Christian Children’s Home of Ohio

There’s more to life than surviving (Story 33 of 50)

CCHO is celebrating 50 years of ministry! Throughout 2019, we will be sharing stories of the lives that have been forever changed by the work God has done through our family of ministries (CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling). As an agency committed to being trauma effective across all of our programming, we are happy to share a story today from Lindsay DeHaas (MSW, LSW), one of the therapists from our Thrive Trauma Recovery program. This intensive trauma treatment, part of Encompass Christian Counseling, allows clients to effectively process traumatic events from their past so they no longer feel the impact from those experiences in their day-to-day lives. Story #33 in our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series offers hope to those who may otherwise have a hard time finding it.

As an intensive trauma therapist in the Thrive Trauma Recovery program at Encompass Christian Counseling, it’s standard to work with clients for a week or two and then wish them well on their recovery journey as they return to ongoing mental health services. Although all clients have a special story and are memorable, some clients’ stories stick with you long after their treatment in the program has ended.

Amanda (name changed to protect her identity) was one of those clients whose traumatic experiences and resulting challenges in life were especially pressing on my heart. Amanda was an adult woman who appeared to “have it all” from the outside looking in on her life – she was married with several children, and successful in her career outside of the home. However, what Amanda truly experienced on a day-to-day basis were challenges like depression, difficulty getting out of bed, isolation, withdrawing from her family, disinterest in engaging in any social activities, guilt, anxiety, flashbacks, and nightmares that caused her to relive some of the worst moments and experiences in her life.

When I met Amanda on the first day of treatment, she presented as guarded, reserved and quiet. Throughout the course of our initial assessment and gathering information related to past trauma experiences, Amanda told me her past trauma experiences were secrets she felt trapped into keeping to herself, and her isolation was to the point where she had nobody to talk to on a tough day. Amanda desired to be able to connect with those around her, and to function differently than she had been for much of her life. So, with great hesitancy and skepticism toward the methods of the program, Amanda started to tell the story of her younger self, giving a voice to experiences, thoughts and emotions that had long been locked down tight.

Shortly after Amanda started processing her stories, she looked at me and said, “Okay…I’m trusting you here…that this actually works.” I remember smiling encouragingly and assuring her that she was strong and courageous, and that I wouldn’t walk with her through something I didn’t believe would be the best for her. Meanwhile, part of me was praying, “Lord, please work through these methods in a powerful way in her life. Show her Your hope.” And man, did He show up.

By the end of Amanda’s first week of treatment, I had to do a double take when she walked into the office. Everything about her was different. Amanda didn’t walk – she bounced – into the office that day. For the first time all week, she was taking care of herself in notable, obvious ways. Amanda’s guarded and intense demeanor had slipped away, and in its place was a very bubbly and relaxed woman whose eyes sparkled with joy as she joked and smiled, despite the tough content discussed throughout the session. When I commented on this extreme difference in her demeanor, tone and appearance, Amanda smiled and said she felt “empowered” by what she had done so far in treatment.

By the end of treatment, Amanda – who was experiencing constant flashbacks and unwanted thoughts about her past – stated she had only had a few flashbacks for days, that some days she hadn’t had any, and it felt “good.” Amanda said she didn’t feel like a victim anymore, she felt she could stand on her own two feet, and that through processing her traumatic experiences, she felt she knew who she was at her core and was more aware of her own needs that had to be met in order to be the wife, mother and woman God had designed her to be.

Amanda came to the Thrive program feeling hopeless, isolated and so afraid of what telling her story would do or not do in her life. Through the process, she surrendered her fear and allowed God to work in her life in such a powerful way that everyone around her could literally see the difference.

Thrive Trauma Recovery

Would you like to learn more about Thrive Trauma Recovery, the intensive trauma treatment offered by Encompass Christian Counseling? Click the button below to read all about this unique program.

