Volunteers – Christian Children’s Home of Ohio

Volunteers

Planting, watering, growing and blooming (Story 39 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). This year of storytelling has been filled with so many heartwarming memories and precious connections that God has pieced together over five decades of ministry. Today, Matt Hayden with Tri-Village Christian Church in Pataskala, OH shares about his own personal connection to CCHO’s family of ministries. In story #39 of our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series, Matt shows how that initial seed has grown into something far greater than he could have imagined.

CCHO has been a part of my life for at least 20 years. During that time, God has filled this relationship with a combination of wonder, trial, excitement and purpose.

I first heard about CCHO while growing up in a Christian church in central Ohio. The seed was planted about the awesome ministry happening in Wooster.

I entered youth ministry right out of college and, as best as I can describe it, my wife Megan and I got too comfortable too quick. In a challenge to step out in our faith, we accepted a role at CCHO as teaching parents in 2010, serving in the teenage girls cottage. While we eventually had to admit that we were not equipped for this role long term, Megan and I have never felt more like the hands and feet of Jesus than in that season in our lives. We also experienced such love and grace watching the power of Jesus transform the lives of the kids we served. The seed was watered.

Since our time as teaching parents, we have served in vocational ministry. As the Discipleship and Outreach Minister at Tri-Village Christian Church in Pataskala, OH, part of my role is to oversee missions. It has been wonderful to now be able to support CCHO financially and in other ways on the church side. Two years ago, we took a trip to serve at CCHO during the Great Grill Off. The team certainly enjoyed the chance to serve that weekend and to see the ministry of CCHO firsthand, but God had more up his sleeve.

My wife and I had been praying about becoming foster parents, an idea that we first considered when we were teaching parents. Every attempt at connecting with a fostering agency was closed. I called Encourage Foster Care and had a great conversation with Heather Huebner. Heather so graciously answered questions and empowered us to keep pushing through with the process. Not only did we have a great mission trip as a church, but the seed began to grow.

The following year, we worked through the process of being foster parents and brought some from the church along for the journey. Then, this past June, Tri-Village got to once again serve at the Great Grill Off while also taking part in the wonderful 50th anniversary celebration throughout the weekend.

CCHO was instrumental in laying a foundation that has now led to five Tri-Village families being licensed as foster parents, including my family. While we were not able to foster through Encourage in this fostering journey, they pushed us forward in the process. Since mid-August, we have once again become Jesus’ hands and feet as we have been privileged to serve a sibling pair in foster care. We went from our own two kids to now an even fuller house that includes a seven-year-old, six-year-old and a pair of three-year-olds! God is great…and He can also be surprising! The seed is beginning to bloom!

The beautiful thing about God is that I don’t know the full amount of fruit that will come from this journey. But knowing His power, I am confident that He is creating far more fruit than we may ever know. For us personally, our brief time in Wooster connected us to several mighty servants of God, from Kevin Hewitt (CCHO’s President & CEO) taking a chance on two people who had never had experience with that kind of work, to coworkers such as Dorn and Kandy Frame who walked alongside us in a tough position.

More recently, Heather’s wonderful words of encouragement led to the fruit of even more workers entering the foster care field. But there has been so much more fruit that God has grown in 50 years of bringing healing and hope to children in the bondage of pain and sin. There is a song we have been singing frequently in our household that says, “My God is so big and so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do.” This sentiment rings true over and over for us. Our God can shine light into the darkest of shadows. There has been more fruit multiplied through 50 years of ministry at CCHO than anyone can comprehend or imagine through God’s power. Here’s to 50 more years, CCHO!

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

Blessings from Meadow View (Story 35 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’re honored to hear from Lashley Hess, the VBS Director for Meadow View Church of Christ in Frazeysburg, OH. Lashley and her church recently blessed CCHO and the children in our residential program on two separate occasions. Read story #35 in our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series to learn more about the generosity of this special church family.

