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CCHO and our family of ministries celebrates reaccreditation from Council on Accreditation

CCHO and our family of ministries have recently completed a rigorous reaccreditation process with an independent international accrediting body called Council on Accreditation (COA). Implementing COA standards means our organization is among the best in the field. We are proud to be a part of this community of excellence.

CCHO President and CEO Kevin Hewitt says, “We are so pleased to be affirmed by COA as we head into the celebration of our 50th anniversary year in 2019. Led by our continuous quality improvement team, CCHO actively engages staff members in reviewing and refining policies and procedures so we can realize our vision to be the partner of choice, providing services that transform lives, families and communities. Many thanks to John Smith, director of continuous quality improvement, and his team, for leading this important project over the last 16 months.”

Accreditation is the formal evaluation of an organization or program against best practice standards. It is both a status and a process. As a status, it signifies we meet the high standards of quality set forth by the accrediting body. As a process, it involves an in-depth self-review of an organization or program against currently accepted best practice standards, an onsite visit by an evaluation team comprised of experts, and a subsequent review and decision by the accrediting body.

COA’s team of experts spent weeks in advance of their on-site visit pouring over hundreds of documents prepared for their review. Then the team (made up of experts in the field from Florida, New York and Alberta, Canada) traveled to our campus to experience our work firsthand through observation and interviews followed by more document examination giving evidence of what we do. During their four-day site visit, they interviewed board members, staff at all levels of the organization, children in our residential program, foster families and clients in our outpatient programs. They also visited our downtown Wooster office as well as our Massillon location.

One peer reviewer, a 40-year veteran in the human services industry who has conducted 115 assessments, followed up with an email to our staff: “… It was a very enjoyable site visit. Please let everyone know how much I appreciated their cooperation. It helped to renew my faith. Again many, many thanks.” This message sums up why we do what we do: To help people experience their worth in Christ.

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When braiding leads to bonding

God often moves in profound and 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 and subtler ways. As a supporter of our ministry, your generosity continues to be used by God to accomplish His plan for kids like Karlee* on our campus.

Karlee’s birth parents had been running a meth lab out of her home when she was placed into the residential program at Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (CCHO). A victim of severe neglect and physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her father, Karlee carried the debilitating effects of her trauma into her very first day on campus, when she threatened to stab a CCHO staff member with a pair of scissors shortly after arriving.

It was clear from the beginning that Karlee was mad at everyone – her parents, the county workers who sent her to CCHO, and the staff who were now trying to help her. However, she was maybe angriest at God for not protecting her from the pain and abuse she had endured. Her parents’ choices had not only deeply wounded Karlee, they had also forced her to care for her younger siblings, ensuring they got off to school each day and had food to eat, which robbed her of the chance to lead a typical teenager’s life. Once her grandmother died, Karlee lost what little sense of stability she’d had, and from the moment she arrived at CCHO, she made a point of rebelling against any and all authority.

Karlee’s behavior was a product of her extensive trauma, and she was desperately trying to protect herself from more pain. At night, she curled up into a ball in the corner of her room because she was afraid her dad would find her. We were soon reminded that even the simplest act of kindness can bring down the tallest walls around an anguished heart.

Karlee clashed early and often with Alisha, a CCHO treatment specialist who worked to establish accountability in Karlee’s life in her first couple of weeks on campus. “She never had authority. She never had anyone telling her what to do,” Alisha says. “So of course it would make her angry when someone is trying to parent her….”

When leaving work one day, Alisha discovered that Karlee had used gravel to form a vulgar message on the trunk of her car. Rather than getting mad, Alisha chose to demonstrate God’s grace and love for Karlee. “So many of the kids are used to getting in trouble, getting beat when they do something wrong,” she says. “When they see the staff forgive them, that makes an impact. We can tell them about God all day long and they won’t care, but when we show them the love of God, that’s what makes the difference.”

About a month later, Karlee watched Alisha braiding yarn into a lanyard and asked if she could teach her how to do it. Alisha quickly demonstrated the method to Karlee, not thinking much of the interaction. The next day, however, she found a handwritten note from Karlee:

“Thank you for teaching me how to braid. I really appreciate it. That impacted me in a way you probably wouldn’t understand. My dad knew how to (braid) also, but every time I’d ask him to teach me, he would say, ‘NOT RIGHT NOW.’ After (I asked) a few more times, he got his (belt) out and beat me with it. So, THANK YOU!”

At the bottom, she taped a small green and yellow braid to the page and wrote, “I’d like you to have the first one I made.”

Karlee still has a long way to go in her treatment, but Alisha says she has made incredible progress as she opens up in therapy about her trauma. The walls are beginning to come down, she treats staff and fellow residents with kindness, and her heart grows softer and softer each day as she learns more about who she is in the eyes of her loving God.

The healing process is different for everyone, but it’s almost always messy. The children on our campus require patience as they work through their trauma, and they often take one step back after two encouraging steps forward. Your continued support of the work being done at CCHO and our family of ministries makes stories like Karlee’s possible. Without donors like you, Karlee and other traumatized children like her may never experience grace and forgiveness or hear that they are loved unconditionally by the God who created them.

