There are five stories that began in 2019 that you will want to watch in this coming year. They are picking up speed and will grow in their impact on the lives of children and families in 2020.
1. FAMILY FOSTER CARE
Thanks to the dedicated support of North Carolina Baptists and other friends, Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) Family Foster Care ministry is on a fast track.
In addition to the cottage-style residential homes, BCH is recruiting Christian couples to become foster parents. BCH provides the training and support needed for these families to become licensed foster homes.
Several churches are partnering with BCH creating their own foster care ministries. The churches provide support and community to foster families in their congregations.
Family Foster Care is a natural addition to BCH’s cottage residential program. Both ministries allow BCH to better meet the needs of the child in care.
In 2018 alone, 16,796 North Carolina boys and girls were removed from homes by North Carolina’s departments of social services. Parents are being crippled by addictions that include the addictions to opioid. As a result, BCH’s vision is to establish 100 foster homes, one in each of the state’s 100 counties by the end of 2020.
2. NEW PODCAST
BCH’s podcast “It’s a family matter.” with Dr. Michael C. Blackwell was launched in August, 2019 with the goal of producing eight episodes in the inaugural year. By the end of 2019, 22 episodes where recorded, 19 were produced, and 14 were made available through major podcast providers and at www.bchblog.org/podcast.
As host of the new podcast, Blackwell returned to his broadcasting roots. In his 36 years as BCH’s leader, Blackwell has used his voice to speak up for the defenseless and for those often overlooked. In the new podcast, Blackwell interviews a wide variety of guests from former BCH residents to personalities such as Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages. The five Chapman episodes will air consecutively one every two weeks beginning January 6.
3. EXPANSION IMPACTS FUTURE
Opening new facilities expands ministry opportunities both in North Carolina and beyond.
The Bob and Carolyn Tucker Greater Vision Center was dedicated on January 15. The Center was built with a lead gift from the Tucker family –– the founders of Shoe Show, Inc. The Harris family, who owned and operate Furniture-land South in High Point, provided the furnishing for the Center as well as Stokes Cottage at Mills Home. The children’s cottage was renovated thanks to a lead gift from Kenneth and Ruth Samuelson of Charlotte.
The ribbon-cutting for the Ammons Education Center located at Cameron Boys Camp took place on May 7. The 10,000 square -foot center was made possible by a lead gift from Justus “ Jud” Ammons and his late wife Jo Ellen Ammons of Raleigh.
Longtime BCH supporter and trustee Jay Westmoreland along with his family provided the lead gift for Westmoreland Family Children’s Home in Guatemala. The Home is named for Westmoreland’s father –– Dr. Ted G. Westmoreland. It’s home to seven orphans and is a complement to BCH’s affiliate –– The Good Shepherd Children’s Home.
4. ADOPTION PARTNERSHIP
BCH and Christian Adoption Services (CAS) have partnered to offer ongoing comprehensive foster care and adoption services to families throughout the state. BCH provides foster care expertise while CAS facilitates the adoption process.
The collaboration between the two nonprofits goes beyond supporting North Carolina children and families. Their efforts are also about providing quality placement options as the state’s child welfare system removes children from families at an alarming rate. In North Carolina, there are now 3,000 more children in foster care than there were in 2011.
5. GREATER VISION EXPANDS
The Bob and Carolyn Tucker Greater Vision Outreach Ministry continues to grow in its efforts to provide a pathway of help, hope and healing for the economically depressed, the spiritually discouraged, and the emotionally distressed. Through partnerships with other nonprofits and volunteers, families receive education and resources needed to achieve self-sufficiency. In 2018, Greater Vision impacted 71,946 lives in the following ways:
• 70,616 meals served
• 1,103 individuals received food, clothing, household items, and furniture
• 53 families (196 household members) were served by Greater Vision’s self-sufficiency program
• 31 individuals participated in a variety of training classes
In 2020, Greater Vision Ministry, based at Mills Home in Thomasville, is developing a new center at Kennedy Home in Kinston.
Article Written By Blake Ragsdale, Director of Communications