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Adults with special needs vital to Baptist community

In 1987, March was declared National Developmental Disabilities

Awareness Month. The emphasis includes raising awareness of those with physical and/or intellectual as well as learning and

behavioral impairments. BCH’s goal is to raise people’s awareness of adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities within

communities and celebrate their inclusion in spiritual and social life.

The month-long awareness campaign seeks to highlight how people with and without disabilities can come together to create stronger, more vital communities in churches and neighborhoods.

In 2000, Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) created a ministry for adults with special needs. With the encouragement and support of North Carolina Baptists, BCH’s new Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Ministry (IDDM) took shape. Today, BCH provides nine cottages for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities in six North Carolina communities. The family-style homes provide a safe living environment for up to six adults with special needs. The homes operate in a Christian atmosphere which includes spiritual enrichment, preparation of nutritional meals, transportation, enhancement of daily and independent living and social skills.

BCH is now developing a network of

The AFL in-home program, known at BCH as "Special Families for Special Adults," invites individuals and families to open their homes as a safe, stable living environment for an adult with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

BCH is actively looking for AFL in-home providers. For more information, contact Stefanie Effler by calling 828-275-3394 or email Learn how you can help at an IDDM cottage. There are maintenance and social activity opportunities.

Interested individuals or churches can contact BCH’s Director of Volunteer Engagement Kristyn Butts by calling 336-943-3862 or emailing

To learn how to help financially, contact Brenda Gray at 336-474-1230 or email her at

Written by Jim Edminson, Editor of Charity & Children

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