Celebration Snow Day Armbands & Tickets On Sale

Celebration Day received a special surprise this year! We are getting snow! There will be a snow slide for kids of all ages! We are making it easy to spend more time in the snow! Ordering your armbands and tickets now will give you access to our Express Lane where you can pick up your package and go play!

Want to order armbands and tickets ahead of time? http://bitly.com/4Snow

As a special bonus: The first 75 armband and ticket packages will also include a light up necklace for each armband! Free! Online Only! Order here!

Celebration Snow Day!

We will still have all the things you love about Celebration Day- food, local market vendors, and the live and silent auctions!

*Silent Auction: 10:30-12, Live Auction: 1-2*

Join us for a family fun day filled with tons of activities!  

When: April 11, 2015  10:30 am- 2:00 pm

Where: 304 Pierce Avenue Macon, GA 31204

Tweet: The 1st 75 Armband and Ticket packages include 2 light up necklaces! Click to buy http://bitly.com/4Snow #CSnowDay

Welcome to My Cottage!

Home is where the heart is and one resident wants to share her home with you.

As you walk up the driveway to Collum Cottage, you see a neat manicured yard. There is a spring wreath on the door. It is easy to forget the everyday challenges faced by the residents behind the closed door. Flowers are beginning to awaken. It looks like any other house in Georgia. The quiet roadway is typical of your neighborhood. As you ring the doorbell, you are greeted by Miracle*, a shy resident at The Home. She greets you with a smile and says, “Welcome to My Home!”

 We first see a foyer and as we turn the corner, an open floor plan is revealed.  Comfortable furniture fills the room. You notice a TV and computers. Miracle explains they eat dinner in the Dining Hall Monday through Friday but have breakfast in the cottage everyday. On Saturday they eat every meal sitting at this table. She points to the table that seats 10. They eat breakfast before church on Sunday and then have lunch in the Dining Hall when they come home. Wednesday evenings, after chapel, they have dinner in the cottage.

 “What about the meals you have to fix in the cottage? Where do you fix them?” you ask.

 Miracle takes you to the kitchen. Here you see a kitchen with a large island in the center. She tells you that everyone has a chore at dinner time. You help cook, set the table, or clean the kitchen. “I always like it the month I get to take out the trash”, says Miracle.

 “Why? you ask.

 “Because its easy and I like to go outside. And I don’t have to clean the kitchen!”

 Now she takes you back through the living room into the family room and leads you down a hallway that you can turn left or right. She explains there are 10 girls living here right now. Some have a separate bedroom and some share a room with another resident. Miracle has her own bedroom. She opens the door to her room. It is brightly decorated with items she received at Christmas. You can tell Miracle is proud of her room as she tells you how surprised she was to get the exact comforter and pillows she asked for at Christmas. She shares a bathroom with two other girls. Can you imagine trying to get ready for school?  Everyone has to share a mirror!

 As your tour wraps up, Miracle thanks you for coming and waves goodbye to you from the door. She enjoys showing off her home. It isn’t where she came from but it is what she makes of it. Home.

 After seeing Miracle’s cottage, would you like to take a tour yourself? Did you know you don’t have to be affiliated with the United Methodist Church to schedule a tour? To set up a tour, click the link to the campus you want to visit! 

Americus

Columbus

Macon

St.Marys

Valdosta

*not real name

 

Clothing Room Volunteers Make A Difference

Clothing RoomRecently, The Gateway sat down with Heidi Ream, a Clothing Room volunteer, to talk about volunteering at The Home.

Q: What do you do as a volunteer in the clothing room? 

