The hope of Esperanza de Ana (Story 47 of 50)

Amidst the heartache of grief and loss in the foster care system, our staff at Encourage has had the opportunity to witness the joy of adoption with many families throughout the last year. In fact, 12 children will finalize adoptions this year.

New path and new heart

Emily’s heading down a new path that’s healthy and filled with hope. Her emotional wellbeing looks much different than when she arrived on the CCHO campus in May. Her heart has been transformed because of Jesus, because of safety and mental health treatment, because of your support.

Christmas wishes come true (Story 46 of 50)

The youth in our residential center may not wake up in their own homes with their own families on Christmas morning, but because of kind and loyal supporters, they do wake up to an astonishing example of love.

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Loving in the in between (Story 45 of 50)

Loving in the in between (Story 45 of 50)

Amidst the heartache of grief and loss in the foster care system, our staff at Encourage has had the opportunity to witness the joy of adoption with many families throughout the last year. In fact, 12 children will finalize adoptions this year.

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Thank you from Katie (Story 44 of 50)

Thank you from Katie (Story 44 of 50)

Katie needed to feel safe. She needed to feel loved. Thanks to donors like you, Katie found the support, therapy and love she needed at CCHO. She was baptized during her time at CCHO, and today she lives with a new foster family. Katie wanted to say “thank you” for all you’ve done for her!

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All-star players awarded for trustworthiness

All-star players awarded for trustworthiness

The countdown to the big game has begun. The annual Ohio State-Michigan rivalry is fierce. It’s an exciting time for players and fans. We don’t have a formal football team on our residential campus so you won’t see a young teen run the ball for a 50-yard touchdown. Quarterback sacks will be limited to video-game time earned through positive behavior.

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Challenging and rewarding (Story 43 of 50)

Challenging and rewarding (Story 43 of 50)

I was told that this was a place where I would feel loved not just by the staff, but by God. Individual therapy sessions, group therapy, wish circles, rules to be followed (and broken at times), boundaries to be aware of, sharing a cottage with eight teenagers. Some days — many days — it was more than I could handle.

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Life is cool in the pool

Life is cool in the pool

CCHO has had a swimming pool on our campus for 23 years. In addition to traditional therapeutic treatment, physical recreation is an essential part of our residential center. After two decades of use and weather impact, the concrete pad surrounding the pool began showing several cracked areas. For safety reasons, this project needed our attention.

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Barn princess

Barn princess

Each horse at One Heart Stables brings a unique personality to their role in equine therapy as they serve the children in our residential program as well as adults and children in the general public through Encompass Christian Counseling.

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Friendly rivalry and connection builder

Friendly rivalry and connection builder

On October 30, our children’s residential center (CRC) held its fourth annual fall decorating contest. The cottage competition has grown beyond mere decorations to entire themed productions complete with costumes, performances and edible treats.

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The unexpected story God writes (Story 41 of 50)

The unexpected story God writes (Story 41 of 50)

Not every season and every case are created equal, but if given the opportunity to build a bridge with bio families, I encourage you to take the first step. It has drawn a map straight to our hearts about forgiveness, redemption and purpose in the pain.

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Celebrating our amazing volunteers

Celebrating our amazing volunteers

On October 17, 2019, Christian Children’s Home of Ohio hosted our first volunteer appreciation reception. It was a great time of fellowship, fun and reflection where CCHO recognized the hard work, dedication and love of our amazing volunteers.

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He’d been there all along (Story 40 of 50)

He’d been there all along (Story 40 of 50)

I entered foster care at age four. By the time I was 15, I already had 13 homes including a failed adoption under my belt. Bouncing from home to home, I was subjected to physical and sexual abuse by several abusers. When I was 15, I finally found the courage to tell someone, and doing so unleashed a massive amount of fear and trauma that I’d been holding in for years.

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A loyal friend

A loyal friend

One Heart Stables is home to a select group of horses that offer clients struggling with depression, low self-esteem or anxiety the opportunity to engage in authentic connection.

