"Happenings at the Hall"
Wilmer Hall Children's Home
Pep rallies, football games, cheerleading, chorus and band... ordinary school activities in a teenager's life, right? From football practice to homework, many children struggle with everyday decisions about what subjects to take, what to wear, or who to ask to the homecoming dance. But imagine needing a safe place to live and food to eat in order to even attend school.
Meet Edd, LaBarron, Bethany, Breanna, Wesley, Jennifer and Verina. These extraordinary high school and college students live at Wilmer Hall and will tell you that their successes can be attributed to the encouragement and support they receive from Wilmer Hall. Having a safe place to call home where they feel loved has enabled them to thrive in their community.
Edd will be a junior at Murphy where he plays strong safety on the football team. This polite, soft-spoken young man says that he had trouble focusing on school work before coming to Wilmer Hall. But, with the help of the tutoring and mentoring programs, he is more focused and has big dreams for his future! Edd wants to be a mechanical engineer but says "If that doesn't work out, I'll go into real estate or computer technology!" This summer he has been working for Habitat for Humanity building houses.
LaBaron will be a junior at Murphy and he, too, plays football. He has dreams of being an entrepreneur after completing his education. "The summer programs really inspire me to want to do bigger and better things," says LaBaron. He has been working for Volunteers of America this summer. According to LaBaron, Wilmer Hall is the key to helping him achieve his dreams.
Bethany and Breanna both attend Murphy and excel in their academic and extra-curricular activities. Bethany was chosen for the Advanced Choral Program and Breanna was selected cheerleader. Bethany worked for the Boys and Girls Club this summer. With their bright eyes and pleasant smiles, these girls have set high goals for themselves. "Living at Wilmer Hall has taught us that we can achieve whatever we want!"
Wesley arrived at Wilmer Hall in May and will begin school at Murphy in August. This 14 year old young man is incredibly talented, playing both the trumpet and piano. After attending the summer music camp he was asked to play in the Murphy band.
Jennifer and Verina will both graduate from college in 2010. Jennifer will complete her studies at Bishop State and plans to continue her education in criminal justice at the University of South Alabama. Verina is a senior at Xavier University in Louisiana. This summer Verina had the opportunity to "shadow" Dr. Greg Sand, who very generously cares for all of our children, in preparation for her application to dental school.
These are only a few of our family stories. With 25 children (and more on the way!) we have many to tell! As evidenced by their accomplishments, you can see the difference your support is making in the lives of these children. Edd, LaBaron, Bethany, Breanna, Wesley, Verina and Jennifer exemplify what can be accomplished through providing children of abuse and neglect with a warm, loving and nurturing home where they can live, learn and grow both physically and spiritually. When surrounded by love and support they can reach their potential and, most importantly, they can learn to dream!
In order for all of us to continue this vital ministry of caring for children who have been abused or neglected and have no place to call home we must respond to the very critical needs facing us at this time. With our growing family it is necessary for us to expand. This expansion will require the renovation of two cottages. Our goal is to raise $103,000 for the renovation and also to offset living expenses for the children such as school fees, tuition, clothes, supplies, chorus, band and cheerleading fees. Because we no longer receive state funds we would greatly appreciate your contribution!
It is a joy being a part of these children's lives. I invite you to come see what we are doing, meet our children and tour the campus. With gratitude for your generosity and support, I am,