Celebrating Five Decades of Ministry

This story is part of our "50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry" retrospective. Throughout 2019, we will be sharing 50 stories about the broken hearts, broken people, and broken families that have been made new by a loving and redemptive God. Have your own story about CCHO and our family of ministries? Click the button below to share it with us.

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Small and mighty

One Heart Stables is home to a select group of horses. Each of their distinctive personalities contributes to their role as “equine therapists” as they serve the children in our residential program as well as adults and children in the general public through Encompass Christian Counseling. With each equine lesson, we strive for our riders to gain self confidence, improve their mental and physical capabilities, and engage in social relationships with other riders, staff and volunteers.

Name: Caramel
Breed: Quarter Pony

Caramel is the smallest therapy horse in the barn. He is often described as “small but mighty” because he is brave, energetic, and enjoys going for long trail rides.

Caramel has helped many people learn to trust horses through his gentle yet spirited personality. He has the patience of a saint and is a great match for the young horse enthusiast. Caramel loves all of the attention that he receives and is exceptionally happy when munching on a carrot or apple.

Therapy Comes in All Shapes & Sizes

When you donate to CCHO, you are ensuring that our kids receive access to a wide range of therapies including equine therapy. Client benefits include an increase in self-confidence, self-worth, communication skills, coping skills and problem-solving skills. Make a gift today!

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The ultimate storyteller (Story 26 of 50)

CCHO is celebrating 50 years of ministry! Throughout 2019, we will be sharing stories of the lives that have been forever changed by the work God has done through our family of ministries (CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling). Today’s sweet story comes from Jeff Stump, one-time CCHO houseparent alongside his wife Susan and current Director of Facilities here at CCHO. Story #26 in our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series celebrates a full-circle story 20-plus years in the making that only God could write.

On July 11, 1997, a little girl was born to a single mom. That young mom was a former CCHO resident. Due to many circumstances, this baby came to live with my wife Susan and me only a few weeks after being born.

On August 30, 1999, we stood in a courtroom and officially adopted that little girl into our family. I cannot express the joy we’ve experience the last 22 years, having her as a part of our lives. Have there been rough times? Absolutely. But watching her become the woman she is today has made the journey worthwhile.

Nearly 20 years later, on May 6, 2019, our son and daughter-in-law stood in a similar courtroom, after more than a year of hard work and invested time. They adopted a little boy, our new grandson, officially into our home. Recently, while tucking him into bed, this little guy said, “I feel safe now. Life is going to be okay.”

Encourage Foster Care has been part of stories like these for years. There are so many incredible families out there with huge hearts and special gifts that God wants to use to bless children who would love to be able to say, “I feel safe now. Life is going to be okay.”

Will it be easy? No way. Will it be rewarding and Kingdom-changing? Without a doubt! Say yes and watch God write a story in your own life.

Celebrating Five Decades of Ministry

This story is part of our "50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry" retrospective. Throughout 2019, we will be sharing 50 stories about the broken hearts, broken people, and broken families that have been made new by a loving and redemptive God. Have your own story about CCHO and our family of ministries? Click the button below to share it with us.

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Baptism joy (Story 25 of 50)

CCHO is celebrating 50 years of ministry! Throughout 2019, we will be sharing stories of the lives that have been forever changed by the work God has done through our family of ministries (CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling). Today, we celebrate another baptism, one of four on our campus just this month! In story #25 of our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series, Campus Pastor Tim Hartzler writes about Brent, a young man who outwardly expressed his newfound faith by getting baptized before leaving CCHO. We will share more campus baptism stories here.

I first met Brent when I worked in our older boys’ cottage and responded to a code called in his cottage. Upon arriving, I found an angry Brent leading a crew of youngsters in rebellion against, in his words, “stupid staff”. This would become a common occurrence in the early months of Brent’s stay at CCHO. Most of my interactions with him were a result of being called to assist when he was enraged and violent. Slowly these exchanges decreased, and nearly stopped altogether, as Brent engaged in his program and his behaviors improved.

