Diplomas are just the start …

When you’re a teen in the juvenile justice system, and you’ve been told you’ll never amount to anything; and you don’t have the skills to get a job, open a bank account, or pay the bills; and maybe no one else in your family finished high school; and it doesn't matter anyway because you can’t go home any more ... education can change your life profoundly. This month we celebrated eight teenagers who beat the odds to earn their high school … [Read more...]

December Baby

By MHC President/ CEO Bruce Stanley Babies are a cause for joy no matter when they’re born; but in my experience as a pastor, the December babies always seem to generate extra excitement. I think that’s because the Nativity play is coming, and everyone wants to see a live infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, cradled by his mother, and placed in a manger on Christmas Eve. There’s something about a baby sleeping sweetly (or not) that so … [Read more...]

Experts in Care

Congratulations to our staff and foster parents who’ve shown through rigorous testing that they are adept in our model of care and equipped to train others. Besides skill, they have modeled perseverance, grace, and determination in their work to earn Lighthouse Certification. Lighthouse-Certified Program Assistant Amanda Ball, right, with In-Home Services Director Teneisha Towe. Amanda works in FACT Specialized Services day … [Read more...]

Hope for 49: We did it!

To our friends and supporters, you are amazing. Our Giving Tuesday goal was to raise $40,000 for 40 children by midnight, Nov. 29. When our deadline arrived, you had given $49,165. Thanks to you, 49 children like Jack will be in safe and loving homes during 2017. THANK YOU to all who gave and to our gift-matching angels! Please tell your friends about us! Like and share the Methodist Home for Children story on … [Read more...]

Advent Series 1: What’s in a Name?

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; a virgin shall conceive and give birth to a son, and his name will be Emmanuel. — Isaiah 7:14 By Bruce Stanley, President / CEO of Methodist Home for Children Pastor Richard Bryant has served overseas in a variety of ways. He was with the Associated Press in Bosnia and with the United Methodist Church in Armenia, Russia, and Ireland. He also served in Togo, West Africa, in the Peace Corps. One … [Read more...]

A Better Life

Everybody else has left the Johnston County Agricultural Center after a day of independent living lessons, but Dei’jion stays and watches a crew take down wall partitions. He points out the man who seems to be in charge. “Look at him. He is making money right now. I bet he’s got a nice house, nice car, nice family. I know he does. I’m going to get that. I am going to grind, to better myself, and do everything in my power to get that.” Dei’jion … [Read more...]

Meet the Manley boys

At home with the Manley boys: 5-year-old James, 4-year-old Jeffrey, and 4-year-old Amari Ask them their names and they reply in unison: We’re the Manley boys! And, indeed, they are. This preschool trio lives in Northampton County with Jeff and Jackie Manley, who became foster parents with Methodist Home for Children in 2010. The Manleys had talked about adopting a boy, maybe a newborn, after they finished raising their two daughters, … [Read more...]

Hurricane Matthew | Update

The caller sounded weary. "Is this Methodist Home for Children?" she asked. "Can you get a message to my son? He lives at one of your homes. Tell him we're all alive, but the house is gone. I'm going to a shelter now and will try to charge my phone, you know, in case he can call ... " The day after Hurricane Matthew swept through North Carolina, those of us at MHC home base in Raleigh gathered field reports and relayed messages like the one … [Read more...]

Experts in Care

Congratulations to our staff and foster parents who’ve shown through rigorous testing that they are adept in our model of care and equipped to train others. Besides skill, they have modeled perseverance, grace and determination in their work to earn Lighthouse Certification. Lighthouse-Certified Resident Counselor Christi Adkins, center, with Insight Assistant Operations Manager Katie Visconti and North Hills Program Manager Tamikca … [Read more...]

Pine Valley Market takes Copper Kettle

Photo Gallery | Every dish served at Wilmington's Epicurean Evening was amazing, and we thank all of the chefs who created a gourmet experience for more than 500 guests. Congratulations to our winners: Pine Valley Market and chefs Chris McCauley and Christi Ferretti won Copper Kettle Best in Show and Presentation Gold. They served an entrée of "Swing Season" Korean BBQ with corn purée, butternut squash and apple slaw, kimchi sauce, crispy … [Read more...]

Education Fair: Robots win the day

The Hertford County team took top honors at our 2016 Education Fair. The theme was Robots and, after hearing the words, "Please demonstrate, sir," each team member showed us the robot he had built. Well done, gentlemen! The teens from six homes worked with their on-site teachers to create and present projects on subjects they researched over the summer. Click to see other awards »  RUNNER UP  |  PARTICIPATION  |  TEAMWORK  |  MOST INFORMATIVE  … [Read more...]

