Read more from 2018 Calendar – 40 Days of Positive Actions and Thoughts Chart
Read more from 2018 Calendar – 40 Days of Positive Actions and Thoughts Chart
I wanted to send out an update on how the Christmas Store drive went here at OMHC. Because of generous donations of our community, BCC was able to impact 80 clients (66 families) from our OMHC this holiday season with our Christmas Store. Every year our youth and families look forward to picking out gifts for their loved ones and for themselves. This year the night lights, fidget spinners, jewelry and board games were a big hit.
This was the first year that I was involved in shopping for our youth and it was an amazing experience. All of the time and energy the volunteers put into the Christmas Store is really amazing and warmed my heart.
Below are some of the responses we heard from our families and youth after they selected their gifts:
Thanks again to everyone who helped support this effort it was AMAZING!Read more from Thank You From Our Outpatient Mental Health Clinic!
Alexander and Russell know the true meaning of Christmas is giving instead of receiving. For their birthday this year, the twins decided to donate their gifts to the children of the Board of Child Care.
They collected items for the BCC’s Christmas Store. Each year we set up a room filled with housewares, jewelry and gift baskets where children and their families can shop for loved ones at no cost. The Christmas Store is one of the many generous projects sponsored by our Volunteer Auxiliary.
To no surprise, Alexander and Russel’s gifts were grabbed up immediately as the store opened. The Denton boys are grateful to have a loving and supportive community.
Read more from A True Christmas Giving Story
2017 Baltimore Campus Christmas Store is up and running today and tomorrow. Here are a few pictures of the incredible setup and donations from our Auxiliary.
Read more from Baltimore Campus Christmas Store 2017
Written By Rebecca Dunkin, Development Associate at Board of Child Care
Images by Trina-Michelle Rosado, Training Specialist at Board of Child Care
A Special Birthday — A Day in New York City
One of our former residents is known for her personalized celebrations. Birthdays, graduation, discharge, every special event meant a personalized party on campus from this youth. Months before the event (while she was still at BCC) she would walk around asking staff for money excitedly sharing that it was for “Ms. Sarah’s birthday!” or “Samantha’s graduation party!” She made sure that all events were personally catered to the recipient’s favorite things.
For my birthday this year, she went over the top with a dog themed party. First, she invited two co-workers who each had puppies so I could get covered in wet slobbery kisses. Then she had decorated her apartment from ceiling to floor in decorations. The apartment was covered with cutouts, balloons, banners, streamers, and dog decor. She didn’t stop there. She also made food that was all dog themed. We feasted on pup-eroni (pepperoni) pizza, pup-cakes (cupcakes) and various other treats. (Please see the pictures below.) It was truly a memorable day and so very thoughtful.
A few months later, when her 20th birthday rolled around, I knew we had to make it something special. We (my co-workers and I) planned a birthday day trip to New York City where she would get to have a great new experience with her most favorite people. This was her first time in the Big Apple and we had a full agenda of birthday wishes. We strolled around Central Park and we watched the ice skaters at Rockefeller Center. We shopped in the big Lego store and in M&M World. We saw Time Square during the day and then again at night when it was lit up. To end the night we had her favorite food, a slice of New York pizza. It was a great day for us and for her, with memories we will always cherish.
This is #mygivingstory
The proceeds from #GivingTuesday are first used to fund the holiday celebrations and Christmas presents for those living at BCC (see the 2016 recap here). After those needs are met, donations will be directed to where they are needed most throughout BCC’s educational, mental health, and residential programs.Read more from #GivingTuesday
By Erik Alsgaard
UMConnection Staff (link to full newsletter)
If you grew up in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, you might remember, as a child, putting 10 dimes in a slotted, Christmas –stocking-shaped card. It was a way to give money to children who were being cared for by the Board of Child Care.
In the 1960s, this offering contributed about 60 percent of the operating budget of the Board, said the Rev. Stacey Nickerson, Director of Church and Community Engagement. Today, the red stockings are still around, but thanks to grants, contracts with various government agencies, and more, the offering is mainly used to help ensure the BCC children and their families have a Christmas.
The history of the BCC goes back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Three facilities, all with ties to the Methodist Church — the Kelso Home for Girls, Strawbridge Home for Boys, and Swartzell Methodist Home for Children — merged under one organizational structure, called the Board of Child Care.
After bringing all three of these independent organizations together, a way of funding the work was needed. Their initial suggestion was to have a Christmas offering for every church in the conferences (what is now the Peninsula-Delaware Conference was a part of the BCC in the early 1920s). In 1953, the annual conferences adopted the report of the merger and established the Christmas offering.
The genius of these stockings, Nickerson said, is that they allowed children in local churches to help other children in need. The Christmas stocking debuted, she said, in 1954. On the BCC’s Facebook page, they are collecting stories of adults who, as a child, filled those stockings.
“Over the years, it’s changed,” Nickerson said, noting that today’s stocking card holds quarters. “But I can go in a lot of United Methodist churches today and hold up that stocking and people are like, ‘Oh, you’re from there!’ It’s iconic.”
In addition to the stockings, the BCC also provides offering envelopes for people who wish to make monetary donations that don’t jingle.
“Because it’s a fantastic way for churches to connect with what we’re doing here,” she said, plus it helps teach stewardship, sacrifice, and more to both adults and children alike.
Nickerson, who has the nick-name this time of year, “The BCC’s St. Nick,” works with the youth in their residential programs to establish a Christmas wish-list. She then matches those lists with churches and other organizations that want to help. Sadly, there are still children who don’t get anything filled on their list.
That’s where Nickerson steps in. “I take the money that’s been raised through the stockings to go out and purchase what is needed,” she said. “Everyone gets gifts.”
Volunteers come in to wrap the gifts, and the children receive them on Christmas morning.
“We have a family store, so the families of our students at the school, residential facilities, clients in Pasadena and outpatient mental health, can go and select gifts for their families, their siblings, and others. It’s amazing.”Read more from Red Stockings: a Board of Child Care legacy continues
Youth in costumes and one of the houses decorated for Halloween!
Read more from BOO-Tacular Halloween
Diagnosed with ADD at an early age, C.J. struggled throughout his childhood and was headed down a path of self-destruction. He found himself in jail and was admitted to BCC’s Falling Waters Campus. While he was there, C.J. discovered a sense of community that did wonders for his self esteem and communication skills. C.J. became very active in the local high school while BCC staff kept him on track with his academics. When offered the chance to graduate on stage with his senior class, C.J. chose instead to graduate at Falling Waters. It was one of his proudest moments. After leaving the BCC, C.J. wanted to join the armed forces yet he was unable to score high enough for enlistment. Using the skills learned at the BCC, C.J. studied until he was able to earn the rank of a U.S. Marine.Read more from Behind The Tassel-CJ
I would like to share a link to a brief video that I hope you will find helpful for yourself, for the young people and families with whom you work and for your own family and friends.
It is a way to practice kindness.
We used this as our Centering Moment for the October Senior Leadership Team meeting. Since then I have found myself intentionally sending kind wishes often.
Right now I pause to offer kind wishes to each of you and pray that the practice of kindness increases in our BCC community and throughout our world. May it begin with me.
On behalf of the Spiritual Life team, God’s peace and loving-kindness to all – StaceyRead more from Practicing Kindness