For Valentine’s Day, people exchange cards, send flowers and find a number of special ways to celebrate their love for each other. Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) took a unique approach this year by celebrating public servants and service organizations through a first-time Valentine’s Day event called “Showing Love to Those Who Serve.”
The event and luncheon was held on Tuesday, February 14 at Mills Home in Thomasville, the oldest of Baptist Children’s Homes locations. It was hosted in partnership with BNC Bank.
“We wanted this to be an unforgettable Valentine’s Day for our local police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical personnel, and other dedicated community servants,” says BCH president/CEO Michael C. Blackwell. “Their efforts often take place behind the scenes. The event provided an opportunity for us to publically honor them and to say ‘thank you.’”
In addition to the appreciation awards, BCH aided 19 local nonprofits by awarding them mini-grants. Multiple community and BCH staff members were presenters. The funding for the grants was provided by BNC Bank. All of the event efforts are a part of BCH’s new outreach called the Bob and Carolyn Tucker Greater Vision Outreach Ministry.
According to Marjorie Rorie, director of Greater Vision, “Showing Love to Those Who Serve” was the kick off for the new outreach’s larger initiative.
“The event is the initial step in creating partnerships and establishing a network of nonprofits,” she explains.
BCH is constructing a new 10,000-square-foot outreach center that will offer
a variety of services for the community. Services will include food and clothing distribution, education programs, and referral services. The lead gift to start the new outreach was given by Bob and Carolyn Tucker, founders of Shoe Show, Inc.
Rorie sees the center as the hub for new partnerships. “It’s about everyone in the community working together to touch more lives.”
Blackwell was the keynote speaker for “Showing Love to Those Who Serve” which had more than 300 people in attendance including representatives from at least 30 different local service organizations.
Blackwell’s address was filled with words of inspiration and encouragement embodying his vision for communities both locally and around the state.
“We are swimming upstream against the tide of depression, the undertow of abuse,” he said to the crowd, “but never give up on your dream. And because you are never going to give up, it will go from an impossible dream to an improbable dream. Eventually, it will become an inevitable dream.
“Never give up,” Blackwell reiterated numerous times as the crowd applauded.
“We are excited about Greater Vision Outreach Ministry and its potential for changing lives in Davidson County and North Carolina,” Blackwell said. “The Valentine’s Day event is only the beginning.”
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