About this time, I was promoted to the Campus Pastor role and got to spend more time with Brent one on one. He was incredibly intelligent for his age and had the ability to be kind and gentle. Brent enjoyed memorizing Scripture verses and expressed an interest in getting baptized. There was a joy I had not seen in him before.

Brent was working hard to leave CCHO. The problem was, he had no place to go. As the realization set in that he was not leaving anytime soon, Brent began to feel that his efforts were wasted. He pushed people away and struggled with behavior. He no longer showed an interest in baptism or the Bible.

Finally, the day came when Brent had a home to go to. He was ecstatic! He excitedly told me the details, and I praised him for sticking it out when it was hard.

A few days later, as I was walking with one of his peers that was going to be baptized later that day, Brent asked to talk. That was the first time I saw Brent cry tears of sadness. He expressed regret that he would leave CCHO without being baptized. I wasn’t sure what to do, but then his peer spoke up, “That’s no problem. You’ll just get baptized with me!”

Three and a half hours later, I had the privilege of baptizing Brent and, as he came up out of the water of our baptismal, I saw nothing but pure joy in his face.

More from our newsletter

Brent’s story was featured on the cover of the Summer 2019 issue of our All Things newsletter. Learn more about CCHO and our family of ministries by checking out past All Things editions online, or sign up to get a print version in the mail each quarter!

Celebrating Five Decades of Ministry

This story is part of our "50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry" retrospective. Throughout 2019, we will be sharing 50 stories about the broken hearts, broken people, and broken families that have been made new by a loving and redemptive God. Have your own story about CCHO and our family of ministries? Click the button below to share it with us.

Read more

Help rewrite Emily’s story

Emily feels unwanted, less than, disposable. Her mother told her that she first considered giving Emily up for adoption when she learned she was pregnant, and her step-father has repeatedly abused her. Your $80 gift today can give Emily hope, perhaps for the first time in her life.

Emily’s parents divorced when she was very young and her mother remarried an abusive man. Emily recalls physical and sexual abuse by her step-father, and her mother did nothing to stop it. They clearly favored her younger step-brother, though, and the favoritism he enjoyed only made Emily feel lonelier and more worthless. She eventually moved between eight different foster homes, where she started self-harming behaviors. She even threatened to kill herself.

Emily has felt scared and insignificant for most of her life. For only $80, you can give her a night of safety and relief from her crippling fear. Your generosity can help her experience unconditional love for the first time ever.

Despite her history of abuse and rejection, Emily is a friendly 10-year-old girl who does well in school and enjoys drawing, dancing and painting her nails. Sadly, years of traumatic experiences have made it extremely difficult for Emily to form meaningful relationships with other children her age. Without effective therapy to address her PTSD and other symptoms, she may always struggle relationally.

But you can help Emily find victory. The neglect and abuse her mother and step-father subjected her to don’t have to define Emily’s future. Instead of feeling worthless, she can come to know just how much she’s worth to her Heavenly Father. That knowledge can change everything!

Your $80 gift can help provide Emily and other kids like her with the vital treatment and strategies they need as they process the pain they’ve suffered. Emily didn’t have a say in how she was treated in her own home. After years of abuse and neglect, you can give her the opportunity to develop healthy relationships built on trust and unconditional love.

Emily’s mother recently gave up parental rights to Emily. She has had no contact or interaction with her biological father for most of her life. She has spent countless days in different hospitals after harming herself and threatening suicide.

Your gift, today, can rewrite Emily’s story. Your $80 donation can change her life.

Will you help Emily come to believe that her past doesn’t have to determine her future? Imagine the difference you can make!

A safe place for Emily

Will you consider an $80 gift so that Emily and other girls and boys like her can experience a night of safety and begin to experience their worth in Christ?

