Shouts of joy and audible prayers of thanksgiving filled the air as Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) leaders, staff members and supporters celebrated the completion of the most extensive capital campaign of the nonprofit’s 131-year existence.
The fruits of the three-year campaign (July 2013 - July 2016) have produced an unprecedented number of projects through- out BCH’s vast infrastructure. But the greatest assets garnered were the friendships represented by the people who gathered in celebration at the Colonial Country Club in Thomasville on Tuesday, September 20.
“God has been steadfast in every aspect of the Sharing Hope. . .Changing Lives Campaign,” said BCH president /CEO Michael C. Blackwell. The campaign is named after BCH’s vision statement. “He has given the children and families we serve the most faithful and dedicated friends imaginable. Through them, Baptist Children’s Homes is poised for the future.”
The campaign was launched to meet the mounting needs that lie outside of what BCH’s normal fundraising efforts cover. Growing the ministry’s meager endowment, repairing and renovating aging residential cottages and facilities, and enhancing ongoing operational support required donations that were above what BCH raises normally each year.
According to Brenda Gray, BCH Executive Vice President, Development & Communications, it was through the extraordinary efforts of BCH’s friends, both old and new, that the campaign’s goals were met.
“I’m glad God called me to go on this faith journey with Him, but I am even more grateful that He called you to go on the journey as well,” Gray shared with those attending the celebration. “Amazing things have happened because you followed God’s calling on your heart.”
Gray’s presentation of the “amazing things” resulting during the campaign were met with cheers and rousing applause:
12,872 constituents participated in the campaign.
59,005 children, adults and families have been served.
BCH’s endowment grew by nearly $6,900,000.
$406,269 in scholarship funds were made available to BCH’s boys and girls.
23 residential cottages were renovated across BCH’s statewide network.
4 new residential homes were opened allowing BCH to serve more children and families.
56 vehicles were purchased to replace aging BCH fleet vans and cars.
115 BCH properties were renovated.
4 new ministries opened or are in the process of being launched. They are the Good Shepherd Children’s Home in Xela, Guatemala, the Claude and Lois Smith Family Care Home in Marston, Homebase Student Ministry in Cullowhee, and the Bob and Carolyn Tucker Greater Vision Ministry.
The campaign is about sustaining BCH’s ministries for years to come and giving the children and families we serve the start they need,” said Jerry Jordan who co-chaired the campaign with his wife Evon. The couple are major supporters and Mr. Jordan has served on BCH’s Board of Trustees. “We are able to provide them that opportunity in an environment that serves God and His greatness.”
Honoring God through their gifts has been a predominant reason why people have given to the Sharing Hope. . .Changing Lives Campaign.
“Our gift is given for the glory of God – trusting in faith that it will change children’s lives,” said Carolyn Tucker. She and her husband Bob, who founded Shoe Show, Inc., gave $1 million donation, and additional $500,000 matching challenge, to establish the Tucker Greater Vision Ministry.
The new outreach center, located at Mills Home in Thomasville, will offer an array of programs and resources to aid community children and families throughout North Carolina.
“We won’t see everything this gift accomplishes on this side of heaven,” Carolyn added, “but we will one day.”
Necessary maintenance projects and renovations to residential cottages and facilities are being accomplished due to the generosity of the Lonnie and Carol Poole Family Foundation. Aging roofs on residential cottages are being replaced and repairs are being completed to ensure children have the highest quality living accommodations.
“It was important to Mr. Poole that the foundation’s contribution went towards those needs so it could free up dollars in BCH’s budget that will directly benefit the boys and girls and meet their specific needs,” says Nancy Hall, one of the directors of the Poole Family Foundation. The foundation donated $750,000 in cash and established a $3 million trust.
One of the greatest legacies of support has been with the Broyhill family of Lenoir. The relationship began in the 1930s when J.E. Broyhill, founder of Broyhill Furniture Industries, secured a freezer locker for Mills Home to aid with long-term food storage. Broyhill’s son Paul visited Mills Home with his parents. The friendship with the Broyhill Family has grown throughout the decades with Paul serving as the honorary chair for the Sharing Hope. . . Changing Lives Campaign.
“Dr. Blackwell has done a wonderful job of transitioning BCH from a true orphanage to a place that serves children who are products of abuse and broken homes. BCH has kept up with those changes where many other homes have not,” Paul shared with the audience. “We thank all of the donors and friends who gave and have been involved in a campaign of such magnitude.”
The campaign may have arrived at its climactic conclusion, but Dr. Blackwell, who has now overseen three expansive capital campaigns since becoming president in 1983, says that the work to ensure BCH is able to meet the every day needs of children and families is only beginning.
“The reality is that every dollar that has been generously bestowed to us through the Sharing Hope...Changing Lives Campaign has already been utilized or designated for the goals it was designed to accomplish,” he explained. “We cannot take a breath. We must continue raising support, beginning next with the 2016 Annual Offering, to provide daily physical, emotional and spiritual care to all who are entrusted to BCH.
“Thanks to the faithful- ness of Almighty God and the friends He has brought to this worthy ministry, Sharing Hope...Changing Lives is a dream that will
Learn more about BCH’s statewide ministries by visiting