News – Christian Children’s Home of Ohio

News

Thank you, Wayne County Community Foundation

CCHO is pleased to receive an $8,000 grant award from the Wayne County Community Foundation. We are extremely grateful for this contribution through the Beaverson Foundation Community Fund, the Leonard Schnell Community Fund and the William A. Foll, Sr. and Patricia K. Foll Community Fund. Their generosity will benefit The Promise Project capital campaign with funds specifically designated for volleyball nets and wall pads for the Children’s Leadership & Recreation Center.

The children in our residential center have experienced various types of intense trauma that can impede their ability to control thoughts, emotions and actions. Research indicates that play and games can improve executive function, working memory and self-control in children with behavioral issues. Safe, healthy play also has been linked to increased feelings of safety, reduced levels of aggression and a readiness to learn. In those playful moments when the kids can just be kids, they forget about the pain that brought them here, and instead they can be the wonderful, joyful and carefree children that God created them to be.

“Our promise is to help children who have endured unspeakable trauma find their worth in Christ,” says Kevin Hewitt, President & CEO. “We offer a variety of therapeutic, social, spiritual and educational opportunities to best care for our kids with the healing process. The Children’s Leadership & Recreation Center is another advancement in our service to hurting kids.”

In the midst of the winter season, we are reminded of the importance of a safe and warm indoor space for our residents to engage in healthy activities. Thank you, Wayne County Community Foundation, for your support of children in need. These funds shine brightly towards the completion of our capital campaign.

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Expressing God’s extravagant love

The song says Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but that’s not true for everyone. While life at home for the boys and girls on the CCHO campus was often terrifying, many of them are still homesick, especially this time of year. Sadly, these kids didn’t wake up in their own beds on Christmas morning.

But because of kind and loyal supporters, they did wake up to an astonishing example of generosity and love. Contributors to our annual Christmas Wish List program donated more than 400 gifts to 34 children on our campus. Wow! Even more incredibly, the Wish List donors sent in gifts to 97 kiddos in our Encompass Christian Counseling ministry, bringing the total number of gifts donated this year to nearly 1100!

Each year, we are blown away by this showing of love and support for the children and families we are blessed to serve. As Christians, we know Christmas isn’t about the gifts, but our Wish List program is a meaningful and memorable expression of God’s extravagant love for us, passed on to children who may never have experienced it before.

Cindy McCory, ReMax Showcase, Wish List donors for 5 years

I’ve been involved in helping CCHO for over 5 years. I was initially introduced through a friend who had fostered a couple boys through CCHO, and I wanted to help in some small way. I have four of my own children who I wanted to include in the process, so we started shopping for a child or two every Christmas. I would have each of my kids give up at least one of their Christmas gifts and took them individually shopping to pick out a gift for a child we were assigned. Every year I would bring my kids and their friends to wrap gifts for at least one cottage during the season. As my children grew, it became part of their Christmas and they had even taken on their own lists to organize and buy for. We would usually try to be available for any last-minute kids who needed gifts. It is not only a great way to help bring Christmas to kids who are in need, but an opportunity for my children to learn the real meaning of Christmas. As my kids left for college, I started including my co-workers at Re/Max to help sponsor kids. This year we bought gifts for 4 kids and had over 15 staff members come wrap presents! I am certain that participating in the program blesses the donors just as much as the Children on Christmas morning. It brings Christmas into perspective.

The Ballentine Family, Wish List donors for 10 years

We love to participate in the program to hopefully give some kids hope and share the love of God. To let them know, there are people who love them and want them to have their physical desires met by God’s grace and love for them. It has been a blessing to receive the kids lists, review them, then go shopping to search out the things they’ve asked for. Honestly, I also love the challenge of finding things they want, trying to figure out “who they are” through the notes of hobbies/favorite color, etc. and finding things that they will love. On Christmas morning, before opening our gifts, we pray a pray of thanksgiving for God’s generous gifts toward us and we pray for the kids at CCHO who are opening the gifts we purchased. Praying they are surprised and unbelievably blessed by them.

Bridge Street Church of Christ, Wish List donors for 19 years

Our youth group refers to it as “Holiday Smiles.” We have had other churches help over the years and most recently for the last 3 years Ohio University – Chillicothe Social Work program (SSWA) has also partnered with us to purchase the gifts. We started Holiday Smiles not only to give to the children at CCHO, but to create a service project for our own kids at BSCC. Holiday Smiles has become a tradition at BSCC starting every June at VBS. The collecting runs during certain fundraising events from VBS, craft shows, bake sales and chicken noodle dinners. It teaches our children to help others and give what they can and when they can. Organizing Holiday Smiles over the last 19 years has been the highlight of our Christmas activities each year. As a bonus, our congregation enjoys reading the thank you cards that we display each year. It adds a personal connection with the children. What a blessing!

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One heart on the rise

We have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. 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! Please join us in praise and prayer for his continued growth and transition from our residential program.

Once high school sweethearts, a series of bad choices led to a marriage falling apart. The difficulties of this loss sadly led to additional poor choices made by both parents and children. One sibling faired the storm and one sibling arrived at CCHO for additional support for his anger and behavioral challenges. That’s when this family’s healing journey began.

