Alumni Day 2016 – Celebrating and Remembering

Alumni Day 2016 was held at the Macon campus of The Methodist Home on Saturday, August 20. Alumni, along with family and friends, attended and reminisced on their time living here at The Home.

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They were able to spend time reconnecting with fellow alumni and looking back at photos from their past. They also enjoyed time playing Bingo and winning prizes.

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The alumni, family and friends were able to take a tour of the Macon campus, connect with staff members, enjoy a delicious lunch, and spend time in fellowship.

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Each alumni brought special family members and friends with them to enjoy the homecoming activities. These people are influential in the lives of the alumni, and enjoyed being able to see where they grew up.

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A special prize was given to one of the alumni, a handmade quilt.

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James Kent, our oldest veteran alumni, spent time telling stories of his time at The Methodist Home. He also told stories about his time as a prisoner of war. Mr. Kent has served in World War II, along with other conflicts.

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The day concluded with a Memorial Service in our chapel in the Rumford Center. The alumni remembered the lives of those lost in the past year.

After the memorial service, the alumni had an ice cream social with our residents. They spent time together and shared stories.

It was a great day of celebrating lives changed, remembering lives lost, and sharing wisdom.

Brandon Approaches Life’s Challenges with No Hesitation

story piece Brandon 130Brandon came to live with us when he was 12 years old. He and his brother needed a safe place to live and the guiding support of The Methodist Home. Despite those difficult circumstances, he arrived with a smile on his face. Even at that young age, Brandon faced the challenges in his life with “no hesitation.”

Now, three years later, he is a bright, athletic and focused young man. He has dreams of studying marketing/management and has set his sights on becoming the CEO of a large company one day.

As you may have guessed, Brandon is wild about sports. He plays both offense (fullback) and defense (middle line backer) for the Camden County Wildcats. Football has taught him much over the years, like “how to use mind over matter” meaning when you are nervous before a play, take on a winning attitude and “just do it…go plug that hole and make the play.”

Aside from athletics, including a budding career in wrestling, Brandon is a solid A/B student. While living at The Methodist Home, he has realized there are many good folks here to help him become a responsible young man. He is proud of the fact that he has improved in keeping his room tidy and is a likable guy. Describing himself as a quiet person, he said, “It might be tough to start a conversation with me, but I am the kind of guy you like to be around. I am worth it.”

Brandon claims the key to his success is to “trust what you have been taught and go for it with no hesitation.” We believe him and know his positive “can do” attitude, his desire to succeed and his winning smile will help him along the way.

At The Methodist Home, we put every effort into enriching our resident’s lives spiritually, creatively, academically and physically, in order to allow them to reach their full potential.

Ty…A Young Woman with a Strong Backbone

Ty is one step closer to her goals!

Ty is one step closer to her goals!

Life has not always been easy for Ty.  She has experienced more trauma and pain in her 17 years than most folks see in a lifetime.  Each time, she has picked herself up, dusted herself off, straightened her back and walked on, determined to do better! “I don’t look back at my past…I move forward to my future.”

 

There was a period of time where she left the home, but she came to realize The Methodist Home offered her far more opportunity than the other alternatives available to her.  She chose to come back, finish her education and plans on succeeding in life.

 

“At The Methodist Home, I have gained a bunch of self confidence, found new opportunities and learned to be independent.  I take responsibility for myself, clean my room, do my chores, complete my homework and help out around the cottage.”  When asked what motivates her to do more than most teens in these areas, she proudly proclaims, “Because, one day, I will be a home owner!”

 

She also offered words of advice for other kids in foster care, directly and with passion, “Keep your head up, no matter what you have been through!  Don’t let others judge you by your past.  Be strong, be independent.  Re – create yourself and be better than you were before!”

 

Ty’s goals include graduating high school with honors, signing up with the Army Reserves, going to college so she can become a critical care or combat nurse.  She credits Miss Willie Ann (her advocate at the Methodist Home) as a major motivator in her life.  “If I drop off my efforts by 1%, Miss Willie Ann stays on me…she is like a mom and coaches me step by step, always telling me she believes in me.  Now I believe in myself!  I am so proud I have grown my own backbone!”