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Compelled by extravagant love (Story 37 of 50)

Compelled by extravagant love (Story 37 of 50)

The man against whom this girl testified and had to face had gone free. Naturally, this invoked some pretty intense behaviors such as self-harm and running away, but guess who was there with her walking down the road, asking to stay with her and showing her unconditional love all the same. Rebekah!

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The Ziegler Family (Story 36 of 50)

The Ziegler Family (Story 36 of 50)

James 1:27 calls God’s people to meet the needs of children living as orphans. Brian and Julie Ziegler answered that call by joining the Encourage Foster Care network. Learn more about their story and how Encourage equips them with the support and resources they need as foster and adoptive parents.

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Blessings from Meadow View (Story 35 of 50)

Blessings from Meadow View (Story 35 of 50)

As a first-time VBS director this year for Meadow View Church of Christ, I was asked to choose a mission to support with our VBS donations. My associate minister suggested that I look into CCHO as a choice and was told our church may also be planning a mission trip there at the end of the summer.

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Grateful for a great staff (Story 34 of 50)

Grateful for a great staff (Story 34 of 50)

How do you show appreciation to staff who consistently fight for the highest good of others? Who walk alongside those in pain, laughing with some, groaning with others, but connecting through it all? Who help others experience their worth in Christ? These are difficult questions to answer because it is impossible to accurately depict how much we – how much I – appreciate our staff.

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

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

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.

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VBS programs win MVP award (Story 32 of 50)

VBS programs win MVP award (Story 32 of 50)

We are so grateful for the collection of caring churches that have supported CCHO and our family of ministries over the past five decades. Without the fundraising dollars they’ve contributed, the hours upon hours of volunteer help they’ve provided, the steady stream of prayers they’ve lifted on our behalf, and all the other ways they have been involved, there would be countless children, adults and families who were never given an opportunity to find hope and healing on the other side of their pain.

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Small and mighty

Small and mighty

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.

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Proud to be a BBB accredited charity

Proud to be a BBB accredited charity

CCHO and our family of ministries have recently achieved Charity Accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This significant achievement affirms that we are committed to integrity and best practices as a nonprofit organization.

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Back to school

Back to school

It’s back-to-school time! We’re looking forward to kicking off the new school year for the youth in our residential center. In the early days of CCHO, student-age residents attended public school locally. In more recent years, we have provided classrooms with licensed teachers right here on our Wooster campus.

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25 years of drives, chips and putts (Story 31 of 50)

25 years of drives, chips and putts (Story 31 of 50)

What started in 1994 as a small fundraiser for CCHO in our 25th year of ministry has now become an annual event, 25 years later, that allows our family of ministries to continue providing services and support for children, adults and families in need.

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Supportive golf swings (Story 30 of 50)

Supportive golf swings (Story 30 of 50)

On Monday, August 26 at 8:00 in the morning, 15 teams will tee off for the first of 36 holes at our Caring4Kids Golf Outing. As we head into the final months of our year-long 50th anniversary celebration, it’s only fitting that this marks the 25th edition of our annual golf outing.

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Riding high with Sons of God (Story 29 of 50)

Riding high with Sons of God (Story 29 of 50)

In 1981, Gary Shire was given a vision from God that became Sons of God Motorcycle Club Ministry. Since our humble beginnings in Mansfield, Ohio, the SOGMC has grown across the United States and Canada, with multiple chapters spread throughout 25 states and Canada.

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Encourage a generation

Encourage a generation

Without the encouragement from caring CCHO staff, Brent and Mia may not have gotten baptized. Both of these young residents carried many years of severe abuse and trauma with them when they came to our campus last year.

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Cool cars and warm hearts (Story 27 of 50)

Cool cars and warm hearts (Story 27 of 50)

During the early months of 2010, the Mid-Ohio Corvette Club (MOCC) met to discuss our largest endeavor of the year. We had always chosen our yearly fundraiser on the basis of the recipient’s overall need. After learning that Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (CCHO) was focused on nurturing young girls and boys who may never have received warmth from a home environment otherwise, we were excited to pick CCHO.