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Working all things for good (Story 24 of 50)

CCHO is celebrating 50 years of ministry! Throughout 2019, we will be sharing stories of the lives that have been forever changed by the work God has done through our family of ministries (CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling). Today’s story reminds us that, in all things, God is in control, and His plans are always better than anything we could dream up for ourselves. Bryndi Pfeiffer, Operational Manager in CCHO’s residential program, shares about her own career journey and the incredible way God led her to CCHO 10 years ago in story #24 of our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series.

I’d like to take you on a trip back to 2008. I had just earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Malone College and was applying for nursing jobs close to home. One Sunday morning, Gary Porter, CCHO’s longtime Executive Director, spoke at my church about the mission, growth and needs of Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (CCHO). I had never heard of CCHO but I felt a tugging in my spirit that day.

The thought of working for a Christian agency and being able to help kids who were abused, neglected and forgotten about seemed like something I was supposed to do. I prayed about my future career, that God would clearly guide my path. I felt led to apply at CCHO but I also applied to local hospitals and doctors’ offices. Calls and emails started coming in for interviews, including one with CCHO.

When I pulled onto the campus of CCHO, I felt an overwhelming peace and comfort that I cannot explain. My interview felt so comfortable and natural, like I had known these people forever. You could sense the Holy Spirit in the room as we discussed the demands of the job and if I was sure I could handle being cussed at, targeted, assaulted and pushed away. As alarming as that sounded, I knew that God would give me what I needed if this is where I was supposed to be. I was offered a job before I left but explained that I had some other interviews lined up before making a decision. I left feeling excited and energized as I headed to my next interview at the hospital.

This interview went very differently. As the HR representative asked basic questions, I felt anxious and almost queasy. She stopped asking work-related questions and explained that she was a God-fearing woman who was perceptive to the Holy Spirit. She asked me if I had other job opportunities to consider. I explained that I had literally just come from my CCHO interview.

She observed that my demeanor and presence lit up when I started talking about CCHO. She explained that this spiritual tension had never shown up in an interview before but that she felt like God needed me in the mental health field at CCHO. She prayed with me and told me that she would hire me in a heartbeat if I wanted to work at the hospital, but she wanted me to prayerfully consider this decision.

I left there in disbelief. Did that just happen? I prayed that whole weekend about what to do. Over and over God confirmed that I needed to stop questioning Him and join the mission field at CCHO. It wasn’t a popular decision among family and friends. They didn’t understand why I would “waste” my nursing degree and take a job at a much lower starting wage. I ignored the criticism and accepted the direct care position at CCHO.

From the first time I set foot in a cottage and met some of the kids, my heart was at home. For the last 10 years, I have had a front row seat to watching miracles happen. Some of the most depressed, isolated, closed off children and teenagers have learned to see their value, believe they are loved, and develop the capacity to love and trust others – all because their difficult journey in life brought them to CCHO.

The kids I have met and with whom I have connected over the years have left a lasting imprint on my heart. I keep in touch with many of them who are now graduates, employees, mothers, fathers, home owners and more! Their success is confirmation of God’s plan for this agency. It’s why I stay.

My CCHO coworkers are truly the hands and feet of Christ – loving and serving the outcasts from society. My teammates have pushed me to be a better person, a faithful Christian, a loving mother and a true friend. As I have moved through CCHO, holding seven different positions, the peace in my soul has not wavered. I know that through the times of growth, miracles, joy or struggle, disappointment and stress, that GOD IS IN CONTROL.

God brings us the right kids and right staff at the right time. It has been an absolute honor to serve with this agency for 10 of its 50 years, a hidden treasure in Wayne County Ohio that is changing so many lives and giving children the best gift of all by introducing them to Jesus.

Guided Imagery

Bryndi shared her story at our 50th Anniversary Benefit Dinner on June 8, 2019. Afterward, we played a video that took attendees on a journey through the history and experiences of one of our residents while describing their fears, abuse and trauma in detail. If you missed story 18 in our series, watch this powerful video for a deeper understanding of the pain many of our young residents carry into their time at CCHO. And catch up on our anniversary activities by reading our 50th Weekend Recap.