 

Thank you for helping girls like Ty!  Your support provides her with the best chance to succeed in life.

 

Christmas Memories

The Christmas season at The Methodist Home is a wonderful time. Kids are given gifts, volunteer, and really get to know the true meaning of Christmas. Here are a few of the kids’ favorite things at Christmas- in their own words.

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Charlette

“During Christmas we have a little thing called Birthday Party for Jesus and other Christmas events we attend. But my favorite by far is the candlelight service on Christmas Eve. It’s really fun… Dr. Jeff (Lawrence) reads the Christmas story and I usually sing O Holy Night. At the end, everybody lights a candle and sings Silent Night… I’m telling you. It’s a sight to see!”

 

 


 

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“Tommy”

“I liked all the presents and we got to go outside and ride our new bikes.  I liked the Woodmen of the World party because they had puppets and gave us cookies and ice cream.   And,  I liked the Birthday Party for Jesus because we did a skit and I got to be in it.”

 


 

Katelynn

Katelynn

One of my most favorite things about Christmas is the weather.  I also love all the Christmas lights and decorations.  I enjoy waking up with the anticipation of Christmas morning and having a great deal of happiness around me.  Another thing I love about Christmas is getting to write a Christmas list every year.  It always makes you feel like a little kid again.  No matter how old I get, Christmas spirit will never get old.”

 

 

 


 

Xavier

Xavier

“I really liked when we did our skit and we got to sing  “Happy Birthday to Jesus.  And, I liked when the church came to our cottage and they gave us cookies.  Plus, I really, really liked when we woke up real early and got to open our Christmas presents.”

 


 

Destiny

Destiny

“One thing I love about Christmas is God.  He has brought me through so much.  Another thing I love about Christmas is the love.  I enjoy being able to spend time with my brothers and family.  One of my most favorite things about Christmas morning is the laughing and happiness.  That is what Christmas is all about to me.”

 

 


 

Victoria

Victoria

“Christmas means time with family. It also means time with staff and friends.  It’s a time for prayer and the celebration of the birth of Jesus.”

 

 

 


 

Evelyn

Evelyn

Christmas means spending time with the cottage. It’s also a time to sing holiday songs. It means helping others and celebrating the birthday of Jesus.”

 

 

These memories are only possible with your support. Donate here to give Christmas memories this year.

Donor Spotlight: The Cannon Family

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the Summer/ Fall 2014 Gateway. Please sit back and read about these generous donors.

Margie and Buck Cannon

Buck Cannon’s family left a legacy gift in memory of Mr. Cannon. Pictured are Margie and Buck Cannon.

Charles “Buck” Cannon passed away in June 2011. He was a dedicated Christian and active, lifetime member of Abbeville United Methodist Church. He was a farmer in Abbeville with a Mechanical Engineering degree from Georgia Tech. Mr. Cannon is described as an outgoing person, friendly, and one who enjoyed people. He was a generous man and wanted to help people. He valued hard work and education. Maybe that is why he gave bigheartedly every year to The Methodist Home’s Workday.

Mr. Cannon’s wife, Margie, and his children, James Oscar Cannon and Ellen Cannon Mizio, decided to honor his memory with a generous donation to The Methodist Home. Mrs. Cannon said, “He would want the money given to The Methodist Home.”

The gift will create a legacy of helping kids working hard to overcome their circumstances. It’s an amazing way to honor the memory of a loved one. If you would like to learn more about making a generous gift in memorial of a loved one, please contact Alison Evans at 478-751-2800.

Back to School and New Beginnings

Shamonte is a rising freshman in high school. He is full of excitement about the coming year. Shamonte’s true love of music has him in the marching band this year.

Shamonte is a  freshman in high school. He is full of excitement about the coming year. Shamonte’s true love of music has him in the marching band this year.

