Paulina Hanner understands the needs of children intimately. As a former foster care social worker and now a middle school behavior specialist, she has seen the challenges and heartaches of boys and girls up close.
Paulina’s experience, however, goes beyond her career – it’s deeply personal. She lived at Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) for six years because of struggles she faced in her family life.
“Basically, my mother and adopted father were getting a divorce and things became pretty bad at home,” she explains.
It is because of her childhood experience and the help she received at BCH that she and her husband Ryan have become HOPE Champions.
HOPE Champions is BCH’s new monthly online giving program. It is inspired by friends and supporters who want to change a child’s life every month. For the Hanners, giving consistently to BCH was an easy decision.
“It’s something we believe in,” says the former resident.
Ryan agrees. “You can see where the money is going, and it’s here at home.”
Paulina met her future husband while at BCH. When she moved to Mills Home in Thomasville, she transferred to the local high school where Ryan attended. Through Paulina, Ryan learned more about the children who call BCH “home.”
“They were like a little family,” he recalls. “As I got to learn their stories, I found out they were like the rest of us except they had suffered bad times – unfortunate circumstances.”
Ryan learned that many of the children had been denied the basic necessities of life.
“When I think of BCH, I think of everything I was provided,” Paulina says. “I think of the stability of knowing when I got home there was always going to be the same folks there. When I got home there was always food – there was going to be a place to lay my head at night.”
Making sure children have these provisions, and much more, is a driving force behind creating the HOPE Champions monthly program.
HOPE Champions was created to be life-changing to a child and simple to join. By visiting the secure www.hopechampions.org webpage, a supporter chooses a giving level and enters his or her financial information. The recurring gift is then automatically drafted each month.
Six giving levels allow supporters to choose the way he or she wants to impact a child each month. From providing bibles, new bedding, clothes, or extra-curricular activities, the monthly program gives BCH’s friends a variety of ways to meet a children’s needs and, in the process, let them know there are “champions” who care about them.
“I saw what BCH did for Paulina,” Ryan says. “I hope our giving every month gives the children here now the same opportunities she received.”
The care Paulina received not only affected her while she was at BCH, but it changed her future.
“I was introduced to my savior Jesus Christ there. I graduated high school as a result of the caring, supportive environment,” she explains. “I received scholarship support through BCH and graduated college with a bachelors degree in social work.”
It was because of her caregivers and role models at BCH that Paulina chose to pursue a career in helping children and families. It is also why she and her husband believe in HOPE Champions.
“The reason why we’re giving monthly is that it not only touches the lives of children and their families, but our communities as a whole,” she says. “It takes children from very vulnerable situations and brings them up into a better opportunity.”
Change a child’s life by becoming a HOPE Champion. Set up your monthly, recurring gift at www.hopechampions.org today!