Blog

UMCH Youth Throws G-Braves First Pitch!

 

This weekend UMCH volunteers and supporters made a dream come true for one of our residents!

 

Steve Hart and Traci Pierce are big supporters of the Children’s Home and love introducing the residents to experiences they might not typically have access or exposure to. This past spring they led a fishing trip at Camp Glisson. Their latest big idea was to sponsor an outing to a Gwinnett Braves baseball game.  Steve and Traci are active United Methodist Men, and they got the UMM involved and energized!

 

This past Saturday the United Methodist Men teamed up with the Gwinnett Braves to present The North Georgia Conference United Methodist Church family night with the Gwinnett Braves. They invited our residents to go and arranged for free tickets! Some of the residents had never been to a baseball game before, and they had a blast.

 

The highlight of the night was that one of our youth had the honor of throwing out the first pitch!  Saiquan is a HUGE baseball fan. He was excited and nervous at the same time and said that would be a moment that he would always cherish. He also had a really good throw!

 

 

All of the residents mentioned how much fun they had and how they would like to be able to experience similar events in the future.  Everyone was grateful to Steve, Traci, and the United Methodist Men for making this an unforgettable experience for the Children’s Home, and especially for Saiquan!

 

 

 

2013 Church Offering

 

Be An Agent Of God’s AMAZING GRACE

 

Every fall,  we ask every church in the North Georgia Conference to take an offering on behalf of the United Methodist Children’s Home. We count on the generous giving from each of you to meet our expenses and provide our services, and we thank you for your support. Keep reading for more information and resources that we have available for pastors and church leaders. If you are a member of a United Methodist Church, please check with your pastor to encourage participation – our children thank you!

 

This year, we are asking your church members to make the most generous offering you are able to make. Why? Because we have to turn away, on average, 15-20 children every single week due to lack of resources and lack of available foster families. Your generous donation allows us to recruit and train new foster parents; to feed, clothe, house, and educate the children and teens entrusted to our care; and to provide temporary housing for homeless families. We are loving and responsible stewards of your money and your confidence, and take that responsibility very seriously. Please join us as we share God’s Amazing Grace with the children and teens we serve by making your donation today.

 

Thank you again for all you do to make this offering a significant source of support to the Children’s Home every year. Your gifts make this ministry to hurting children and families possible! Together we agents of God’s Amazing Grace!

 

 

Decatur First’s awesome party for our foster families

 

UMCH Foster Parents and the children in their homes were treated to a special Appreciation Event on Sunday, July 28th by volunteers from Decatur First United Methodist Church. Wendy Snell, Betsy Skelton, and Sydney Floyd from Decatur First had thought of everything!

 

 

Children spent time painting flower pots, making and eating ice cream sundaes, and enjoying a scavenger hunt through the church while parents received special awards and gifts plus gourmet snacks and goodies. Even the teens were treated to an outing at Fellini’s Pizza during the event!

 

 

All families went home with diapers as needed, school supplies, and Chick-fil-A gift cards!

 

 

It was a fabulous event enjoyed by our foster families and over 30 children!   It was a very special day for a special group of people! We are grateful to all who participated! Thank you, Decatur First, and thank you to our amazing foster families!

 

Learn more about foster care at UMCH.

 

Thirteen Graduates Inspire Our UMCH Family

 

The Children’s Home recently honored our 13 graduates and scholarship recipients on a gorgeous June afternoon.

 

UMCH Alumna and proud college sophomore Aleta Walker encouraged our residents. Aleta then introduced key note speaker Judge Vincent Crawford of the DeKalb County Juvenile Court.

 

Judge Crawford inspired everyone with his reminders “You always have a choice. So your decisions are going to matter. . . You can use the things that come to you as a disadvantage and use them to raise yourself up. You will rise!”  He also asked the graduates, “So what? Now what? You have a whole lot more to accomplish!”

 

Two residents won scholarships – in a tradition that dates back to our founding in 1871!  Graduation certificates were then awarded to our five high school graduates, one GED recipient, one Aveda Institute graduate and five graduates from the Child Development Association.

 

Five of our graduates reside in our Independent Living Program for youth, and seven are young mothers in our Family Housing program. We are immensely proud of them all!

 

The graduates, staff and special guests then enjoyed a delicious feast of barbeque provided by UMCH Board Member Mike Smith.

 

From children cheering on their moms, teenagers bragging on their friends, babies sleeping through it all, to staff and guests giving a standing ovation – it was a joyful family that gathered to praise God for our graduates’ hard work, perseverance and success.

 

Thank you for your gifts that make this possible.

 

What foster families inspire you?

 

May is National Foster Care month.

We asked our social workers: “What foster families inspire you?”

 

Tondra Stiles sent this reply:

 

All of them!! Each one of the families I work with has unique qualities that make them incredible foster parents. I feel so blessed knowing when I go home each night that I don’t have to worry about the children I’m working with, because they are all safe and well-cared for. BUT, if I had to give a specific example, I would tell you about the Andersons (name changed for privacy).

 

The Andersons became approved to care for children in December 2012, the day after Christmas. While they do not have any biological children of their own, they jumped right into fostering with a placement of two children almost immediately.

 

Those particular siblings came from a very affluent background, and had very atypical adjustment issues. Rather than not being used to having their needs met, they were unaccustomed to the urban city (the Andersons live in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta), pedestrians, and outdoor activities.

 

The Andersons were incredible with these two. They took them to hike Stone Mountain and showed them the diversity that exists in the city. They brought the kids to volunteer at a food pantry, which had a very profound effect on these wealthy children.

 

The Andersons really knew how to find what it is the children were lacking in their homes of origin – in this case, being humble and having quality outdoor family fun – and speak that into the children’s lives.

 

Their second placement was very different. Again, it was a sibling group of two (a girl nearly 4 years old, and a boy aged 6). The Andersons did not skip a beat with these children. The night they arrived they were full of energy, and a little frightened of the dark and a new house. The Andersons went on a “night walk” with flashlights to get the energy out, showing them where the sounds of the house were coming from (a MARTA train nearby, the dog next door, etc).

 

They immediately planned an awesome birthday party for the little girl, whose fourth birthday occurred just a couple days after being moved to the Andersons.

 

They have taken the kids to see snow for the first time in North Georgia, to the Botanical Gardens, the Aquarium, and most recently on a trip to Disney World for Spring Break!!! These children have had the opportunity for so many wonderful experiences that they may not ever have had before, thanks to the Andersons.

 

Most of all, the Andersons have really shown these children the love of Jesus.

 

They attend Inman Park UMC every Sunday, and their church community has really embraced the children. Their current foster children both love Sunday School and look forward to going.

 

Recently Mrs. Anderson was getting ready for an event at the church when her foster daughter asked, “Where’s Jesus?” Mrs. Anderson quickly answered that Jesus was in Heaven. Her reply was priceless: “No! He’s everywhere!” It doesn’t get much better than that!

 

Could your family show a child the love of Jesus by providing a loving, creative and caring temporary home? Find out more about fostering, and help us spread the word that we need more foster families!

 

 

 

 

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