Shamonte is a quiet and polite young man. He doesn’t talk about before he came to The Methodist Home. He does talk about his time here. Entering high school this year, he is excited about the future and looks forward to meeting new people. Going to football games is something Shamonte can’t wait to do!

He is off to a good start—making Honor Roll in his eighth grade year. He was a straight A student for three semesters and received A’s and only one B in one semester. Shamonte studies and says he is a fast learner. Usually, if he’s given an example, he gets it.

A true love of music resides in Shamonte’s heart. He began playing the flute in seventh grade. In eighth grade, he tried the trumpet because it was needed in his middle school band. He now is in the advanced class for trumpet and the marching band at his new high school.

Band camp during the summer was a new experience for Shamonte. He had to learn how to walk and play his instrument! “I enjoy it although it got hot!” says Shamonte of the camp. When asked what he likes about the trumpet the most, Shamonte says, “the trumpet does the melody so you know the song.”

A grounded young man, his expectations for his freshman year are realistic. He wants to try new things and be more active at school. Along with band, he is also registered for chorus. Shamonte says his first priority is to keep his grades up. When asked about his plans beyond high school, he says he has always wanted to be a Technology Engineer, dealing with computers.

Can you encourage Shamonte and others to reach their education and career goals? Do you support his desire to keep music as an important part of his life? Will you help kids like him as they learn and grow? 

 

 

Evening of Hope’s Guest Speaker is Dan Reeves

The Methodist Home's Evening of Hope features Dan Reeves as Guest Speaker

The Methodist Home’s Evening of Hope features Dan Reeves as Guest Speaker

The Methodist Home will host its 6th Annual Evening of Hope event on October 8, 2015. The Macon campus event will feature speaker Dan Reeves, former Atlanta Falcons coach.

“I am proud to announce that we will have Coach Dan Reeves as our guest speaker at the Evening of Hope event.  Coach Reeves is originally from Americus and is very familiar with our mission. Coach Reeves has participated in more Super Bowls as a player and coach than any person in history.  He is best known for his time as Head Coach of the Denver Broncos and our Atlanta Falcons.   Dan is a great Christian man and will deliver an inspiring keynote on behalf of our organization,” says Todd Bennett, Chief Development Officer for The Methodist Home for Children and Youth.

About Dan Reeves

Dan Reeves spent  23 years coaching for the Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons. He played or coached in a record nine Super Bowls – five with the Dallas Cowboys, three with Denver and one with Atlanta. Prior to coaching, he also spent 16 years in the Cowboys organization – five as a player, three as a player/coach and eight as an assistant coach.

Reeves was born in Georgia in 1944. He attended the University of South Carolina, where he played quarterback from 1962-1964. He was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1977.

In 1965, Reeves signed as a free agent with the Cowboys. Over eight seasons as an all-purpose back, Reeves amassed 1,990 rushing yards and 1,693 receiving yards. His best year came in 1966 when he scored 16 touchdowns, which tied him in the NFL that season for most touchdowns. Reeves finished his playing career as the Cowboys’ fifth all-time leading rusher. The Cowboys made the playoffs every year of Reeves’ playing career, reaching the Super Bowl twice and winning Super Bowl VI with a 24-3 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Reeves’ coaching career began when he joined the Dallas coaching staff in 1970, taking on a dual role as player/coach for three seasons. He was a full-time offensive backfield coach in 1972 and spent 1973 in private business before rejoining the staff again as backfield coach in 1974. He accepted the job of offensive coordinator in 1977.

In 1981, Reeves was named head coach of the Denver Broncos. During his 12-year tenure in Denver, Reeves guided the Broncos to six post-season appearances, including five divisional titles, three AFC championships and three Super Bowl appearances (Super Bowl XXI, XXII and XXIV). He was the only AFC coach in the decade of the 1980s to lead his team to consecutive Super Bowl berths. His overall record in Denver was 110-73-1.

In 1993, Reeves left Denver to become head coach of the New York Giants, where he served as head coach for four seasons and compiled a 31-33 record. In his first season, he led the Giants to an 11–5 record and a berth in the playoffs, the best record ever for a Giants first-year coach. Reeves was named the 1993 Associated Press Coach of the Year after helping the Giants improve from a 6-10 record the year before.

