There are Baptist Children’s Homes’ (BCH) staff members serving at the forefront of the ministry because of the nature of their duties. This is particularly true of BCH president/CEO Michael C. Blackwell who has served as the voice and face of the Children’s Homes for 35 years.
So when there are times Blackwell can recognize staff members who are not in the spotlight, he relishes it. The Employee of the Year Awards on April 27 gave him one such opportunity.
In the company of trustees, staff members and, most importantly, the employees being honored, Blackwell and board chairperson Sybil Stewart recognized this year’s eight recipients. Among them was Wendy Hoover, whose responsibilities as a cook at the Fleshman-Pratt Education Center place her serving behind the scenes.
“Wendy is a champion for Weekday Education and Baptist Children’s Homes,” Blackwell told those gathered.
“You may be an unsung hero,” Blackwell said directly to Hoover, “but you are a hero.”
Hoover has been a part of BCH’s “five-star” Weekday Education program in Thomasville since January 2004. On a daily basis, she prepares breakfast, lunch and snacks for 95 children at Fleshman-Pratt and lunch for 26 boys and girls who participate in the program’s NC Pre-K Program.
“You won’t meet anyone more humble,” said Brooke Child, Assistant Director, Weekday Education. “She will do anything for anybody.”
This includes accounting for all the children’s food allergies and customizing meals for a child’s specific nutritional needs.
“I know the food I make them may be the only meal they get until the next day,” Hoover said addressing the audience. “I’ve seen many of the children grow up and I’m happy to be a big part of their lives.”
Faith Frazier is the accounts receivable assistant for BCH Administration in Thomasville. She is a positive ambassador to the donors and constituents with whom she come in contact. Frazier gladly serves where needed and is cross trained to fill in when others are out of the office.
“It a privilege to work for BCH,” Frazier said. “I’m proud to work for such a wonderful cause.”
Wendy Hoover is the cook at BCH’s Weekday Education program in Thomasville. Her work ethic is above reproach and she comes to work everyday with a smile on her face.
Tammy Morrison is the cook for Camp Duncan in Aberdeen. No matter how tough a day one of the girls has experienced, that camper is excited to receive a smile and a meal from “Mom Tammy.” Morrison remembers every girl’s birthday and makes her favorite cake.
“I get to love on the girls and see God change their lives,” she said.
Deborah Pope serves at Kennedy Home in Kinston as a family care worker. Pope’s trust in God helps assure the mothers and children she aids that God has a plan for their future despite their current challenges.
“To God be the glory for what He has done and for what He continues to do,” Pope said.
Ricky Rouse serves in maintenance at Kennedy Home (KH) in Kinston. Rouse coordinated for more than 15,000 volunteers who helped at KH after it was devastated by Hurricane Matthew. In addition to Kennedy Home, he also maintains McNeill Home at Indian Beach.
“I’m just an old maintenance man,” said Rouse. “This is not a job –– it’s somewhere nice to be and to be with the people, too.”
Donna Rhue is BCH’s IT assistant/trainer in Thomasville. She is known for her joyful demeanor and her positive attitude. Rhue does her job humbly often deflecting attention away from the vast skill and knowledge she possesses.
“BCH is very much like a family.” she explained. “I’m thankful that God has given me the opportunity to work in this wonderful place.”
Diane Schwall serves as a senior child care worker alongside husband Richard. She has a deep-seated love for God and works tirelessly to ensure all the needs of the children in her care are met.
“God has given me the desire of my heart to care for children,” she said.
Gaye Thomas serves in Thomasville as senior administrative assistant for BCH’s Developmental Disabilities Ministry (DDM). She is known for the love she has for her family and the attention to detail she gives to her job.
“I believe what DDM has accomplished, we have accomplished together,” she said. “That makes a difference in our residents’ lives.”
Read Baptist Children's Homes' stories at www.bchblog.org