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The ultimate storyteller (Story 26 of 50)

The ultimate storyteller (Story 26 of 50)

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.

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Connect 2 Kids Individual

Connect 2 Kids Individual

Connect 2 Kids is growing! We asked Emily Frazier, LISW-S, Clinical Director of our Children’s Residential Center to share more about this volunteer program and the new way to give of your time and talents.

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Baptism joy (Story 25 of 50)

Baptism joy (Story 25 of 50)

That was the first time I saw Brent cry. He regretted that he would leave CCHO without being baptized. Then his peer spoke up, “That’s no problem. You’ll just get baptized with me!”

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Help rewrite Emily’s story

Help rewrite Emily’s story

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.

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Working all things for good (Story 24 of 50)

Working all things for good (Story 24 of 50)

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.

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Sensitive therapist

Sensitive therapist

We’ve come to believe that people will pick the horse they truly need, and in turn our clients are able to engage in an honest, non-judgmental relationship with their horse.

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Answering a community calling (Story 23 of 50)

Answering a community calling (Story 23 of 50)

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.

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How Motley Lou became Pastor Louie (Story 20 of 50)

How Motley Lou became Pastor Louie (Story 20 of 50)

Late in my sophomore year I learned that my foster parents were moving to Florida. As a I ward of the state, I would not be moving with them. Toward the end of that school year, my caseworker told me, “If we do not find some place for you soon, we will have to place you in a juvenile correction facility.” I had done nothing to deserve being placed in a correctional facility. I was five-foot nothing tall, weighed 87 pounds, and the thought of being placed in a correctional facility terrified me.

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The Kandel Family (Story 19 of 50)

The Kandel Family (Story 19 of 50)

When Julie Kandel and her husband Ron began their foster and adoption journey in 1991, they couldn’t have imagined they would one day have 18 children (including three biological daughters). Theirs is an incredible story of answering God’s call for their lives and their family, of trusting during each step of the process, and of persevering through incredible tragedy to provide a safe haven for young children in need of a loving home.

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A guided imagery narrative (Story 18 of 50)

A guided imagery narrative (Story 18 of 50)

When new residents arrive at CCHO, our therapy team writes a guided imagery narrative from the perspective of the child. These narratives are designed to take the reader on a journey through each child’s past while describing their fears, abuse and trauma in detail. Listening to the guided imagery helps CCHO’s residential staff fully understand what the child has been through so they can approach negative behaviors with empathy and compassion.

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

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

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.

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The greatest Great Grill Off yet

The greatest Great Grill Off yet

Our jam-packed 50th Anniversary Weekend concluded with the seventh annual Great Grill Off on our Wooster campus. This fun family event has quickly become the place to be in Wayne County on the second Sunday in June, and this year people came in record numbers!

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A powerful night, a powerful God

A powerful night, a powerful God

How do you pack five decades of life-changing ministry into one night of celebration? That’s exactly what happened on Saturday, June 8 as more than 200 people gathered at the Shisler Conference Center in Wooster to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (CCHO) and our family of ministries.

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A ceremonial start to our 50th Anniversary Weekend

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.

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Partners in legacy (Story 15 of 50)

Partners in legacy (Story 15 of 50)

As we prepare to gather for our 50th celebration this weekend, we are especially grateful for our community partners who support our mission. They play an important role in helping individuals and families find healing throughout our family of ministries.

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Leading with kindness (Story 13 of 50)

Leading with kindness (Story 13 of 50)

Helping meet the needs of our residential youth takes a lot of hands and partners. We are especially grateful for the kindness of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. There are good days and growing days in our children’s residential center. With the often unpredictable behavior of youth with trauma, there are times when the sheriff’s office makes frequent visits to campus.

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Memories from our second resident (Story 12 of 50)

Memories from our second resident (Story 12 of 50)

I came to CCHO in August 1971 and lived there until I graduated [high school] in June 1975. I was the second resident in the program and still go back often just to visit. I feel that CCHO’s work then and now was and is very helpful to so many. My memories are numerous but here are a few.

