Campaign kick-off held

Baptist Children's Home announces challenge goal of $21.3 million
Jun. 17, 2014 @ 11:44 AM

The Baptist Children’s Home capital campaign has already raised $13.28 million since solicitations began in July 2013. At the public campaign kickoff held June 10 on the Mills Home campus, organizers announced a challenge goal of $21.3 million.

“That’s a big audacious goal,” acknowledged BCH Executive Vice President of Development and Communications Brenda Gray.

Like many families, Baptist Children’s Homes this month celebrated the achievements of its graduates – those who walked through its doors needing a home, a future and someone to cheer for them.

One of them was Kimani, who came to BCH at age 12 weighing only 32 pounds and wearing toddler sized clothing. He had endured years of horrific abuse, which included being locked nightly in a closet, starved and physically beaten. Through a caring home with house-parents and the other boys in his cottage, Kimani has his own bed and regular meals. He has grown from 3’ 2” to 5’ 2” and 125 pounds.

“He has a gritty spirit of determination and an unrelenting positive attitude,” said Presiding President and CEO Dr. Michael Blackwell.

Next month he is set to enter college.

“I am not going to give up,” said Kimani. “I have hope, I have a home and I have Jesus in my heart.”

The first child — nine-year-old Mary Presson — walked through the doors of what was then Thomasville Baptist Orphanage on Nov. 11, 1885. Since then, Baptist Children’s Homes Christ-centered ministry has offered hope and healing to children and families.

Thomasville cradled the original Mills Home campus which has expanded to 19 service locations with outreach to all of North Carolina’s 100 counties plus an orphanage in Guatemala. Organizers therefore felt that it was fitting that Mills Home was selected for the June 10 public kickoff of its capital campaign, held at the Family Resource Center.

Since 1885 thousands of children, developmentally disabled adults and families have been nourished through its caring services which include children’s residential, transitional living, family care, foster care, emergency care, continuing care, permanency planning, after-care, residential wilderness camping, teen mother and baby group home care, developmental disabilities ministry and weekday education.

In 2013, 6,900 children, adults and families received help.

BCH receives fees for services but as a nonprofit whose mission is to help families regardless of their ability to pay charitable funds are critical. Its revenues include 30 percent through church gifts, 31 percent fees for services and 39 percent donations and earnings.

“We all have something in common,” said Blackwell at the campaign kickoff. “”We are all here because you care about children and adults with difficulties. You care about  families in distress.”

Blackwell first set foot on the campus in 1954 when his church youth group “adopted” a little boy from Mills Home. For the past 30 years, he has been heavily involved.

If the base goal of $17.5 million is achieved, the nonprofit will devote $3 million to

ongoing renovation needs, $13.5 million for operational support and $1 million for endowment gifts which will allow the organization to continue into the future.

“Through this campaign we will provide services for 9,983 boys and girls, parents and adults,” said Gray. “Without this campaign, these precious children of God would have gone unserved.

“We want to make sure that there will be someone to wipe away the tears of every child who is crying; and that every child who is lonely is hugged.”

For more information or to make a donation, contact Brenda Gray at 336-474-1230 or