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Christmas Wishes Come True at The Children’s Home

On Saturday, Dec. 10, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived to The United Methodist Children’s Home for our annual Christmas event to celebrate the holidays with the families and children we serve. More than 300 foster families, family housing residents, volunteers and staff joined together to celebrate Christmas at The Children’s Home. Most importantly, your generous love, support, gifts, and donations helped make Christmas wishes come true for our families and children.

 

Special highlights:

  • 57 families participated in this year’s Christmas shopping event
  • Over 90 volunteers contributed countless hours of service on Saturday
  • 145 children took keepsake portraits with Santa and Mrs. Claus

As we celebrate this season of giving with our loved ones, the need for loving foster families has never been greater. There are more than 13,000 foster children in the state of Georgia this Christmas. Please consider opening your home to a child in need or making a tax-deductible gift this holiday season.

View our 2016 photo gallery

 

Photo credits: Melanie Jones and John Haugaard

 

Children’s Home Foster Care programs at a glance

The Children’s Home has served more than 100 foster  care children and youth in 2016  the Foster Care, Transitional and Independent Living programs, and our programs continue to help more youth for longer periods of time.

 

How you can help:

Help us recruit new foster parents. Spread the word to your friends and community that compassionate and nurturing foster families are needed.

 

Consider becoming a foster parent. Attend one of our informational meetings to learn more. IMPACT training, which is required for anyone wishing to foster or adopt through the State Foster Care System, is currently offered free of charge in our Decatur and Gainesville offices.

 

Learn more: Contact Denise Peacock in the Atlanta area; Contact Sondra Rogers in the Gainesville area; Contact Ashley Blocker in the Newnan area.

 

Season To Give: 2016 Christmas Match Campaign

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During this season of generosity, there has never been a better time to give to The United Methodist Children’s Home and create the biggest impact for your gift. Through the kindness of a few special and anonymous donors, your gift this holiday season will be matched dollar by dollar, up to a total of $94,000 until Dec. 31, going even further to help change the lives of children and families in need. That includes young adults like Kayla*.

 

Kayla’s childhood was exceptionally hard. In a true sense, her childhood was lost. She experienced the trauma of her father’s unexpected death when she was very young, and Kayla’s mother was addicted to drugs. For years Kayla suffered from her mother’s neglect and abuse. Tragically, there was no one else in the family to whom Kayla could turn. When Kayla was 13 years old, the state intervened, but was unable to place her in a foster home, so instead she entered a group home. Then, at age 17, she’d reached the age where she had to leave the group home, and was facing the world alone.

 

Because of the support of people like you, Kayla found her way at The United Methodist Children’s Home. As a resident in our Independent and Transitional Living program, Kayla learned basic life skills she had never before been taught, and she gained experience and confidence as she honed those skills. She was able to build and manage a personal budget, find and keep a job, and even purchase her first car – all while completing the program. Most importantly, Kayla was surrounded by people who loved and cared for her.

 

Kayla set a goal of going to college and members of The Children’s Home team helped her complete college applications and secure financial aid. Today, Kayla is 21 years old, working part time and attending college. She and her beloved adopted dog live in an apartment that the Children’s Home staff helped her find and furnish, and she is flourishing!

 

It’s through YOUR support that we are able to help young adults like Kayla be independent. But there are more children and young adults who need our help. Please take advantage of this special opportunity for your gift to have twice the impact, as we continue to partner with you in this redemptive ministry.

 

Remember the words of Psalms 127:3, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.”

 

 Your gift to The United Methodist Children’s Home is tax-deductible, to the full extent allowed by law. Donate online at www.umchildrenshome.org or mail to:

The United Methodist Children’s Home
500 S. Columbia Drive
Decatur, Georgia 30030

 

But, hurry. Your gift must be mailed by Dec. 31 to be matched dollar for dollar, and for 2016 tax purposes.

 

From all of us at The United Methodist Children’s Home, thank you for everything you’ve already done, and for considering to give today. We hope you have a warm and blessed holiday season.