Support CCHO this fall

Will you consider showing the love and generosity of God by making a gift so even more boys and girls can learn just how precious they are in their Father’s eyes?

*name changed to protect identity

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24th Annual Caring4Kids Golf Classic

Monday’s heat and humidity were no match for our 15 golf teams as they tackled 36 holes for our 24th annual Caring4Kids Golf Classic. Teammates spurred one another on in our scramble format and participated in several contests including longest drive, closest to the pin, and hole in one.

The event is about so much more than a fun day of golf. 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. We are extremely grateful to our players and sponsors for helping us meet physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the kids we serve.

Congratulations to all our winners!
Round one winners: Central Coated Products, Inc.
Steven Porter, Steve Porter, Tom Kloet, Art Hagg

Round two winners: Steve Underwood
Steve Underwood, Kim Clark, Bob Blankenship, Craig Durr

Special thanks to our premier event sponsors:
Hummel Group, Area Wide Protective, Central Coated Products, Inc., Ohio Gratings, Inc., Vasco Asphalt Company

Additional sponsors include:
BellStores/Campbell Oil Company, Mennonite Mutual, MiMy Media, Van Nostran Young & Associates, Whitaker-Myers Group

Many thanks to our tee sponsors:
Aber Automotive, Bauman Orchards, Buchholz Plumbing & Heating, Certified Angus Beef, Coblentz Bros, Inc., The Daily Record, Derodes Holdings LTD, Family Pools & Spas, Frontz Drilling Inc, Gerber Feed Service, H & H Custom Homes, J & J Auto Wrecking, Lincdor, Martin Jewelers, McClintock Electric, Millers Septic Tank Cleaning, Nagy’s Collision Center, Riceland Flow Care, Ride On LLC, Rufener’s Furniture, Santmyer Oil, Smetzer Tire Center, State Farm Insurance-Jane Nicholson Agency, Sterling Farm Equipment, Swartzentruber Plumbing & Heating, Village Motors, Wayco Recycling Center, Winkler Tire

Thank you to our prize donors:
ASAP! Advertising Specialties & Printing, Copeco, Whitaker-Myers Group, The Workshops, Inc.,

Enjoy the event through our image gallery below and make plans to join us next year as we celebrate our 25th annual golf classic.

Photo Gallery

Click the thumbnails below to view larger photos.

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A great night with great laughs at the 2018 Heart for the Home Celebration

Laughter has a way of bringing people together, and on an early spring night at First Christian Church in Canton, comedian Michael Jr. definitely brought the funny! Nearly 500 people attended the 2018 Heart for the Home Celebration in support of Christian Children’s Home of Ohio and its family of ministries on Saturday, March 24, and they were treated to an assortment of tasty hor d’oeuvres and desserts, a huge silent auction with more than 100 bundles up for bidding, and a live comedy show from Christian comic Michael Jr.

We also handed out our Heart for the Home awards to Marge Furney in honor of her late husband and former CCHO board member Russ Furney, who served the agency for more than 20 years; and Ryan Rasmussen, lead pastor at First Christian Church, for the church’s decades of support and service. As a special treat, one of the young CCHO residents celebrated with us after being baptized earlier that day by sharing her testimony on stage before singing the song “Oceans” for the audience, a performance that earned her a standing ovation!

Flip through some of our favorite photos from the night below, and be on the lookout for details of our 50th anniversary celebration, coming in 2019!

Photo Gallery

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Thank you to our 2018 Heart for the Home sponsors!

Two days! We are so excited for Saturday night when we open the doors at First Christian Church in Canton for our 2018 Heart for the Home Celebration with comedian Michael Jr. Of course, an event like this wouldn’t be possible without the support of some incredible sponsors like PNC Bank, Northern Ohio Printing, Van Nostran Young & Associates, and ASAP Advertising Specialties & Printing. Thank you!

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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! The evening will be filled with tons of great food, a huge silent auction and endless laughs. Get your tickets today — the deadline is Monday, March 19 at 11:59pm EST!

Judging by this video, Michael Jr. is excited for March 24. We hope to see you there!

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Michael Jr. says it’s OK to laugh at church

Comedian Michael Jr. will be performing a live show at our 2018 Heart for the Home Celebration in Canton on March 24 (get your tickets here)! To help you prepare for what promises to be a night of laughter that you won’t soon forget, we’ll be posting some Michael Jr. videos in the coming weeks.

Today, let Michael Jr. convince you that it’s OK to laugh at church!

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Heart for the Home Celebration

As we move ever closer to celebrating the 50th anniversary of Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (CCHO) in 2019, we wanted to take some time to look back on our agency’s long and storied past, an incredibly fruitful history that would not be possible without God’s guidance and blessings at every step. To do that right, not only did we need to praise the Creator who has made everything possible during CCHO’s existence, we also needed to honor the men and women who have invested their lives in our family of ministries.

