2017 Christmas Wish List

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The Children’s Home 2017 Christmas Wish List is now available!


Santa Claus is very jolly as he’s preparing his sleigh of gifts for The Children’s Home! However, both Santa and The Children’s Home need your help to make Christmas Day and our annual Christmas Event (private event) very special occasions for those we serve – our families and children! We have approximately 140 children in our Foster Care program and an additional 40 youth and families in our TLP/ILP and Family Housing programs.


There are two great options for you to help make this a wonderful Christmas for our children and families. You can donate gifts from our Christmas Wish List OR contact The Children’s Home Christmas Coordinator to sponsor a child and/or family.


Please deliver your tax-deductible gifts to The United Methodist Children’s Home Tucker office on or  by Tuesday, December 12th. Delivery hours are  Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Please ensure donated gifts are new and unwrapped for the security and enjoyment of the families and children we serve. Also, please place all gift cards inside envelopes, along with the accompanying receipts (and separate the gift cards from unwrapped gifts).


Requested Donations:
Visa gift cards
Amazon gift cards
Publix gift cards
Kroger gift cards
Infant and toddler clothing
Children’s clothing (up to children’s size 16)
Cloth and board books for infants and toddlers
Baby and toddler toys
Gender-neutral toys (arts & crafts, LEGOs, educational, pretend play, musical instruments, etc.)
Ride toys (toddler, age 4 and up)
Bikes (ages 4 – 8)
Bike helmets
Diaper bags
Pull-Ups (sizes 3,4,5,6)
Baby care supplies (crib sheets, baby gates, teething rings, safety items, pacifiers, etc.)
Sturdy suitcases or duffel bags
Dolls (emphasizing a variety of ethnicities)
Passes, tickets, memberships to local attractions
Books from our list of new foster homes:

  • Hootah’s Baby  by Joanne Green
  • One for the Murphys  by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
  • Maybe Days  by Jennifer Wilgocki and Marcia Kahn Wright
  • Kids Need to Be Safe  by Julie Nelson
  • Families Change by Julie Nelson
  • The Whole-Brain Child  by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
  • The Connected Child by Karyn P. Purvis, David R. Cross, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine


Passes, Tickets, Memberships

This year, please consider a gift that may ignite a budding passion or career! The families and children we serve are often excluded from activities they cannot afford. For example, tickets to an Atlanta Hawks or Silverbacks game, the movie theater, Zoo Atlanta, or the Georgia Aquarium allow them to experience events they may never otherwise experience without your help. Finally, please share this information with your neighbors, friends, and congregations. Your generosity and thoughtfulness go a long way with our families.


Feel free to download and share the PDF version  or the JPG version of our 2017 Christmas Wish List.
UMCH_Christmas Wishlist_2017.indd










Contact our Christmas Coordinator at christmas@umchildrenshome.org or (404) 327-5856 for additional information.

UMCH Welcomes Rev. April McGlothin-Eller


2017 April


The United Methodist Children’s Home (UMCH) welcomes Rev. April McGlothin-Eller. Effective, August 1, April has been appointed to UMCH as our newest Church Engagement Manager based from our Newnan district office. April comes to UMCH as a Deacon in Full Connection and most recently served the church while appointed to Garrett-Evangelical Seminary where she led as Director of Development. Raised in New Orleans, April and her family have deep ties to Georgia—her husband, Rev. Vince McGlothin-Eller hails from Covington, GA.


April will partner in ministry with church leaders in the western and southern areas from The North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church to sustain our mission of restoring children and family from trauma through Jesus Christ.


Welcome April!



UMCH Wishes Foster Parents Robert and Gloria Osborn A Happy Retirement

Robert and Gloria Osborn
UMCH Foster Parents


Robert and Gloria Osborn have lovingly fostered more than 75 children over the past 19 years. The Osborn’s are deservingly retiring soon and The Children’s Home wishes this special couple a very happy retirement. The Children’s Home mission is to restore children and families from trauma through Jesus Christ. Our mission cannot be fulfilled without the Osborn’s dedication to fostering, along with our several other wonderful UMCH foster parents.


Today marks the last day of National Foster Care Month. The Osborn’s were featured in the spring 2017 edition Signposts that highlights three long-standing foster parents and their dedication to the ministry of fostering. As The Children’s Home wishes Robert and Gloria Osborn a happy retirement, we treasure their parting words of wisdom as shared in Signposts.


