A Word from the President
When our staff walked outside the boys’ home and saw Dawson sitting on the porch and staring at his shoes, they were shocked. After 120 years of caring for young people, we don’t see many firsts anymore. However, this occasion was a first.
Dawson came to Holston Home for a short-term stay until he could start a specialized program. A week earlier he had left Holston Home to begin that placement, but he ran away and came back to the place that felt like home to him – Holston Home. He shared that while at his new placement he became upset and went to his room for more than an hour and no one came to talk to him. He said that at Holston Home staff would have checked on him “every five minutes” to see what was wrong and how they could help. Then with tears rolling down his face and sobbing, he told us that they kept talking about hell at chapel, and he missed being at Holston Home where he heard about how much Jesus loves him.
Dawson was not the only one shedding tears that evening or the days to follow. Our staff showed him love and concern, but then they told him he couldn’t just run away from difficult things and persuaded him to return to his placement. He agreed, but the story doesn’t end there. We contacted the decision-makers for his situation and told them that we wanted Dawson to “come home” when he finished the program. God must have wanted Dawson to come home too, because a week later it was decided that he needed to be here. Our dining area could hardly hold his smile when I saw him and welcomed him back. Dawson is home!
At Holston United Methodist Home for Children, our keyword is HOME. A home is a place where you are loved and accepted whether you hit a homerun or you strike out with the bases loaded. It’s a place where you are encouraged to be your best, while caring people wait for you to grow into your potential. Home is also where the people who love you pursue that relationship just because you are you. We are able to be that place for the youngsters we care for because Jesus does these things for us and has shown us how to do them for those He loves.
As we approach Thanksgiving I am so thankful for our kids, and I am so thankful for all of you who pray for them and come along side of us financially. We cannot do all we are called to do without your help. Thank you so much for helping us provide a true home to so many children this holiday season. May God bless you and your family at your home.
Bradley S. Williams