Celebrating Five Decades of Ministry

This story is part of our "50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry" retrospective. Throughout 2019, we will be sharing 50 stories about the broken hearts, broken people, and broken families that have been made new by a loving and redemptive God. Have your own story about CCHO and our family of ministries? Click the button below to share it with us.

Read more

Answering a community calling (Story 23 of 50)

CCHO is celebrating 50 years of ministry! Throughout 2019, we will be sharing stories of the lives that have been forever changed by the work God has done through our family of ministries (CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling). These five decades of ministry would be impossible if not for the incredible support we have received from partner churches. Story #23 in our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry was graciously submitted by Nate Shultz from Fairlawn Mennonite Church, one of many cherished churches that volunteer their time and talent to impact the lives of the young people on our campus.

Our group from Fairlawn Mennonite Church in Apple Creek, Ohio has been regularly volunteering with CCHO since June 2018. We have been coming one or two Saturdays each month to spend time playing with the kids and sharing devotions and prayer with them. We love supporting CCHO because we are able to see the growth in the kids from month to month, and we know they are seeing Christ in the work of the staff and volunteers. We appreciate knowing that CCHO is carrying out the commands of Jesus to care for one another and provide for those who do not have a place to call their own.

We have seen several children work their program to reach personal goals and set themselves up for success after their time at CCHO. Most recently, we were able to celebrate the baptism of one of the kids that we have known for almost the entire time we’ve been volunteering at the home. It is awesome to see these kids take steps to personally own their faith and make it a commitment in their lives.

We believe that it is the responsibility of local churches to care for the community around them. If they evaluate their calling and realize that CCHO should be a part of their ministry, then they should carefully select a group of people willing to work with kids who deserve grace and understanding. Do not walk into the opportunity as “world-changers,” but as servants who are ready to be the hands and feet of Jesus. It isn’t always easy or pretty, but the results are eternally satisfying. Working with CCHO has shown us the world’s great need for committed believers to step out of their comfort zones and be a part of God’s work in the lives of those around us.

Volunteer Opportunities

We are always looking for new volunteers who want to help more young people experience their worth in Christ. Do you have a heart for volunteerism? Head over to our volunteer portal to see what opportunities are currently open. We would love to hear from you!

Celebrating Five Decades of Ministry

This story is part of our "50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry" retrospective. Throughout 2019, we will be sharing 50 stories about the broken hearts, broken people, and broken families that have been made new by a loving and redemptive God. Have your own story about CCHO and our family of ministries? Click the button below to share it with us.

Read more

Getting close enough to listen (Story 22 of 50)

CCHO is celebrating 50 years of ministry! Throughout 2019, we will be sharing stories of the lives that have been forever changed by the work God has done through our family of ministries (CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling). Today, Rebecca Ryder (MA, NCC, LPCC-S), Managing Clinical Supervisor with Encompass Counseling, looks at the transformational role stories have played in her personal and professional life. Entry #22 in our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series encourages us all to embrace the privilege of hearing someone else’s story of growth, healing and change.

Once upon a time…. Probably the most famous opening line of a story.

I have always loved stories. There were many nights as a kid that I was the last one asleep in the house because I couldn’t put my book down. I was the kid who could block out the rest of the world by getting caught up in a story – much to the frustration of my parents or siblings when they wanted or needed my attention. I always carried a book with me everywhere I went so I could read any time I had a free moment.

You may remember that a couple of decades ago, one of the major morning news networks aired a Friday feature called “Everybody has a Story.” I loved this segment so much because it focused on some obscure person who may have never been given a spotlight otherwise to share their personal journey. There was never a time when the person chosen didn’t tell an amazing and inspiring story! At the end of the segment, the reporter would blindly throw a dart at a map of the US to select the next town or city where he could find his next story. I couldn’t wait to see what would be shared the following week.

Since then, I have been moved by the fact that Everybody has a Story – we just have to get close enough to hear it.