A:There are four of us who volunteer in The Clothing Room.  We are Hazel Couch, Doris Mountjoy, Heidi Ream and Kay Wangen.  We work together at least twice a month.  Every day we enter The Clothing Room we have no idea what will await us as we open the door.  People from all over Middle Georgia and beyond donate their new and gently used items to The Home. We also receive many new items from local businesses.   Our main duties involve sorting the many donations we receive.  We keep clothing, shoes, accessories and new socks and underwear. Everything else is sent to The Thrift Shop on the Macon campus.  The Thrift Shop has a dedicated staff of volunteers and their proceeds go directly back to The Home to benefit the children.  The items in The Clothing Room that are not selected by the children after a few months are also sent to The Thrift Shop so we always have a rotating inventory for the children to select from every month. The Clothing Room is organized into sections for boys and girls and then further separated by sizes.  The boys visit us one afternoon a month and the girls visit us one afternoon a month to make their selections.

An exciting thing is the connections we are cultivating with the other Methodist Home campuses in the South Georgia Conference.  We have had the girls from both the Valdosta and Americus campuses visit The Clothing Room. They often call us when they have a specific need and we are typically able to fulfill their requests.

One of our most generous business donors is Cato which gives us clothing, shoes and accessories.  The girls love jewelry and I have developed a hobby of repairing and recreating jewelry items from broken jewelry components.  The girls love accessorizing newly chosen outfits with jewelry.  We are always happy to accept costume jewelry, broken or whole, from our donors because it can almost always be refashioned into something the girls will love.

 

  Q: Why do you do it? 

A: I grew up in a frugal family and I love seeing things have a second life.   Hazel, Doris, Kay and I love seeing the look on the children’s faces as we help them select items just for them.  For some of the children it is the first time they have ever been personally helped to choose and coordinate outfits and they often are amazed when we tell them the items are free!  We also help them understand that people who don’t even know them have given of their own time and resources so that the children might be given the items we offer.  As volunteers, we enjoy seeing that message constantly reinforced throughout the campus so that the children will come to know how much they are loved and valued as individuals.

 

Q: Why should people volunteer at The Home? 

A: The mission of The Home is restoring childhoods.  Unless children are brought into a stable environment of love and security their chances of becoming productive adults are greatly reduced.  Being a volunteer at The Home, whether working in administrative tasks or directly with the children, helps ensure that the children at The Home have a better chance of a bright future.

 

Q: Why should people donate to The Home? 

A: The Macon campus alone has approximately 74 children and they are always growing!  The needs are never ending.  We are always in need of new socks and underwear and gently used or new clothing and accessories.  The children range in ages from first grade through college so the sizes we need are size 6 for children through extra large adult sizes.

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Brandon and the kids at The Home thank you for a Merry Christmas!

Brandon and the kids at The Home thank you for a Merry Christmas!

Brandon is a bright young man who has spent three great Christmases at our St. Marys’ Campus. One of his favorite memories was during last year’s Christmas when Adam Wainwright, a major league baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals, made a special visit to The Home and to present the boys with gifts.

Of course Brandon’s favorite time at Christmas is opening presents and meeting Adam Wainwright was a real treat! (His LSU hat is a cherished present because he loves LSU.) Other activities he enjoys are Christmas in the city of Kingsland and Christmas parties at Kingsland United Methodist Church and St. Marys United Methodist Church.

But Christmas is so much more for Brandon. He counts the Birthday Party for Jesus among his favorite things at The Home. Birthday Party for Jesus is a time The Home celebrates the gift God gave us all in the birth of His son, Jesus Christ. Brandon also enjoys volunteering at the Salvation Army. He rings the bell at Department Stores and helps stock the Salvation Army’s Warehouse.

So many people give so generously at Christmas that the kids at The Home want to give back as generously. The song “The Little Drummer Boy” comes to mind.

I played my best for him

Pa Rum Pa Pum Pum Pum

Then He smiled at me

Pa Rum Pa Pum Pum Pum

Me and my drum

 

The kids give what they have to honor what they have been given.

All Residents of The Methodist Home want to thank the many people who gave to make this Christmas one of the best Christmases ever. You are an inspiration to them. Not only is Jesus smiling on them, but on you as well!