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Fill the Gap

Fill the Gap

At our 2017 Heart for the Home Celebration, Brandon took the stage with a performance about fatherhood. Here’s a clip from that night, and be sure to join us on June 8 for Brandon’s next performance. You won’t want to miss it!

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See the possibility (Story 11 of 50)

See the possibility (Story 11 of 50)

When you hear people talk about foster care and adoption, you often hear about a broken system, damaged children and a whole litany of all the challenges, difficulties and reasons to stay away rather than get involved. At Encourage we see the heartache our foster parents experience when they grieve the loss of separation from a foster child they loved as their own.

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Trading worthlessness for faithfulness (Story 10 of 50)

Trading worthlessness for faithfulness (Story 10 of 50)

I met Mia last summer when she first became a resident in our Young Girls Cottage. I was working as a treatment specialist in a different cottage at the time, so I only got to see her every so often. I was immediately struck by Mia’s kindness, openness and her bright, vibrant personality.

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The gentle giant

The gentle giant

Adam is known as the “gentle giant” of the barn. While many are intimidated by his large size, he can quickly gain one’s trust and confidence with his calm and pleasant nature.

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A faithful foundation (Story 8 of 50)

A faithful foundation (Story 8 of 50)

Fifty years ago today, on a Tuesday evening at Rittman First Church of Christ, 12 men were selected as members of the interim Board of Directors for Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (CCHO). Several months later, one of those men would become CCHO’s first executive director while also serving with his wife as the organization’s first set of house parents.

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Josie’s triumph (Story 7 of 50)

Josie’s triumph (Story 7 of 50)

When I first met Josie, I met a powerhouse of a young woman; she presented as a strong, independent teenager with something to prove to the world. She was fluent in psychology, philosophy, and teenager, and she had an opinion about every current issue facing our nation.

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Certified Best Christian Workplace 2019

Certified Best Christian Workplace 2019

We are excited to announce for the third straight year, CCHO and our family of ministries have been certified as a 2019 Best Christian Workplace by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI).

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Decades with Discover (Story 5 of 50)

Decades with Discover (Story 5 of 50)

As the Discipleship Minister at Discover Christian Church in Dublin, Ohio, I have led our annual CCHO men’s mission trip for the past 10 years. Our senior minister and I discussed how long Discover has been involved with CCHO. While neither of us can remember when it all started, we know it’s been at least 20 years!

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The class clown

The class clown

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.

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Minister to hurting kids

Minister to hurting kids

The character and commitment of our staff members are critical to us serving our clients well. Treatment specialists, a key position within our children’s residential center team, directly care for the needs and safety of our youth clients. This role offers the unique opportunity to build relationships with kids and teens and model for them what a healthy adult looks like.

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One Heart, One Family of Ministries (Story 4 of 50)

One Heart, One Family of Ministries (Story 4 of 50)

From the first employee hired in 1969 to our most recent group of new hires, thousands of men and women have served at CCHO and our family of ministries. They have served by caring enough to step into the pain and hurt of life to offer hope and peace.

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“I don’t want you to love me” (Story 2 of 50)

“I don’t want you to love me” (Story 2 of 50)

Each day, employees of our family of ministries aim to uphold our three core values: relentless commitment, selflessness and kindness. We believe our interactions with the children, adults and families we serve throughout our three ministries, as well as our interactions with fellow employees, should be infused with these values.

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A place where kids and God can meet (Story 1 of 50)

A place where kids and God can meet (Story 1 of 50)

A farmhouse, small barn and old tenant house sat on 175 acres of land in Wooster, OH. A group of caring individuals with a vision to create a place where kids and God could meet tried to purchase the property, but no local banks would give them a loan. Incredibly, a family from Orrville Christian Church stepped up and bought the farm for $65,000 so CCHO could begin its ministry.

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Calling all bidders!

Calling all bidders!