Robert and Gloria Osborn apparently like big numbers. They’ve been married for 45 years, have been members of the Ray of Hope Church for 30 years, and have seen 76 foster children come and go out of their Ellenwood home over the course of the last 19 years. The last one just left, when the child transitioned to another family for the purpose of adoption. But that doesn’t mean Robert and Gloria, who are both retired, are going to sit back and rest on their laurels. They continue to be active with The Children’s Home, supporting other foster parents, participating in training sessions, and, most importantly, serving as an example for future foster families as well.


What called you to become foster parents?

Gloria: My mother was a foster parent. I was young, and at the time, we lived in a two-bedroom house. The foster child was a little boy, and after a certain age, he had to leave because he had to have a separate bedroom. It hurt me when he left, and I never forgot that. I also had an aunt who was a foster parent, and we grew up knowing her foster kids. I think she had like 38 different kids.


What is the most challenging thing about being a foster parent?

Gloria: When the children first come, after being taken away from their home, they’re scared, and it takes you a while to get them comfortable. The saddest thing is the details of how they ended up coming into foster care and the things that were going on in the home, and hoping that their parents get their lives together.


What is the most rewarding part of being a foster parent?

Robert: When the kids come up to you and hug you and they tell you that they love you. And seeing them either going back home or going to be adopted.


How have your family, friends, co-workers, etc. reacted to your fostering all these years?

Gloria: The first thing they always say is that they couldn’t do this, that they would get too attached. And you do get attached. But our calling is to take care of them until they find a place for them. You get in your mind that you’re going to give them the best care and get them as stable as possible so that they’ll be able to move on to a better home. And you’re so busy trying to get them up to speed, because they’re so behind on where they should be in school, manners, and just all kinds of stuff, when they either get to go home or they’re adopted, you’re glad for them. And you know they’re going there being as stable as possible and being able to love the people.


What advice would you give to potential foster parents?

Robert: It completely changes your life. Gloria: You realize that there are so many children that are in dire need of help and in dangerous situations and that you can help them, and you can love them, and let them go on to a permanent situation knowing that you did the best you could for them. It’s a calling, for sure. God has put this in your mind. So you do what needs to be done to help them.


Do you have any additional thoughts regarding fostering you’d like to share?

Gloria: It’s an awesome experience. It’s amazing to see how the kids just blossom, and it’s like, wow, I helped do this.



Rev. Lindsey Solomon Joins The Children’s Home, Guides the Ministry’s Expansion Throughout Eastern Georgia

May 1, 2017


Rev. Lindsey Solomon has always had a passion for equipping the saints for the work of the Lord (Ephesians 4:12) and opening their eyes to the need around them.


Appointed by the Bishop and the Cabinet of The North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church, Rev. Lindsey Solomon has joined The United Methodist Children’s Home (UMCH) as church engagement manager. Reporting directly to Rev. Dave Allen Grady, director of church relations, Lindsey will lead The Children’s Home mission to restore children and families from trauma through Jesus Christ to congregations throughout eastern Georgia, with special emphasis in the Greater Augusta area.


lindsey_solomonOriginally from Woodstock, GA, Lindsey graduated from LaGrange College in 2005 with a BA in Religion.  She spent her college summer vacations as a counselor at Camp Glisson.  After college, she became a youth minister at Sam Jones United Methodist Church. In 2009, she went on to receive her Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology.  While in seminary, Lindsey was a youth minister at Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church.  Lindsey was commissioned as a Provisional Elder at Annual Conference in 2014 and was appointed to serve at Kennesaw United Methodist Church as an associate pastor.


She and her husband, Kris, have three wonderful children and two dogs. Kris and Lindsey joined UMCH in ministry as foster parents in 2015 as they realized that the church has a tremendous responsibility and opportunity to support children and families who are experiencing hardship.


At the onset of Lindsey’s appointment to The Children’s Home, she will serve in ministry from the Decatur campus and relocate to Augusta this summer with her family.




Press Release: The United Methodist Children’s Home Agrees to Sell Campus to City of Decatur; Funds from $40 Million Sale Will Serve More Children and Families in Crisis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                                                

April 17, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. ET



John P. Cerniglia, Vice President, Development


404.327.5838 office

770.710.7663 mobile


The United Methodist Children’s Home Agrees to Sell Campus to City of Decatur; Funds from $40 Million Sale Will Serve More Children and Families in Crisis


Decatur, Ga. – (April 17, 2017) – Responding to the growing needs of the children and families it serves, on April  12 the Board of Trustees of The United Methodist Children’s Home (UMCH) agreed to sell the ministry’s 77 acre campus to the City of Decatur.


