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Volunteer engagement director has servant’s heart

Volunteers give of themselves to help others. Volunteer North Carolina Baptists and other friends giving to help the most vulnerable have been an essential part of Baptist Children’s Homes’ (BCH) rich history.

“Our volunteers are so important,” BCH Executive Vice President, Development and Communications Brenda Gray says. “We welcome and depend on them. Volunteers who freely give of their time and resources add in every way to the success of our mission.”

It has been a part of Gray’s vision to enhance the relationship between the day-to-day ministry and volunteers. To accomplish this goal, a director of volunteer engagement (DVE) has been added to her staff.

“I could not be more thrilled about Kristyn Butts joining the development and communications team,” Gray says. “Kristyn feels

called to this task and has made an impact from day one. She looks forward to recruiting new volunteers while working closely with those who have served throughout the years.”

One of the first things Butts did after joining Gray’s department was email her new coworkers. She expressed her joy in serving with them and addressed her desire to help and to work together to meet the needs of BCH clients, staff, and facilities through the ministry’s volunteers. Her spirit shined through, signing off with “Joyfully Serving Him.”

The new director of volunteer engagement’s focus is to enhance the volunteer experience while directing a comprehensive volunteer program that meets identified needs at all BCH locations.

The DVE provides the planning and strategic direction for volunteer activities in support of BCH’s vision and mission.

“It’s my hope that volunteers feel they are an active, daily part of the ministry, serving to meet real needs while becoming part of the total fabric of BCH,” Kristyn Butts asserts. Butts understands the value of service. She was raised in a military family. Her father retired as a career Marine. Her mother served through public education. It was not unexpected for her to marry a serviceman and spend 19 years as a public school teacher.

“I feel called to serve,” Butts says. “It’s a part of who I am. Serving others and ministry is important to me and my family.” She and her husband Jason have made family and the raising of their twin daughters and son a priority. The couple draw from their childhood

experiences, determined to “be the center of the children’s lives.”

Fifteen-year-old Logan is a high school sophomore. Madison and Morgan are seniors and heading to college. Despite being very

close, the girls are going to different schools and pursuing different careers. The parents model self-sacrifice, intent to

imprint the three with a desire to serve others.

Butts began with BCH, serving as part of its foster care and adoption program as a case manager in 2022. Feeling God leading, she left her career as a special education teacher.

“Leaving was the farthest thing on my mind,” she says. “But it was the perfect thing. It was about God’s timing.” Butts was aware of

displaced children and those in foster care. She and Jason

welcomed a student to live with their family for two years. “We wanted to help.”

Foster care was different than being a teacher. But it was much the same. She knew how to build relationships and, just as an educator, she served to help children and meet their needs. Six months after joining BCH, Butts became a foster care licenser and recruiter based at Kennedy Home in Kinston. “I fell in love with the ministry,” Butts says. “I was committed to my task, but my heart was stirring again. I had no idea what God had in store for me.”

She was experiencing success, working with 26 families. It made sense. Her classroom experience had prepared her to train foster families. But her desire to serve and the realization that God’s plans are not always her plans prompted her to respond to an inner-agency email.

Butts realized she would need to step out in faith. She knew becoming the new director of volunteer engagement would stretch her, but she was ready—confident God was leading her to serve again.

For information about serving as a volunteer at Kristyn Butts can be contacted at 336-943-3862 or

Written by Jim Edminson, Editor of Charity & Children

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