And so, 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! Nearly 400 people attended the event at the Greenbriar Conference & Party Centre in Wooster and after an opening prayer from Pastor Jerry Birch, the team chaplain for the Cleveland Cavaliers, everyone enjoyed the delicious dinner and dessert that was served while also bidding on more than 100 fun and unique packages in our silent auction.

The first highlight of the evening occurred early when we honored former CCHO Executive Director Gary Porter and his 33 years of dedicated service with a video presentation and our first Heart for the Home award. Please watch the full video below:

After dinner, CCHO therapist Brandon Jurkovich treated everyone to a personal and inspirational spoken word performance that examined the importance of fatherhood in the lives of children before handing the mic off to Dru Joyce II. The head boys basketball coach at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron and former mentor to LeBron James continued the fatherhood theme by speaking about his many years working with the young men on his teams and how his time as a coach and mentor has impacted his relationship with his own kids.

We also unveiled our agency’s first book, “Father’s Day Miracle: Faith, Fatherhood and the Day Everything Changed for Cleveland Sports Fans.” Everyone in attendance received a copy of the new book, which examines the intricate and sometimes messy relationships that are formed at the intersection of our calling as fathers, our passion as sports fans and, above all, our identity as followers of Christ. To learn more about this project and how you can get a copy of your own in time for Father’s Day, visit fathersdaymiracle.com!

Finally, we discussed our exciting plans to build a gym on the CCHO campus, a place where our young residents can shoot some hoops, burn off some energy and escape the cold Ohio winters. We will be releasing more information on this initiative in the coming months, so please stay tuned!

We were overwhelmed by the generosity and support that those in attendance and our sponsors demonstrated at the Heart for the Home Celebration. In total, the event raised nearly $90,000, which far exceeded our goal for the evening. Incredible! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who attended, and be on the lookout for the next Heart for the Home Celebration in 2018!

We will be posting more video highlights from the evening, so stay tuned. In the meantime, to get a closer look at the festivities, please check out the photo gallery below.

Photo Gallery

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A new name & an eternal promise

“Behold, I make all things new.”

All Things newsletterThese words from Revelation 21:5 (ESV) are bursting with hope, a powerful promise from God that the pain, the sorrow, the frustrations of this life are temporary, that something better awaits. But maybe what we love most about this verse is who and what the promise applies to. ALL things. There are no disclaimers, no qualifiers, no fine print hiding out at the bottom of the page saying, “eligibility subject to approval.”

ALL things.

As we began discussing a redesign of the semi-annual newsletter for Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (CCHO), formerly known as “Shareline,” 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 counseling, foster care and adoption ministries along with the latest from the CCHO campus. Our search eventually led us to those two simple yet striking words: all things.

No matter what we’ve done, the ugliness locked away in our past, the hurt we carry or even the hurt we may have caused others, Jesus redeems us all when we call to Him. What an incredible gift.

But then God took hold of this idea and showed us just how significant those two words truly are.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” (Matthew 19:26 NIV)

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 ESV)

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things.” (Colossians 1:19-20 NIV)

In our debut issue and future editions of “All Things,” we will share “all things” related to our family of ministries. You will read stories and learn about the ways God continues to bless the work we do, how He makes the impossible possible, how He demonstrates His love and power through us and the people we help, and how Jesus can redeem anyone, no matter how broken, and anything, no matter how messy.

And you will be reminded, as we are each day, of the healing and salvation that is found only in His love.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” (1 Corinthians 13:7-8 ESV)

CLICK TO READ OUR SPRING 2017 ISSUE OF “ALL THINGS”

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of our All Things newsletter.

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CCHO honored with WorthyWorks Award

ccho-worthyworks-2017The 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. Given to CCHO at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner Meeting on January 19, the WorthyWorks Award is handed out each year to local non-profit organizations that make a significant impact in their communities.

“On behalf of all our staff at Christian Children’s Home of Ohio, we are humbled to be recognized as the 2017 winner of the WorthyWorks award, and we are grateful to be able to serve in this caring community of Wayne County,” said CCHO Executive Director Kevin Hewitt (pictured to the right, between Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce president Justin Starlin and chair Paul Williams).

Specifically, CCHO was recognized after expanding its services throughout the area, including the establishment of a new Encompass Counseling and Encourage Foster Care office in downtown Wooster (637 College Avenue) as well as a partnership with Wooster Church of the Nazarene, and doing so in a fiscally responsible manner. The Chamber also pointed to the growing public awareness of CCHO and its related ministries in the community.

“For nearly 50 years, God has blessed us with the opportunity to help transform the lives of the children and adults that we serve,” Hewitt said. “Our dedicated, passionate staff reflect daily our core values of relentless commitment, selflessness and kindness.”

Visit waynecountycommunityfoundation.org to learn more about the Wayne County Community Foundation and see past winners of the WorthyWorks Award. More information on the Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce can be found at woosterchamber.com.

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of our All Things newsletter.

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