The Truth About Trauma

Shelita Lee and Lashaunda Lucas are foster care supervisors at Methodist Home for Children Children come into care with all kinds of trauma: Sexual, emotional, or physical abuse. Neglect and abandonment. Exposure to domestic violence. Witness to a parent’s overdose or death. On top of that, no matter how bad it was at home, the act of being taken away and placed with strangers in foster care adds another layer. We provide our foster … [Read more...]

Meet Ethan

Living in foster care can be stressful, especially for brothers and sisters who've been separated. Summer camp gives them a sense of normalcy — a chance to be a kid and spend time with siblings, if possible. Our children go to three different sleepaway camps: Royal Family Kids, Rockfish and Don Lee. Meet Ethan. He’s just back from camp and it's all he can talk about. For a week, he got to play games, hike, swim, fish, and ride horses. Oh, … [Read more...]

Hackley to Students: Own your success and happiness

Former MHC Board Chair Lloyd “Vic” Hackley has a remarkable personal story of rising from poverty to become a U.S. Air Force officer, college administrator and champion for education and character. He also has a passion for helping young people – especially those marginalized by income or opportunity. Our scholarship and mentoring program was named in his honor in 2005, and he returns to Raleigh every summer to challenge and encourage students in … [Read more...]

Chasing Dreams, By Degrees | 2016-17

Congratulations to our students! On July 15, Methodist Home for Children celebrated new graduates and students in the Hackley Education and Learning Program. Known as HELP, the program provides financial support and mentoring to qualified students who’ve been through foster care, adoption and residential services. | Read more about HELP. Veronica Armstrong, UNC-Greensboro, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in sustainable … [Read more...]

Introducing Private Adoptions

Adopting one child won’t change the world, but for that child, the world will change. We are excited to announce our expansion into private adoption services at Methodist Home for Children. We have experienced, compassionate staff who work to connect expecting birth parents with families looking to adopt an infant. We make a lifelong commitment to the children who come into our care, and we walk alongside our birth and adoptive parents … [Read more...]

Meet Our New Board Members

The 2016-17 Executive Committee has been named and two members elected to the Methodist Home for Children Board of Directors, effective July 1, with four-year terms expiring in 2020. New to the Board of Directors: Marcus Green of Raleigh is compliance director at GlaxoSmithKline and a CPA licensed in the state of North Carolina. He earned undergraduate and master’s degrees from UNC-Wilmington and worked previously as a senior manager at Ernst … [Read more...]

Experts in Care

Congratulations to staff members and foster parents who’ve shown through rigorous testing and certification that they are adept in our model of care and equipped to train others. Besides skill, they have modeled perseverance, grace and determination in their work. Lighthouse-Certified Foster Parents Mark & Michelle Biondolillo. Lighthouse-Certified Foster Parent Felicia Blount, left, with Foster Care Licensing Specialist … [Read more...]

Leaps in Learning

Teens come to multipurpose homes as repeat juvenile offenders, and they’re often behind grade level when they arrive. It’s the job of our five on-site teachers and staff to help them catch up and shed bad habits. Standardized test scores show they’re succeeding: Last year, 86 percent of youth performed at grade level when they left our multipurpose homes, up from 65 percent when they arrived. From the Field: Melissa Pasek is a licensed teacher … [Read more...]

We are Hiring: Asheville

You can make a difference in the life of at-risk teens. We are hiring now for positions in a Juvenile Assessment & Crisis Center, opening soon in Asheville. Methodist Home for Children currently operates Juvenile Assessment & Crisis Centers in Butner and Winston-Salem to provide comprehensive assessments of court-involved youth. This partnership with the NC Department of Public Safety is expanding to Western North Carolina. MHC is … [Read more...]

Lessons in Independence

Tyanna gets career advice at the Independent Living Forum. The forum connects teens with educational and training programs and helps them build skills they need to transition into adulthood. | By Claudia Wiggins and Jonathan Rockoff | A University of Chicago study documents the struggles of youth who aged out of foster care: Unemployment — Fewer than half had jobs. Homelessness — Almost 25% were homeless after exiting foster … [Read more...]

The Stephensons

Carolyn and James Stephenson share their values and their sense of adventure with foster children in their home When instinct might tell other people to lock their doors, James and Carolyn Stephenson open theirs. They’re therapeutic foster parents with Methodist Home for Children, caring for runaways, gang-affiliated teens or whoever else comes to them through the juvenile justice system. They teach big life lessons like right vs. wrong, … [Read more...]