Bicycling for The Methodist Home – Day 67

Day 67 – FINAL DAY – May 14 – Alpine, CA to San Diego, CA – 36.64 miles

Before bed last night we found another flat on Frank’s back tire. This time it was caused by a goathead. If you have followed us you have seen a picture of these thorny little nuisances. This one pierced the tube close to the valve. Frank had to get pliers to get it out. Upon further inspection on the rear tire he found 4 more goatheads and three pieces of wire or metal stuck in the tire. The front tire also had several goatheads and two pieces of wire. He got everything fixed up and ready for the last day of riding.

We had breakfast and coffee in our room from our food supply. We received a call from Derek McAleer asking if we could talk to some of the children at the Home at 9:15 am. Since the wind was still whipping around outside we welcomed a good reason to start later. When the phone rang we were inspired by the voices and comments we heard. Allison Evans said a prayer for us at the end of the conversation. This brought tears to our eyes. It was appreciated and greatly needed at this point.

We then got on our bikes and were rolling down the driveway. Alpine is on the side of the mountain above San Diego. We rolled for 4 miles before having to pedal over a hill, then more rolling for 3 more miles. The wind was behind us helping to propel us toward our final destination. We passed through a couple of towns on Mission Gorge Road. Then a climb snuck up on us! It was a 7-8% grade climb for almost a mile. While climbing we met another local cyclist going down the other side of the road. He turned around and caught us after the apex of the hill. He wanted to know our destination and beginning point. He generously offered any assistance we needed. After some bike talk and route talk we were on our way. It was down hill for quite a while again. We found the bike path to the ocean after several turns. Stopping at the path sign for a picture a cyclist stopped wanting to know our story. He then said we had only 4 miles to the ocean. It was surreal thinking the trip was almost finished. One last thing on our agenda was a tribute to a friend never known – Hal Kent. Hal began this same journey several years ago and was fatally hit by a drunk driver in Mississippi. We found a bougainvillea flower growing along the fence and retrieved a beautiful bloom from it. He would have passed the blooms at the end of his ride. Four miles of beautiful bike path went by fast. We were at the Pacific Ocean. The beach was surprisingly busy. We pushed, pulled, and dragged our bikes through the deep sand to the water and dipped in our front wheels finishing the tradition. We were finished with the journey. Many people came to ask us questions. Some cyclist came to congratulate us and offered to take our picture with our camera. Then it was finished, the journey we had planned for the last year. The journey for which we had trained. The journey for which we built our bikes packed for, and planned the long route. We left the beach and headed for our motel less than one mile away. We checked in, found a restaurant across the road, ate and discussed what now seemed like a dream.

We are in San Diego during a horrific draught and heat wave. The temperatures are at levels not seen since the 1800’s. Fires are burning over 1600 acres and people’s lives are being transformed and their homes are being destroyed. Our thoughts shift to the firefighters we met on the way and we hope and pray that the fires will be contained soon and no life will be lost.

We thank God for blessing us with this experience. It has restored our faith in humankind as God presents himself in us all.

The preceding is the personal blog of Susan and Frank May as they journey on a bike ride across the country to raise funds for The Methodist Home. Find out more here. You can support the work of The Methodist Home by donating in honor of The Mays here

Pictures from Day 67

Bicycling for The Methodist Home – Day 66

Day 66 – May 13 – Jacumba, CA to Alpine, CA – 46.01 miles

The Jacumba Hot Springs and Spa Inn was nice. It had been remodeled and reopened last year. The mineral springs feed the indoor jacuzzi and two outside pools. We spoke to several people who felt like the springs benefitted what ailed them. After a filling breakfast we started our ride to more climbing. We were again on Hwy. 80 and would be until we got to Alpine, CA. We immediately started to climb. Only 4.5 miles after we started Frank had a flat tire. While taking a picture of the mountains ahead, he ran over a 6 inch nail. It stuck in the rear tire and traveled around the fender. It sounded like the rear end disintegrated! Stopping fast we heard the air escaping the tube. While changing the tube another cyclist named Jesse, whom we had met yesterday came up and offered encouragement. He stated that he had eight flats and had to put on his spare fold up tire as well. Since this was only our second, Frank was not too upset about it.