Recently, I have realized that all of the major jobs or ministries I have ever done have placed me in the role of witnessing stories. I was made for that. To be a container, an encourager, a keeper and validator of the story. To journey alongside someone as the story unfolded. Changed. Healed.

My first career was in education. My first teaching job was in an inner-city middle school in Kansas City, MO. There was a steep learning curve in finding ways to reach and teach students who came to school daily despite the circumstances and obstacles in their individual worlds. Most days I became a nurse, mom, mediator, social worker, counselor or referee before I ever had a chance to teach them something. I learned quickly that I had to make an intentional effort to know each student if I wanted to gain any trust and have any hope of helping them overcome barriers to learning and growth. Spending extra time with many of them by taking advantage of an after-school program earned me the right to know their stories and unlocked a passion for one-on-one work.

Later, a desire was born for counseling. A lot of that came from the 1:1 experiences I was having with people and their stories. Counseling involves the ability to listen and be a witness to someone else’s story and pain. For me, it is teaching…but in a different way. I teach coping and communication skills, probe for insight, and help people find their identities in Christ. But mostly, I get to become a container for stories.

At Encompass, our work surrounds the whole person. It is built on what the client already knows. We celebrate the courage it took to walk through the door and bravely share their stories. On my office wall, I have a quote from one of my favorite authors, Ann Voskamp. It states, “Shame dies when stories are told in safe places.” I want to be a safe place for clients to share their stories and unlock steps to growth. I can’t do that without God’s strength and Spirit working in and through me. I rely on Him to help people reframe and reshape the stories of their lives so they can bring glory to God….

  • Like the kiddo who went to church on Easter with a friend and announced to me the following day that she gave her heart to Jesus. And just this week I got to explain to her that Jesus is with her wherever she goes and that she can pray to Him at any time. You see, this summer she has to go live with her non-custodial parent who has been abusive and scary in the past.
  • Like the client who has worked so hard to overcome the effects of multiple traumas only to recently be given a serious cancer diagnosis. I have witnessed her faith and identity grow strong and confident to the point where she now regularly prays herself during sessions.
  • Like the grown woman who is learning to find her voice that was taken away repeatedly as a child. Watch her make decisions without worry of what others will think, change jobs to pursue the kind of work she only dreamt of before, and begin to learn how to play for the first time in her life.

Witnessing growth is a privilege. As a supervisor, I get to work with interns and counselors as they hone their skills and develop discernment and wisdom with their own clients. I get to teach them and pass on wisdom I have gained through my own training and experiences. I appreciated my own supervision and ongoing consultation with colleagues, because one of my fundamental beliefs is that, ‘If I’m not growing, I’m dying.’

Most of the stories I have witnessed don’t have a “happily ever after” ending. At least not like you see in the movies or read in books. Growth? Yes. Progress? Yes. Healing? Yes. God showing up and doing what He does best? You bet. He transforms what we cannot. He becomes the wisdom, and power, and glory. He makes beauty from ashes. I just get a front row seat.

You don’t have to be a counselor to know someone’s story. You just have to get close enough to listen.

Ashley's Story

Rebecca shared these words at our 50th Anniversary Benefit Dinner on June 8, 2019. After Rebecca spoke, we debuted the beautiful story of transformation that Ashley, an Encompass client, was generous enough to share with us. If you missed story 17 in our series, watch Ashley’s video now. And catch up on our anniversary festivities by reading our 50th Weekend Recap.

Celebrating Five Decades of Ministry

This story is part of our "50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry" retrospective. Throughout 2019, we will be sharing 50 stories about the broken hearts, broken people, and broken families that have been made new by a loving and redemptive God. Have your own story about CCHO and our family of ministries? Click the button below to share it with us.

Read more

Fifty years in one big weekend (Story 16 of 50)

CCHO is celebrating 50 years of ministry! Throughout 2019, we will be sharing stories of the lives that have been forever changed by the work God has done through our family of ministries (CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling). As our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series continues, we look back on our first five decades of ministry with a new video that was part of our big 50th Anniversary Weekend Celebration. Read on to watch the video and to read our full weekend recap.