The Importance of Fathers

2016 Fatherhood Conference June 18, 2016 | 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. | Raleigh Convention Center | FRCFatherhoodConference.com | Ken Perry is vice president of operations for Methodist Home for Children and co-chair of the 2016 Fatherhood Conference | We know that one out of every two children in the United States will live in a single-parent home before reaching age 18, according to U.S. census data. About 84% of those custodial parents are … [Read more...]

June 2: First Chance for White Pants!

A Dance Party to Welcome Summer! It's First Chance for White Pants, a dance party in Greenville to benefit Methodist Home for Children. Put on your white pants (or favorite summertime party wear), grab your friends and step out for an evening of fun with Liquid Pleasure, the South's premier show and dance band. Food, wine and beer are included ... plus, a great auction to get your summer started. Buy tickets here» Auctions: … [Read more...]

Shared Parenting: Brenda’s Story

FROM THE FIELD | Cheryl Warren is a foster care specialist at Methodist Home for Children It’s the first rule of foster parenting: Foster parents must always place the well-being of a child ahead of their own emotions and desires to adopt. This often requires them to open their lives to birth families through shared parenting. Brenda Davis had always planned to adopt, and she thought she knew what to expect when she set out to become a … [Read more...]

Meet Harmony

  Her name is synonymous with peace and kinship, an ironic choice by her birth mother. There wasn’t a lot of harmony in her young life. But on Jan. 26 — Harmony’s 8th birthday — a judge’s signature changed that for good. She was adopted by Shonda R., her Methodist Home for Children foster mother. Before Shonda, home for Harmony was a place without rules or boundaries. It's the place where Harmony was abused by a relative and where her … [Read more...]

Modeling Excellence: Staff & Parents

Congratulations to staff members and foster parents who’ve shown through rigorous testing and certification that they are adept in our model of care and equipped to train others. Besides skill, they have modeled perseverance, grace and determination in their work. Lighthouse-Certified Resident Counselor Mikia Anderson, left, with Program Manager Tamikca Styles. Mikia works in the North Hills transitional living … [Read more...]

They’re worth it: A foster mom’s advice

FROM THE FIELD | Jonathan Rockoff is a foster care licensing specialist at Methodist Home for Children On April 2, 2013, Sylvia picked up the phone and set in motion a process that would forever change the lives of three children. She and her husband, Michael, called Methodist Home for Children with open minds, open hearts—ready to learn about becoming foster parents. It’s my job to take these initial phone calls and to train prospective … [Read more...]

How to quit a gang?

Signs, Symbols & Solutions  |  When the power is off at home, the refrigerator is bare and the parents aren’t parenting, gangs can have a powerful appeal to kids, even as young as elementary schoolers. An estimated 314 gangs are active in North Carolina, and by the time many teens come through the juvenile justice system to Methodist Home for Children, they’ve become gang-involved. Darian is one of them. He’s 16 now, but he was 11 and … [Read more...]

Found: Parents who let me be myself

Read WANTED by Lissa and Maia  |  Foster parenting is serious work—joyful, fulfilling and often exhausting. At its best, this is what it looks like through the eyes of a child. Brandie, 15, was adopted by David and Wendy Dilts, and she shares her list of best qualities in an adoptive family: A parent who truly cares about you and will listen to what you need to say or to get off your mind. Parents who try their best to make sure you see … [Read more...]

Wanted: Someone who loves me

Read FOUND by Brandie  |  Foster parenting is serious work — but from a child's point of view, it's pretty straightforward. It's all about stability and love. It's a home where you can recover from abuse, neglect and the trauma of being separated from your family. Here, Lissa and Maia tell us what makes their foster parents special. From Lissa, age 8: From Maia, age 13: Do you have what it takes to be a foster parent? … [Read more...]

Leap Like A Frog: Teaching with Movement

Blue tape marks off the banks of an imaginary pond on the Jordan Center's conference room floor. Around it, a dozen pre-kindergarteners are practicing their animal moves. They've been reading In the Small, Small Pond in their classroom, and on this day, they don't have to sit still while they listen. Teaching artist Gretchen Romanowski opens the cover and starts to read: First, they flutter like dragonflies over the pond. Then they leap … [Read more...]

Employee Excellence Awards

Congratulations to seven Employee Excellence Awards winners: Methodist Home for Children employees put in long hours to give a brighter future to children who need loving, structure, guidance and support. Read what their coworkers had to say about our Excellence Awards winners from 2015: Felicia Howard, Senior Operations Accountant | Recently promoted into her position from staff accountant, Felicia is consistently positive in her … [Read more...]