With the tire fixed we were climbing again. In total we climbed 4,081 feet today with some hills at 14% grade. The wind was 25-30 mph sustained with gusts of 75 mph! For the most part it was at our backs. Cross winds made it almost impossible to ride blowing us 3-4 feet into the lanes of the road. My knuckles where white hanging on hoping that the wind would not blow the bike from underneath me. While crossing an I-8 overpass a gust of headwind brought us to a sudden stop! It was like we had run into a transparent wall. I had to get off of my bike and push it across the bridge. Frank went ahead and rode across. I just did not think I would make it without being blown over the side.

Pine Valley, CA was the last town before our last climb. We were passed by two Calfire trucks that stopped on the side of the road just ahead of us. They were headed to a wild fire in San Bernadino. They stopped to put on their gear before heading into the fight. Frank reached them before me. I was still fighting the wind. It really slowed me down. When I caught up to them Frank was speaking with the men and they gave us some much welcomed gatorade. We continued on and they tapped their siren when they passed us again.

The last hill of the day seemed to never end. The map said it would peak at 3,800 feet, but Frank’s Garmin said it peaked at 4,008 feet. Anyway, we did finally reach the summit and acknowledged it was the last major climb of our trip. Then it was downhill to Alpine. We found a room and just next door was the Alpine Brew Pub where we ate some Memphis style barbecue that was delicious then it was off to bed.

The preceding is the personal blog of Susan and Frank May as they journey on a bike ride across the country to raise funds for The Methodist Home. Find out more here. You can support the work of The Methodist Home by donating in honor of The Mays here

Pictures from Day 66

 

Bicycling for The Methodist Home – Day 65

Day 65 – May 12 – Brawley, CA to Jacumba, CA – 60.12 miles

We knew today was going to be a long one with a steep climb. Waking at 4:20 a.m. to get an early start and help to avoid the heat, we ate a filling breakfast and headed off toward Jacumba. A short ride and we were turning onto state road 86. We met another cyclist that was turning onto 86 as well. We spoke while riding and found out he had been visiting his mother in a nursing home for Mothers Day. His name was Ernesto and he was going back home to Imperial, CA. We told him the road we were looking for and he quickly told us it was a rough “peanut brittle” road and gave us an alternative route. We rode together for about 9 miles and parted ways after snapping a picture of him with his bike. He told us that he used to work in Ocotillo with the fireman and gave us his phone number and offered to call in a favor for us if we needed any help between where we were and there. It was so thoughtful of him to give us this information. It feels good to know that help is there if it is needed.

We found the road in El Centro we needed and turned toward Seeley, CA. The 19.5 miles from Seeley to Ocotillo was the worst road we have been on the whole trip. It was cracked and separated the entire way. In Plaster city we passed the US Gypsum manufacturing plant. Once in Ocotillo we ate lunch-food we carried. Several locals warned us about the climb ahead of us. One said it could not be done and that some cars could not make it. It was then time to start the climb. We were below sea level just miles back, now we were going to over 3500 feet in the next 10 miles. Most of the mountain was 7-8% grade with some places at 10-11%. One thing in our favor was the wind was at our back and it assisted us up the hills some. This was an area where we were allowed on the interstate I-8. Once over the summit we went through Devil’s Canyon. The interstate had signs warning of the 7% downhill grades for the trucks for 12 miles duration. We got to enjoy the downhill on I-8 for about 4 miles before exiting on Old Hwy. 80 to Jacumba. There was some more climbing before the thrilling downhill into Jacumba.