In 1997, Reeves was named head coach of the Falcons, where he coached for seven seasons and compiled a record of 49-59-1. After going 7-9 his first season, Reeves led Atlanta to its greatest season in franchise history and was named NFL Coach of the Year in 1998. That year, the Falcons went 14–2 in route to winning its first NFC Championship and a berth in Super Bowl XXXIII, where they were defeated by the Broncos, 34-19.

In 23 seasons, Reeves overall coaching record was 190-165-2.

After coaching, Reeves got involved with broadcasting and served as a NFL analyst for Westwood One. He currently resides in the Atlanta, GA area with his high school sweetheart  of 46 years, his wife Pam. He and Pam have three children – Dana, Lee and Laura – and six grandchildren. For Dan Reeves Official Website, click here.

About Evening of Hope

Evening of Hope is an invitation only event which obtains funds to care for abused and neglected children at The Methodist Home. The evening is a sit down dinner with a guest speaker. For information on the event, please contact The Methodist Home at 478-751-2800. To RSVP, go here.

The Main Building

This article was written by a former resident, Zimmie Irwin Goings. Mrs. Goings lived at The Home in the 1940’s and gives us a glimpse into days gone by and a building that no longer exists on our campus. In honor of Alumni Homecoming Day, I hope you enjoy a little piece of history.

Zimmie on the front steps as a teenager.

Zimmie on the front steps as a teenager.

by Zimmie Irwin Goings

It is sad that … because of its age and all that it gave of itself to so many children … it exists no more.  It was built in the 1800’s: a tall, three-story brick building with large white columns on its expansive front porch … an outdoor haven from the rain … a place for evening games … with wide brick stairs where we could play “May I,” “Thimble, Thimble,” that went down to the sidewalk where we jumped rope … stitch-starched until we were dizzy … a porch that fronted onto lawns with oak trees large enough to offer secret places for “hide ‘n seek” … or all about them to catch lightning bugs in our hands on warm Georgia summer nights … it saw many children come and go … lives formed … and oh, I’m sure those old walls could have told a myriad of stories.

Indeed, that is where we played many outside games on summer nights … enjoyed a large evergreen out on the lawn close to the Main Building, which was decorated with lights at Christmas for all to see … It was in that wonderful old house that we looked forward to decorating our Christmas tree in the long living room that covered the whole width of the rear of the main floor … where we also looked forward to the day after Thanksgiving when we would huddle around the radio … and yes, I say “radio” … and wait for “Santa Claus” to come … listen to his sleigh bells announcing Christmas … where we also huddled around the same large radio together in the dark and listened to “Inner Sanctum Mystery,” and “The Shadow” and wondered which of us was the most scared.  With radio, you know, imagination could and did play a large role.

It was there that we played board games on Saturday … where in my beginnings at least there were two bedrooms on that floor with eight little white iron beds in each room, lined up side by side … whose mattresses we dared not jump on, but did … whose slumbering little occupants were awakened in the mornings to the banging of radiators and the sound of a bell … not an alarm clock but a large gonging bell pulled by a rope.  And … all before day came.

On Christmas Eve we used to climb on top of the wardrobes in the bedrooms and peek through the transom above the door and wait for Santa Claus to come.  The “big boys” came with gifts to put beneath the tree in the living room, and someone looked like Santa Claus to our young eyes.  I guess we were on the borderline of wondering if it were truly Santa Claus or if it was the “superintendent’s” son … dressed like Santa Claus.  Christmas was large to us because we didn’t have it every day … And one can never underestimate what it means to small children.

On the front door level of the Main Building was a playroom where we were allowed to go on rainy days and some other days to play with our dolls or whatever toys we were fortunate enough to have … always under the watchful eye of our matron, “Miss Lillian.”  In another adjoining room, some of us learned to dance “the Minuet,” taught by someone from Wesleyan Conservatory.  As a matter of fact, we were allowed to dance The Minuet with little boys.  Again, I say, boys!  A little boy named Bobby Clark … with blond hair and blue eyes and freckles across his nose … much like my very own … dressed in a powder blue suit … was my dancing partner.  We were probably seven or eight years old.  We could have been brother and sister to one who didn’t know that we were merely brother and sister of consequence … and spirit.