We’re introducing the Promise Project Auction, where you can impact the lives of children, adults and families throughout Ohio by bidding on items, making cash donations or simply sharing the Promise Project Auction across your social media channels.

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Foster parents are invaluable

Foster parents are invaluable

Foster parents are invaluable to CCHO’s ministry in helping kids experience their worth in Christ. They provide safety, security, love, compassion and support for children when they need it the most.

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Cottage family nights

Cottage family nights

Our children’s residential center gives kids the opportunity to experience how a healthy family functions. Perhaps for you, some of your favorite childhood memories include family nights—nights to simply stay home with your loved ones and enjoy your favorite foods and movies or games. Each weekend our cottages do just that.

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2018 Donor Impact Report: A season of growth

2018 Donor Impact Report: A season of growth

As we embark on our 50th year of ministry in 2019, we also would like to reflect back on our previous fiscal year. As you’ll see in our 2018 Donor Impact Report, we could not have done any of this without the incredible support of people like you!

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Trusting in a better plan

Trusting in a better plan

As we begin our 50th year of helping people experience their worth in Christ, let’s celebrate God’s transformational work in the life of one young boy over the course of one year and 22 days at CCHO.

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Wishing for home this Christmas

Wishing for home this Christmas

Children like Mia, who have been abused and neglected by the people they should be able to trust most in life, have such a hard time moving past the trauma they have experienced. But you can make a difference in Mia’s life right now.

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More than a drawing

More than a drawing

The kids in our residential program bring a host of challenges with them when they first step foot on our Wooster campus. But they equally bring unique talents and passions that we hope will shine even brighter as they continue on their healing journey.

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One heart on the rise

One heart on the rise

Cottage 1 recently celebrated #OneHeartOnTheRise. One of our teen boys successfully completed his program and was reunified with his biological family. What a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas for this family!

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Thankful for life change, thankful for you

Thankful for life change, thankful for you

As we enter this week of giving thanks, we are joyfully grateful for the many children and adults who have received hope and healing this past year throughout our family of ministries. God is indeed good and gracious to those who are hurting.

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When braiding leads to bonding

When braiding leads to bonding

God often moves in powerful ways to demonstrate His love to people in pain and crisis. These are the exhilarating stories that capture our imaginations, stories that inspire books, songs and movies. But sometimes, rather than doing the seemingly impossible, He chooses to move in simpler ways.

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24th Annual Caring4Kids Golf Classic

24th Annual Caring4Kids Golf Classic

Sixty golfers filled the course at Hawk’s Nest Golf Club in support of CCHO’s most vulnerable residents. Event proceeds will benefit our residential treatment program which brings hope and healing to children ages 6 to 18 who have experienced trauma and abuse.

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“I Don’t Matter”

“I Don’t Matter”

Shortly after Marcus began his treatment, he started leaving sheets of notebook paper around campus with different handwritten messages on them. One day, the message read, simply: “I don’t matter”. On another day, he dragged his foot through the dust on the baseball field to write: “Nobody loves me”.

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Michael Jr. shout-out!

Michael Jr. shout-out!

Our Heart for the Home Celebration on March 24 in Canton is the biggest event of the year for our family of ministries. We are so excited to have Christian comedian Michael Jr. performing live that night!

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Heart for the Home Celebration

Heart for the Home Celebration

The first-ever Heart for the Home Celebration was created as we sought to not only pay tribute to our past but also look forward to an exciting future that God is unfolding for us!

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A new name & an eternal promise

A new name & an eternal promise

As we began discussing a redesign of the semi-annual newsletter for CCHO, we wondered if there may be a more meaningful name for the publication, something with a relevant connection to God’s Word that illustrates our desire to more effectively communicate information about our ministries. Our search eventually led us to those two simple yet striking words.

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CCHO honored with WorthyWorks Award

CCHO honored with WorthyWorks Award

The new year got off to a memorable start for CCHO when the Wayne County Community Foundation and the Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce presented the agency with its annual WorthyWorks Award.

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