The Decatur City Commission approved the purchase at their April 17, 2017, Commission meeting held earlier this evening at Decatur City Hall. Proceeds of the sale – priced at $40 million – will help UMCH reach more children and families in crisis in new communities across North Georgia.


The sale terms include preservation of the historic Moore Chapel and the gravesite of UMCH’s founder Rev. Dr. Jesse Boring.


The sale also creates a preservation covenant honoring the unparalleled tenure of Bev Cochran, former CEO of UMCH, who led the ministry for 43 years, from 1968 to 2012. The City of Decatur and The Children’s Home agreed to name the existing administration building at 500 South Columbia Drive – which will remain in use by the City – in memory of Cochran, touching the lives of thousands of UMCH alumni, their children and grandchildren.


The City of Decatur will determine and announce its plans for the remainder of the property and its existing buildings and resources.


Rev. Hal Jones, The Children’s Home President and CEO, put the sale decision into perspective.


“Funds from the sale will help The United Methodist Children’s Home to greatly expand local, community-based ministries in towns and cities across North Georgia, in partnership with many more churches,” said Jones. “Since January, when the Board voted for approval of a sale, I continue to be energized by the decision which embraces the changing landscape in providing services to children and families while empowering UMCH to deliver on, and continuously improve, its important mission.


“We are grateful for the City of Decatur’s collaboration with us to preserve our historic Moore Chapel, which will offer our alumni, and others with strong ties to UMCH, a permanent place to celebrate and honor our history,” added Jones. “The determination of our UMCH Board, UMCH leadership team, and the City of Decatur leadership moved in harmony with voices of alumni, partners and neighbors, all of whom expressed commitment to preserving the great legacy symbolized by the Chapel.”


City of Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett said the City of Decatur is uniquely positioned to be the trustee of this resource and the purchase provides a long-term legacy for generations to come.


“The purchase of this property fits with the City’s mission, vision and values and is an investment for current and future families and children,” said Garrett. “The City of Decatur will conduct a community-based master planning effort for the future use of the property once the sale is final and the city has possession of the property.“


It is anticipated that the sale will be closed and final in the summer, with the UMCH vacating by late summer or early fall 2017.


UMCH currently houses approximately 80 individuals on campus who are a part of the Family Housing and Independent Living programs. UMCH is committed to providing uninterrupted services and continued support to its residents and will work with them on relocations based on individual needs. In general, current and future residents will move from group home cottages on the campus to more modern, safe and appropriate housing primarily in DeKalb and Fulton counties.



Sale funds important mission in perpetuity


Some of the proceeds may be used to help with UMCH’s relocation plans, with all of the proceeds ultimately set to serve more children and families across North Georgia.


Most of the proceeds from the land sale will be invested in UMCH’s endowment. The endowment is managed by a professional fund manager, which the Board oversees.


The proceeds from the sale will be used to serve more children and families who face trauma and seek restoration. And the funds will be used so UMCH may expand its ministries into communities not currently served, such as Augusta, Rome, Dalton, LaGrange, Griffin, and other areas.


Proceeds from the sale will also help expand all existing ministries including Foster Care, Family Housing, Independent Living and Transitional Living, in metro Atlanta, and in new communities as well.


A brief overview of how the proceeds from the sale will serve more people includes:


  1. The City of Decatur pays UMCH $40 million
  2. UMCH invests approximately $30 million in its endowment, with the balance spent on costs associated with the preserving the chapel, the sale, leasehold improvements for residential housing and offices across north Georgia, and relocation
  3. $1.5 million is earned in the marketplace annually from the $30 million invested, which is a five percent return on investment
  4. The $1.5 million is used to bring all four of UMCH’s ministries to communities where people need assistance, such as Augusta, Rome, Dalton, LaGrange, Griffin, and other areas. At least 60 more people are served annually, every year in perpetuity, as a result of the sale.
  5. UMCH’s impact grows from 240 people served daily, today, to over 300 a day after the sale, relocation and expansion are all completed


 Informed by research, sale decision made with precedent


The Jan. 17 UMCH decision and April 12 sale confirmation was informed by precedent. The organization’s DeKalb property originally featured 226 acres, but over the years and in response to evolving needs, 149 acres were sold as the focus of the ministry changed.