The mineral spring in Jacumba is the only one in the US with this high amount and quality of minerals. People come from all around the world to soak in it and some even drink it for the natural healing properties that it is believed to possess. We enjoyed soaking in them for about 45 minutes. It was very relaxing and seemed to relieve our tired muscles some, but we did not experience anything extraordinary. We enjoyed a good nights rest afterward.

 The preceding is the personal blog of Susan and Frank May as they journey on a bike ride across the country to raise funds for The Methodist Home. Find out more here. You can support the work of The Methodist Home by donating in honor of The Mays here

Pictures from Day 65

Bicycling for The Methodist Home – Day 64

Day 64 – May 10 – Palo Verde, CA to Brawley, CA – 63.13 miles

We awoke in the desert to birds familiar and unfamiliar singing and a breeze blowing through the window. Our host cooked eggs and made coffee freshly ground and brewed in a french press. We ate, packed our bikes, and filled our bottles with fresh filtered water that she had in a tank under her carport. Water is brought in every two weeks and a large stainless steel container is filled. The well water is plentiful but full of minerals – too many for daily consumption.

After a short bumpy ride on a dirt road we turned right onto state road 78 and headed to Glamis. This was the desert ride we had been warned about since the planning of our trip began. Extra water was a must on the desolate route. The chip seal road was up and down for 25 miles and there was no shoulder. There were many tanker and van trucks that gave us plenty of room. A border patrol station was a welcome place to take a break in the shade. One of the border patrol personnel was gracious enough to fill our water bottles. We watched the action for awhile as cars and trucks passed through their inspection. There was a large German Shepard in a cage and the usual flags, patrol cars and X-ray machine on site.

After we had a snack and cooled off some there then we were back on the road. We rode past Chocolate Mountain Naval Reservation Aerial Gunnery Range with all of the warning signs to stay on the pavement to avoid the bombing practices. We didn’t see, hear or experience anything of that nature, but it was a little unsettling. Thirteen miles later and we were in Glamis, CA. We don’t think anyone really lives there. There is a large convenience store and a large RV storage facility. Glamis is next to the Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area. Thousands of people come, mainly during the winter, to play on the sand dunes. From Glamis to the edge of the Dunes was 8 miles. The Dunes looked like the deserts on television with nothing but sand. The only thing missing was the camels. The Coachella Canal offers a place to stop for lunch. We sat on the bank, ate lunch and watched the birds and military planes flying overhead. There were birds nesting underneath the bridge and they would fly, darting under, out and around then back under again. Not sure what kind they were, but they looked like sparrows.

Four military planes practicing bombing patterns provided more lunchtime entertainment. They were doing high and low level drills for bombing according to Frank. I don’t know how he knows all of this stuff, but he is an encyclopedia of knowledge. The road into Brawley was flat with a slight breeze in our faces. We passed many large, flat fields growing onions and alfalfa. A extremely large cow breeding farm was on the right just before Brawley. There were hundreds of pens for the cows and they had solar panels overhead for shade. We entered Brawley and found a place to stay.

Tomorrow will be Mother’s Day and a rest day for us. High winds are also predicted for Sunday with gusts 30-40 mph. Once in the hotel, we showered and then walked a mile to a restaurant. The wind had already started picking up and the sand was pelting us much like it did in Las Cruces, NM. Frank treated me to an Italian meal for my Mothers Day gift, then we went to a nearby ice cream shop for dessert. We ducked around the corner to have our treat out of the wind and sand in an area with concrete tables and benches provided by the ice cream shop. We walked back to the hotel with the wind at our backs, watched a movie on television and went to sleep.

 The preceding is the personal blog of Susan and Frank May as they journey on a bike ride across the country to raise funds for The Methodist Home. Find out more here. You can support the work of The Methodist Home by donating in honor of The Mays here

Pictures from Day 64

 

Bicycling for The Methodist Home – Day 63

Day 63 – May 9 – Quartzsite, AZ to Palo Verde, CA – 48.57 miles

We were up and on the road early. Traveling on Dome Rock Road it was interesting to see that the desert is used for winter residential sites for RV’s. There were several miles of fire rings and roads meandering throughout the terrain on either side of the road. We were told by a local man that there are 3,600 full time residents in Quartzsite. During the winter months there are between 100,000 to 400,000 people depending on what is happening in town. They have rock shows, craft shows, RV shows and flea markets during the peak season. Of course there is Dome Rock where people hike, ride mountain bikes and ATV’s to reach the summit.

