No matter where she has served during her 19 years at Kennedy Home, Brenda Hinson finds opportunities for ministry. Hinson began as a cottage parent at Baptist Children’s Homes’ (BCH) Kinston campus and today serves as an administrative assistant.
Hinson’s bright smile and cheery voice greets children and guests as they first arrive at the administrative office.
“I love sitting at the front desk and hearing the phone ring,” Hinson shared. “Is the person on the other end upset? Does that person need a listening ear or a cheerful voice? I always try to answer the phone enthusiastically.”
Just as she did as a cottage parent, Hinson embraces every opportunity that arises to let the children know she cares.
“I love seeing the children come into the office. The last thing I say to them as they pass by my window is ‘I love you,’” Hinson said. “They don’t always respond at first, but eventually they’ll say ‘I love you’ back to me.”
Hinson has experienced tremendous heartache during her tenure. Her husband, son and a grandson have each passed away during her years at Kennedy Home.
“Brenda knows loss. She understands how many of the children feel because of the losses they have experienced in their own lives,” BCH president/CEO Michael C. Blackwell said when introducing Hinson. “It makes a great difference to have such an empathetic person at the front door to welcome you.”
Hinson is one of seven BCH staff members to be honored with the 2017 Employee of the Year Award. Each year, recipients are nominated and chosen by their peers. The group was recognized on April 7 at Mills Home in Thomasville at a ceremony including BCH trustees and staff members. Each winner addressed the audience after receiving the award from Blackwell and trustee chair John Lee.
“If you ask any of our staff members, they all will tell you that they are here to make a difference,” Blackwell said. “These recipients of the Employee of the Year award are living, breathing witnesses to BCH’s vision statement of sharing hope. . .changing lives.”
Scott Cummings is a senior child care worker at Drake Cottage in Franklin. Cummings consistently models what it means to be a servant of Jesus Christ. He always puts the interests of others ahead of his own. Alongside his wife, Connie, Cummings provides care and support to the boys living at Drake Cottage.
Dana Hartman serves as a case manager at Mills Home in Thomasville. Hartman’s love for the families she works with always comes through in the way she interacts with them. It is evident, at all times, that her motivation comes from sincerely caring about the children.
Brenda Hinson is the administrative assistant at Kennedy Home in Kinston. Working at the front desk, it is Hinson’s cheerful voice and smiling face that people hear and see first. She can always be heard greeting visitors, children and staff with a cheerful “How are you?” and “God bless you!”
Mitzi Mann is the payroll manager and education fund accountant for BCH’s state administration in Thomasville. Mann’s role has grown larger during her tenure, and she has taken on additional responsibilities. Her work ethic is a model to her co-workers. Mann is always willing to help.
Alicia Rosser serves as farm manager at Oak Ranch in Broadway – a family care location. She works behind the scenes feeding and grooming the horses, cleaning stalls and assisting with a number of maintenance projects. Most importantly, she manages Oak Ranch’s equine therapy program ensuring the family care children and mothers spend time with the horses.
Yvetta Smith is the east regional director for the North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM). Smith began as a volunteer and today channels her passion to help aging adults in her full-time role. She has developed a successful pilot program in less than a year that will bring safer medication management to aging adults in her area.