptist Children’s Home alumnae recently said, “This is the most loving, caring place! I grew up here. I still remember the loving and caring people. It is a blessing to be a child from the Home.”
Fellow Baptist Home Alumna Sandy said she won’t ever forget her “family” at the Baptist Home.
“When I tell others about my siblings, I don’t just tell them I have a brother and a sister, I tell them I have 150 brothers and sisters,” shared Sandy. “We were a family at the Baptist Home ... and we always will be.”
At the Baptist Home Alumni Day last June, as an ABCHomes staff member eavesdropped in on conversations, he heard dozens of wonderful stories of old. He heard one former resident ask another, “Do you remember what we use to do under those trees over there?” In response, his friend said, “Yea that is where we played marbles. I remember when Pop Seafield use to . . .”
Another recalled, “I won a prize at the local 4H for my steer that I helped raise and feed.”
In addition to the residents at the Monticello campus, ABCHomes staff has been a part of helping kids make memories at the Boys Ranch in Harrison.
Ranch resident Jarrod * said he won’t soon forget the many friends made while living at the Harrison ranch. “I know when I leave the Ranch for good, I’m gonna miss it because it’s my home. And it’s the best home I ever had.”
Alysaa,* who recently departed from one of the three ABCHomes emergency homes, left behind a memorable note for a future resident. She noted, “‘Dear new girl, I was in this room before you with my sister. I know this is scary. What’s happened to us is what no one should go through. Don’t worry. Mrs. Dana and Shayne will help you like they helped me and my sister. I think you will have fun here. We did. Trust Jesus and the Lord. All the bad stuff is over. Now, be looking for good stuff.’”
Countless, lasting reflections were made this past year for many single moms and their children at Jonesboro Family Care Home. Still others were made through ABCHomes seven counseling locations.
“I was lost and trying to find myself,” shared one Family Care mom. “I was looking for a way to better myself and be a better mom to my unborn son, and take care of my sister.
“I don’t know where I would be if not for the Family Care. I will be forever grateful.”
It’s in the lives of moms like these, said Perry that memories are being made today.
“Right now, memories are being made throughout all of our ministries,” added Perry. “You are a part of providing those memories. Thank you for giving to our annual offering.”
The 2015 Thanksgiving Offering promotional items were recently mailed to pastors in Arkansas. These resources include posters, bookmarks, a promotional video, offering envelopes and speaker request forms. Three versions of the offering video can be found here and downloadable resources can be found here.
Online donations can be made at abchomes.org/donate.
For additional information, contact Stella Prather, director of communication, at firstname.lastname@example.org., or call toll free instate, 800-838-2272, ext. 5168 or in the Little Rock area at 501-376-4791, ext. 5168.
*names changed for privacy