The Searcy Family

“Omar has always been the happiest kid—I mean he has the gift of happiness. I can’t even begin to say how many joys he’s brought into our lives.” —Nick Searcy Hollywood actor / director Nick Searcy and his wife, Leslie, have a connection to Methodist Home for Children that dates back to 2001, when they were living and working in Wilmington. They became foster parents to Omar when he was 15 months old, and they completed his adoption in June … [Read more...]

MHC Sunday Spotlight: Rev. Ray Gooch

Methodist Home for Children Sunday | Once a year, congregations in the NC Conference of the United Methodist Church take up a special collection for children and families served by MHC. Last year MHC helped more than 1,200 children and families thanks in large part to the generosity of United Methodist congregations. The ties that bond pastor Ray Gooch and Methodist Home for Children run deep. Now the pastor of a two-point charge in Chatham … [Read more...]

Jafari’s Story

Jafari came to the Hertford Multipurpose Home in January 2015 at the recommendation of a juvenile court counselor. A deep thinker and hard worker, he thrived during his time with us. While admitted, Jafari stayed on top of his coursework so he'd be on track to graduate when he returned to public school. He also wrote some powerful poetry. In Lost, he describes the heaviness in his heart when he came to Methodist Home for Children, starting … [Read more...]

Parents as Teachers: The Story of Luis

FROM THE FIELD |  Julie Stone, LCSW, is a family preservation specialist with Methodist Home for Children Luis was in 5th grade when I began working with him and his family. They’d been referred to me due to concerns by the New Hanover County Department of Social Services about the use of improper discipline in the home. Specifically, the referral stated that Luis’s stepfather had pushed him, causing him to fall down at the bus stop. Luis … [Read more...]

Guardian Angel Spotlight: Sandy & Tim Safley

God calls us to help the least among children—the forgotten, the lost, the abused and the neglected. At Methodist Home for Children, we do this with gifts from a loyal network of supporters. Every gift is a blessing. Our Guardian Angel Society honors those who, through their service and support, have made extraordinary commitments to those in MHC’s care. And we want to take time to show these angels that we love them. Sandy and Tim Safley … [Read more...]

Travel Raffle: Open to All!

Even if you can't join us for A Winter's Tale on Saturday, there's still a way to enter our Best of Travel raffle and support our great work. This year, we're opening the raffle to  friends who want to buy tickets online ($100 each). The winner will be drawn during the gala program but does not need to be present to claim the prize. Click here to see details and to buy raffle tickets. Best of Travel offers a trip for two, with airfare and … [Read more...]

Gala Speaker: Actor Nick Searcy

We're excited to welcome actor and director Nick Searcy to A Winter's Tale as our guest speaker, so we thought we'd share a couple of links before his appearance: Nick and his wife, Leslie, have a connection to Methodist Home for Children that dates back to 2001, when they were living and working in Wilmington. They became foster parents to Omar when he was 15 months old. Along with their daughter Chloe, Nick and Leslie welcomed Omar … [Read more...]

Guardian Angel Spotlight: Easter Maynard & John Parker

God calls us to help the least among children—the forgotten, the lost, the abused and the neglected. At Methodist Home for Children, we do this with gifts from a loyal network of supporters. Every gift is a blessing. Our Guardian Angel Society honors businesses and people who, through their service and support, have made extraordinary commitments to those in MHC’s care. As individuals and as a couple, Easter Maynard and John Parker are … [Read more...]

Sisters Use Christmas to Give Back

At first glance, Cora and Kassidy seem pretty typical of girls their age. Cora, age 8, loves ballet, playing guitar and reading. Her favorite color is pink and she wants to be Taylor Swift.   Her little sister has similar interests. You can find 6-year-old Kassidy dancing, jumping on the trampoline or singing along to Scotty McCreery. But there's something different about these two. Not even a decade into life, they've discovered that … [Read more...]

Guardian Angel Spotlight: Mutual of America

  Mutual of America has specialized in providing pension and retirement-related products, programs and services since 1945. The company has worked with Methodist Home for Children for more than 30 years helping hundreds of staff members save and plan for retirement. All of Mutual of America's employees share a mission to help clients and their employees secure their future, and they accomplish that goal by staying close to their … [Read more...]

Unspoken Gifts: From the Field

FROM THE FIELD | Teresa Oakley is a therapeutic foster parent. See more from Teresa in this UNC-TV series about foster care. Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. —Matthew 25:40 God provides many unspoken gifts, and I could not help but hear His word recently as I watched a foster mother comfort a little girl during our holiday party at Sky Zone Trampoline Park. I was in the midst of … [Read more...]