Shaun* settled into his program here on our Wooster campus and found several positive leisure activities to enjoy and help him make better choices. He also began family counseling with his mom. She drove several hours each way multiple times a week to visit and participate in these sessions. Even when Shaun was not very nice to her, she continued to attend counseling and be supportive and open to feedback. Together with a clinician, they were able to identify and work through emotional concerns while learning effective communication skills.

As a celebratory session at the end of treatment, the clinical team joined Shaun and his family on an escape room activity. This gave him the opportunity to demonstrate his problem-solving, communication and anger-management skills with his family in real time. Upon reentry to school, the principal noted, “He’s a brand new kid!” as he could see the positive changes in self-confidence and communication displayed in Shaun.

Our clinical team also worked with Shaun’s family to create a parenting plan and a family schedule to help them succeed in their reunification. We are truly excited to be a part of this family’s growth! Our social work approach wraps around the entire family with relentless commitment and kindness to help them experience their worth in Christ and find healing as a family unit.

Thank you for celebrating this #OneHeartOnTheRise with us. And thank you for your financial support and advocacy. You are helping to make safety and healing a reality for children and families like this.

*name changed to protect his identity

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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. Though they have experienced much hardship, they are not forgotten. We are blessed to be part of God’s amazing work of lives being changed. We are thankful to you, our donors and supporters, for helping vulnerable kids and families through your time and resources. Your partnership provides each of these precious individuals with safety and treatment as well as the opportunity to experience their worth in Christ. Here is just one example of life change because of your generosity.

A Children’s Residential Center (CRC) is often a very misunderstood place. Some people think it’s a glorified detention facility. Some see it as a 24/7 daycare for aggressive children. Still others see it as an untrustworthy place where kids in pain must remain on guard and work tirelessly to protect themselves from even more pain. The latter was certainly the perception held by a 14-year-old young man when he was referred to our CRC here at CCHO.

At the time, Joe (name changed to protect his identity) had been living with his grandparents, but they felt they couldn’t handle their grandson anymore. They had come to the end of their rope and so had Joe. Upon his arrival on campus, Joe seemed like a respectable young man with some socially awkward tendencies, but overall didn’t appear aggressive or defiant. Unfortunately, that changed in the days that followed, with Joe exhibiting a vast range of what most would consider to be odd, attention-seeking and defiant behaviors.

Soon after, we discovered the root of the issues presented: Joe had witnessed his father shoot and kill himself when Joe was 4 years old. His mother then began physically abusing him because she didn’t know how to process his father’s suicide. He was left feeling powerless and without any control, a young boy full of guilt and self-blame who sadly became the scapegoat of the family. After Joe was removed from his mother’s care, his grandparents tried for years to help, to care and to love, but it only led to more anger and frustration, which caused him further hurt.

Joe wanted healing but, because of his misconceptions about residential facilities, he was unsure if he could find it at CCHO. He had been led to believe that CCHO was unsafe and, therefore, his behaviors continued for a few months until, one day, he decided to hand over to the staff a pocket knife that he had been hiding for his protection. He decided that he didn’t need it anymore, that he felt safe with the staff at CCHO. For maybe the first time in his life, Joe finally felt safe.

In the weeks and months that followed, he began connecting with the staff and many of his behaviors disappeared while the others decreased significantly. Through regular counseling, Joe began to process the trauma that he had been through and started to change his perspective on life, a process that led to freedom from his confining feelings of helplessness and powerlessness. He no longer blamed himself for his father’s death. He began engaging in social activities without fear. He began to show his true self by caring for other people and the animals on campus. Most importantly, he began attending church services, gave his life to Jesus and was baptized through our campus ministry and began to faithfully seek God.

Only one thing stood in the way for Joe, and that was his past. Because Joe had hurt his grandparents so deeply, they had difficulty trusting him. After multiple conversations about how he had changed for the better, they still didn’t feel safe enough to bring Joe home. Fortunately, God was on the move. Joe’s grandmother agreed to attend family therapy in hopes of addressing some of the hurts that she had both experienced and caused, and after his initial hesitancy, Joe’s grandfather participated as well. Joe responded by demonstrating resiliency and taking full responsibility for all he had done to his grandparents. He didn’t blame them for their reluctance to bring him home; instead, he apologized for the past. Despite his own pain, he acknowledged the pain he had caused others. His grandparents, finally allowing themselves to believe that healing had come, offered Joe forgiveness and even apologized for their own past mistakes.

What once seemed like an impossibility became reality when Joe reunified with his grandparents after nearly nine months of treatment at CCHO, a powerful illustration of Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:26: “With God, all things are possible.”

You may be asking yourself the same question that Joe’s grandparents had: “Can healing from hurt that deep really come in nine months?” With Jesus, it can. For Joe, it did. And for many children with a similar story, it has, it does, and it will continue.

CCHO’s CRC was Joe’s safe place where he could find healing, discover hope and experience his worth in Christ. In his last week at CCHO, Joe tearfully expressed his gratitude for the help CCHO provided, and he attributed his life change to giving everything to Jesus and following Him.

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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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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

Click the thumbnails below to view larger photos.

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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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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

Click the thumbnails below to view larger photos.

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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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