 

*Name changed for privacy

The Children’s Home Celebrates National Adoption Month This Thanksgiving

 2016 UMCH Foster Families Who Adopted

November is National Adoption Month, an initiative of the Children’s Bureau that has a goal to increase awareness and bring attention to the need for permanent families for children and youth in the U.S. foster care system. When you think of Thanksgiving, the growing list of “shopping” holidays, and Giving Tuesday, consider what a gift you would give a child if you fostered him or her.

 

Currently The United Methodist Children’s Home connects an average of 100 children to foster families each month, and we want that number to grow. In fact, with a goal of serving 500 foster children each month by 2020, we work to ensure that as many of Georgia’s children as possible know they can turn to us to help them through their transition before reunifying with their biological families, or secure an adoptive family to call their own.

 

As we at The United Methodist Children’s Home celebrate National Adoption Month, we celebrate the ten families that have adopted 15 of our children in 2016. We celebrate the families that are providing us success stories we can share as we work to grow our mission. To date, 11 families who adopted children through UMCH continue to foster with us.

 

In fact, 2016 was a year filled with wonderful foster-turned-adoptive family stories, including the Carpenters, the Pedens, the Rogers and the Sonnenfeldts. “Regardless of the outcome, many of these families say fostering is their calling, and we are so blessed that they wish to continue even after they’ve found a permanent connection with one or more children,” said Denise Peacock, UMCH’s foster care coordinator. “It is families like these that we truly celebrate.”

 

Mother’s Day this year brought a special gift to Ashley Carpenter and her husband Andrew, as they adopted siblings Kya and Kaidin, making them a party of five with their two foster children. Robert and Jennifer Peden adopted brother and sister Logan and Neveah in February, and are fostering another young child as well. Jimmy and Beth Rogers adopted Riley this past August, and two-year-old Karyn in February. This year marks three children this family has adopted during their fostering journey. And just last month, Brian and Brooke Sonnenfeldt adopted brothers Elijah and Aiden, while they also foster an infant.

 

For National Adoption Month, we celebrate these families, we celebrate God’s blessings on our ministry, and we celebrate your support of The United Methodist Children’s Home. Won’t you consider fostering? For more details, please visit http://www.umchildrenshome.org/ways-to-help/become-a-foster-parent.

Wish List: Christmas 2016

The Christmas season is upon us. We need your help to make Christmas Day and our annual Christmas Event (private event) a special time for those we serve – our families and children! We have approximately 100 children in our foster care program and another 70 residents on our campus.

 

There are two great options for you to help make this a wonderful Christmas for our children and families. You can donate from our general Wish List below OR contact our Christmas Coordinator to sponsor a child over age 8 or a family living on our campus.

 

All gifts are due to The United Methodist Children’s Home offices by Tuesday, December  6.  Donations can be delivered to our main office (Decatur)  Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. or Sunday, December 4, from 1 to 5 p.m. Please make sure donated items are new and unwrapped, so that our families feel the donations are valued and safe.

 

Photos from Christmas Event 2015

 

Requested Donations:
Visa gift cards (please put cards with receipts in an envelope, separate from gifts)
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
Diapers
Diaper bags
Pull-Ups (sizes 3,4,5,6)
Wipes
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 of our 2016 Christmas Wish List.
mini-2016-wish-list-pdf-graphic

 

Contact our Christmas Coordinator, Wendy Palmer, at wpalmer@umchildrenshome.org or (404) 327-5867 for additional information.

 

UMCH’s Director of Facilities Achieves FMP Certification

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The United Methodist Children’s Home congratulates Sergio Perez, Director of Facilities, on recently completing all requirements to achieve Facility Management Professional (FMP) certification from the International Facility Management Association. Sergio successfully passed four courses in Operations and Maintenance, Finance and Business, Project Management, and Leadership and Strategy ; thus ensuring the knowledge and comprehension pertaining to the foundation of Facility Management Operations.

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