Karon first stepped foot on CCHO’s Wooster campus in November of 1981 when her parents, Tim and Pat McKelley, were hired as house parents in Cottage 2. This year, Karon celebrated her 25th work anniversary. What a way to wrap up our story series!
I continue to be involved with CCHO in volunteer capacities. I co-chair the mission team at Orrville Christian Church, which is supporting church of CCHO. CCHO will always have a special place in my heart.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.