We learned to sing as a glee club in that room.  We were privileged to welcome the advent of television in that room … black and white television … and were allowed to watch it on Sunday nights … Sunday nights only.

In the meantime upstairs in the wonderful living room sat the old radio where we’d listened so often to “Inner-Sanctum Mystery,” “The Shadow,” and waited to hear the jingling bells of Santa Claus.

Yes, it was different then.   And our memories come from a day that was different in many ways from the today we know.  And we are made better in various and sundry ways because of that time.

– First published in the 2008 Christmas Gateway

 

Earning My Green Thumb!

Earning My Green Thumb

Quintavious is earning his green thumb this Spring by planting and taking care of a garden.

Before Quintavious came to The Methodist Home, he grew up around farmers. He saw watermelon, cabbage, and tomatoes grow every spring and summer. He enjoys working with his hands so he decided he would grow a garden.

A smile grows on Quintavious’ face as he describes his garden. It took hard work digging and making the bed ready for his plants. He studied different plants and decided he would grow hot banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, and tomatoes. They are some of his favorite foods.

They are like my babies.

Quintavious takes care of his plants because they are like his babies.

He planted just before Easter and a cold snap had Quintavious worried. As he checked on them he explained, “They are like my babies.” When he saw the plants, he realized they were going to make it. It was a huge relief. Quintavious takes care everyday to check on the plants. He waters them when it doesn’t rain. It is a commitment he wanted to make. He says he is “earning my green thumb.”

Quintavious is looking forward to eating his bounty. He has begun looking for recipes he can use to cook his vegetables. He plans to share his crop with his friends in the cottage. He can hardly wait!

Would you encourage other children like Quintavious to be productive by your support?

Blasting Off: How You Help Our Kids Go Beyond Their World

Did you know that many of the jobs for today’s elementary aged kids are yet to be defined? The Methodist Home equips our children for tomorrow’s future jobs with knowledge in the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math through fun activities like making model rockets.

Rocket

Price Education Center, the Macon Campus school, uses model rockets to teach Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to get kids fired up.

Building Possibility

The day starts at eight in the morning. The usually sleepy children are full of energy. Excitement fills the room. Today was the day. After countless weeks of studying gravity, aerodynamics, thrust, and how rockets and airplanes work, they get to build their first model rocket! The kids are split into groups of about five. An adult is at each table ready to help. As they begin, each step of the process is explained. The kids are asked, “Why are we doing it this way?” An answer explaining safety follows. When finished, these rockets will weigh one fourth of a pound each and can go 800 feet up in the air when launched. As they begin to pack the chutes that will bring the rockets back to the ground, the teacher asks, “If it goes up, what happens then?”

A group says in unison, “It comes down!”

“And why does it come down?” asks the teacher.

One little boy jabs his hand in the air. “Because of gravity!”

Yes! They were paying attention. The teacher takes this opportunity to reinforce some safety guidelines for when they launch the rockets.

If the kids were rockets, they would be blasting off with excitement right now! It is time for the custom paint job. Each child gets to pick three colors. The designs start coming to life. One boy says, “This is fun!”

One girl thinks, “It’s cool!”

Rocket Man

One boy gets ready to launch his rocket with the help of his teacher.

One boy gets ready to launch his rocket with the help of his teacher.

The rockets are left to dry and a week later the kids get to fire them off. A girl’s face lights up when the rocket goes into the air. A boy does a fist pump at a job well done when his rocket soars. Those are the moments when kids are kids and dreams find clarity. Suddenly, these children see themselves as a NASA scientist or a pilot. They envision a future full of possibilities.

Your continued support fuels dreams and equips these children for a future of possibility. Will you do more to help inspire our kids?



Ways You Can Help