What a way to commemorate five decades of ministry! More than 1500 people attended our three-day celebration on June 7-9, a weekend-long series of events designed to look back on all the ways God has blessed CCHO through 50 years of ministry while looking ahead in anticipation of what may be next. Each day was memorable in its own way, helping to make for one unique experience for everyone involved!

FRIDAY

Our 50th Anniversary Celebration Weekend kicked off on Friday, June 7 with the ribbon cutting for our new Children’s Leadership & Recreation Center. This new complex on our Wooster campus consists of a middle school-sized gymnasium, a commercial kitchen and cafeteria, therapy spaces and several classrooms.

Click here to read more about the ribbon cutting, including our guests for the day, and to see photos from the event.

SATURDAY

Our 50th Anniversary Benefit Dinner on Saturday, June 8 proved to be a beautiful evening filled with incredible stories of God’s grace in action. Special guests included Gary Porter, CCHO’s Executive Director for 33 years, and his wife Bobbie, foster/adoptive parent Julie Kandel and her (large) family, and former CCHO resident, Pastor Louie Pantelis. The evening featured a powerful time of worship led by a team of incredibly talented CCHO employees, the sharing of some compelling stories from 50 years of ministry, an inspirational spoken-word performance by CCHO’s own Brandon Jurkovich, and many other highlights.

Throughout the night, we debuted several videos to look back on CCHO’s 50 years of ministry and to look ahead at what may be in store. The first video of the night celebrated our agency’s history, featuring conversations with Gary Porter, CCHO’s current President & CEO Kevin Hewitt, the daughter of one of our original board members, and longtime employees.

Click here to read more about the 50th Anniversary Benefit Dinner and to see all the photos from the evening!

SUNDAY

Our seventh annual Great Grill Off proved to be the perfect grand finale to our 50th Celebration Weekend! With 11 grill teams doling out more than 5000 sliders to nearly 1400 people in attendance, this was our biggest and best Great Grill Off yet. While the competition was stiffer than ever in our burger competition, Spoon Market took home the crown for the third-straight year.

Read a full recap of the Sunday festivities, along with all the stats from the day and a slew of photos, at greatgrilloff.com!

Celebrating Five Decades of Ministry

This story is part of our "50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry" retrospective. Throughout 2019, we will be sharing 50 stories about the broken hearts, broken people, and broken families that have been made new by a loving and redemptive God. Have your own story about CCHO and our family of ministries? Click the button below to share it with us.

Read more

A ceremonial start to our 50th Anniversary Weekend

Our weekend-long 50th Anniversary Celebration kicked off on Friday, June 7 with the official ribbon cutting for our new Children’s Leadership & Recreation Center (CLRC). Consisting of a middle school-sized gymnasium, commercial kitchen, cafeteria, classrooms and therapy spaces, the CLRC on our Wooster campus was made possible by generous Promise Project donors.

Many of those Promise Project donors joined us for the ribbon cutting Friday afternoon to see the unveiling of our major donor artwork. County Commissioner Becky Foster, the Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce and a handful of CCHO staff members also were in attendance, and we read proclamations from Representatives Anthony Gonzalez and Scott Wiggam, and Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown. The afternoon was capped off with the presentation of the personalized ceremonial ground breaking shovel to Kevin Hewitt, CCHO’s President & CEO, and lunch in the Leadership Center.

This ribbon cutting symbolized our commitment to the continued development of our programming, staff and facilities as we enter the next 50 years of ministry. The CLRC gives our residential team the necessary space to deliver the vital therapy our young residents need as they overcome the trauma they’ve experienced while also allowing us to provide educational support and healthier eating options right here on campus.

If you would like to tour the CLRC or learn more about our campus in general, please contact Dan Franks at franksd@ccho.org or 330.345.7949 ext. 2336.

Photo Gallery

Click the thumbnails below to view larger photos.

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