During 2016, UMCH leadership embarked on thoughtful research and consideration of how and where the organization might expand its ability to deliver on the organization’s mission and to keep up with, or anticipate, the times in which the organization now operates and ministers.


The Board’s decision to sell is the result of careful evaluation of many options, and their decision will set a course for an exciting future while increasing UMCH’s ability to achieve its mission – to restore children and families from trauma through Jesus Christ.



Unlocking resources while facing an endless challenge


This decision to sell unlocks the capital needed to reach more children and families in crisis. Sample estimates indicate funds from the sale will help to greatly expand local, community-based ministries in towns and cities across North Georgia, in partnership with many more churches.


Though initial projections reviewed by the board, UMCH estimates the organization will serve approximately 63 more people every year, in perpetuity, as a result of the decision. UMCH has pledged its firm commitment to provide high-quality, uninterrupted service to all its clients, including those living on its campus today.


Currently, there are 13,000 Georgia children who have been separated from their families, and who are in State custody due to neglect, abuse or abandonment; this is a number that has doubled over the last five years.


Every week, when called on by the State, UMCH must currently turn away 30 children who need a loving foster home, because of limited resources. And each week families at risk of homelessness are turned away for the same reason.


“The sale greatly enhances our ability to address these challenges and reach more children and families in need,” said Jones.


UMCH staff will continue to work at the current campus until employee needs are determined and new spaces are selected in anticipation of the City of Decatur receiving ownership. UMCH will select office space in many of the communities it serves across North Georgia.



Preserving a legacy more than 145 years in the making


The UMCH Board is committed to honoring the organization’s historic legacy of service, and as such the group continuously explores new and more effective ways to bring needed resources to children and families in need. It was in that spirit that the decision to sell took place.


The decision honors the legacy of The United Methodist Children’s Home in two ways. First, it applies resources to the greatest need – to serve children and families; and second, the decision includes an aim by the Board to retain a small parcel of the DeKalb property to honor the historic home.


“The Board’s vote to sell in January, and the sale announced today, each were critical steps on a journey forward,” said Jones. “We will continue working collaboratively with all of those who have embraced our mission, and have partnered with us in accomplishing it.”


“I am intensely proud and humbled by UMCH’s history, the impact of our current work and ministry, and the enormously positive effect this decision will have on so many more people in our future,” said Jones. “Too many organizations tend to balk when the values they espouse are tested. Our Board did not hesitate when presented with the opportunity to operationalize our values of agility, embracing change and continuous improvement, and loving people.”



Donations and volunteers still needed; popular flea market open in July


Jones added that the need for financial donations are needed now more than ever as there is a continuous need to serve thousands of children and families. Those interested should please donate online at www.umchildrenshome.org or continue to mail donations to 500 S. Columbia Drive, Decatur, Ga., 30030.


“The sale of our land does not reduce the urgency of assisting people in need,” said Jones.


UMCH is committed to its longstanding partnership with its Auxiliary – the team of 200 faithful volunteers who operate the flea market – and UMCH will work closely with the Auxiliary to find a suitable location for us to continue to operate the flea market sales for years to come.


UMCH continues to need volunteers, especially for its growing foster care ministry. For volunteer opportunities and details, anyone interested should please visit the UMCH’s volunteer pages online at www.umchildrenshome.org/ways-to-help/volunteer/.


The UMCH encourages anyone interested to share ideas or questions by calling 404-327-5867. Additional information is available at www.umchildrenshome.org or www.decaturga.com.


About The United Methodist Children’s Home


The United Methodist Children’s Home was established in 1871 in Norcross, Ga., to care for children orphaned during the Civil War, and has evolved to serve children and families in a ‘continuum of care’ model. It envisions a world where ‘all children are raised in a loving, compassionate and nurturing home.’ And it works every day toward its mission ‘to restore children and families from trauma through Jesus Christ.’ Since 1973, UMCH has cared for over 6,000 children in safe and loving foster-care homes; it provides safe housing for at-risk young adults and prepares them to make positive life decisions and become productive, independent, citizens; and it strengthens and preserves at-risk families through safe housing and support services. Today, UMCH serves over 240 children and adults a day in 40 counties across North Georgia, and it delivered over 56,000 days of care in 2016.  For more information visit www.umchildrenshome.org.


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