At the end of the road we had to use I-10 for about 14 miles. Bicycles are normally prohibited on interstates, but as we saw in Texas, there are no other roads to take in some areas so they are allowed on the shoulders. Interstate 10 took us to California – our final state. We crossed the Colorado River and took the second exit to Blythe. Once in Blythe Frank saw a barber shop. He needed a haircut after 2 months of growth. This was his first haircut in a barber shop in 15 years! The Flow-Bee has been his hair cutter during that time span and he touts that he has saved a lot of money with it. This cut cost him $12. We also stopped at a grocery store to stock up on food then ate at a local restaurant.

We had the wind in our favor until turning south on state road 78. We battled wind for 18 miles to Palo Verde. Palo Verde has a population of 171. We had a choice of staying in a populated noisy trailer park or riding 6 miles to a quiet 1958 trailer and home cooking. We took the later.

Our host, Nancy is an artist and yoga guru. She is also the postmaster for the small community. We shared what we bought to cook and she created a wonderful meal that was nutritious and satisfying. Conversations with her were enlightening to the world of living in a secluded area of the country and of self dependancy. She had it down to a science and seemed at peace with her lifestyle. After a shower and fresh water to drink, we climbed, literally, (used a step stool) to get into bed and slept very well.

The preceding is the personal blog of Susan and Frank May as they journey on a bike ride across the country to raise funds for The Methodist Home. Find out more here. You can support the work of The Methodist Home by donating in honor of The Mays here

Bicycling for The Methodist Home – Day 62

Day 61 – May 8 – Aguila, AZ to Quartzsite, AZ – 69.07 miles

What do straight roads, smooth roads, downhill roads and light winds have in common? Each makes a cyclist happy and we had all of these today. Happy, happy, happy! After we cooked breakfast we packed up and started toward Quartzsite. The ride started easy and got even better. We made good time to Wenden, AZ 23 miles away. There was only a small store open with not a faucet for water so we started to Salome, AZ. Frank spotted another cyclist sitting in front of a closed cafe so we stopped. We met Francien and Tijn from Denmark. They were very nice and had the most interesting bicycle we have ever seen. It was a tandem recumbant called “Back to Back”. The the rear passenger faces the rear, but is pedaling the machine forward. The “captain” is in the front and has total control over the path and requests extra braking power from the co-captain when needed. They were also wearing matching kits that had their path on the front of their jerseys and when they stood side by side, they were like two pieces of a puzzle completing the whole picture of their map. (see pics)

We bought some poweraide in Harcuvar, AZ just before we got to Hope, AZ. The lady at the store told us the water there was not filtered and therefore not safe to drink. Sometimes it is difficult in the west to stay hydrated. It is so arid that sweating goes unnoticed. We drink every 15 minutes and eat every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Speaking of eating, Frank said he ate the best bacon cheeseburger ever at Buckeroos restaurant in Brenda, AZ. From there, we had only four miles to get to I-10. This is one of the areas where there are no other roads available, so bicycles are allowed on the interstate. After a gradual two-mile climb it was a fast 10 mile downhill all the way to Quartzsite. Frank was still full from his giant hamburger so we bought some light food at a truckstop – salad and fruit, chocolate milk and ice cream, then headed for the motel where we did laundry, showered and went to bed.

The preceding is the personal blog of Susan and Frank May as they journey on a bike ride across the country to raise funds for The Methodist Home. Find out more here. You can support the work of The Methodist Home by donating in honor of The Mays here

Pictures from Day 62

Ways You Can Help