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. The thought of donating material items to an organization and then blessing them once again later in the summer with a work day was very exciting.

I started off with an open mind and went to CCHO’s website. As soon as I read the mission of CCHO, I knew exactly who our VBS would be sponsoring! Not only was I excited to help CCHO but I knew our VBS kids would be excited as well, thinking they would more easily relate to an organization that helps other children.

Instead of just raising money alone, we asked CCHO what material things we could collect. We were given a list of items needed to make care packages for the CCHO residents, and each day kids would bring in items on the list. Then, at the end of each night of VBS, we would show a large teeter-totter scale, with the girls on one side of the scale and the boys on the other side. The scale would tip to whichever side brought the most items that day, and the gender that won each night got to put their names in a drawing to give mud baths at the end of the week. The children could also choose which adult to put their monetary donations toward each night, and my husband and I ended up being the “losers” (or winners, depending on which way you look at it), so we got that mud bath on the last night of VBS. It was so much fun to watch the children get so excited over all of the donations we were able to raise!

We brought a few of the VBS kids from church with us to drop off our donations at CCHO. We were able to deliver enough supplies for a year’s worth of care packages and we raised enough to purchase 18 portable DVD players for the home! The staff’s excitement when they received these items was so amazing to witness. It definitely blessed our congregation to get to help them out and know we have made a difference!

Then, last weekend, we were able to complete that Mission Trip work day! It was so amazing to be on campus and learn more about CCHO and all of the wonderful things they do. We did some generalized cleaning and maintenance around the property, and we also built a fence. It was a day full of a lot of hard work, laughter, and relationships strengthened within our own team.

Two things from the trip stick out most. One was an excited little girl riding by on a horse during therapy and waving at our group with all of her might. The other was something that was said to us by Dan Franks, who hosted us that day. “This is home for these kids. It means a lot to them for people that they don’t even know to come and spend an entire day working to make it better for them.” This trip has certainly blessed each one of us and we are looking forward to the next opportunity to come and serve. We are all very thankful for this opportunity to help out such a wonderful organization!

VBS for MVP!

Meadow View was one of many churches who sponsored CCHO with their VBS programs this summer. Watch the video to learn more about this inspiring act of generosity!

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

Riding high with Sons of God (Story 29 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). The Northern Ohio Chapter of the Sons of God Motorcycle Club has been blessing our ministry and the kids we serve on the CCHO campus every summer since 1996. On the heels of SOGMC’s latest visit on Saturday, August 17, Anthony Lehman writes about his club’s incredible event and the ways their members show our young residents the love to Christ each year. In story #29 of our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series, we give thanks for the unbelievable generosity shown by the SOGMC over nearly a quarter of a century.

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.

The Sons of God MC, Northern Ohio Chapter had the pleasure of hosting their first benefit run for Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (CCHO) in 1996. This annual benefit has taken place every August for the past 23 years, with 100% of the money raised going to directly support CCHO.

The SOGMC, Northern Ohio annual CCHO Benefit Run takes the participants on a journey of 75-100 miles, beginning in the Akron/Barberton area, winding its way through the beautiful countryside of Summit and Wayne Counties, and ending at the CCHO campus. While the riders are on their way to Wooster, the children at CCHO are being treated to a host of activities including games, prizes and face painting, to name a few. At the conclusion of the run, the riders join the children for an afternoon of eating, socializing, entertainment and all-around fun. Some of the entertainment provided throughout the years has included motorcycle stunt riding, parachutists, puppet shows, bands and more.

Toward the end of the day, the SOGMC, Northern Ohio Chapter auctions off numerous donated baskets and items. We present awards to the riders from different categories such as furthest distance traveled, largest motorcycle club, and the coveted Kids’ Choice for best bike. We then conclude with what is arguably the best part of the event for the participants and the children: the motorcycle rides. The SOGMC members and participants provide the children with helmets and are then blessed to be able to give the children motorcycle rides around the property.

It has been the pleasure of the SOGMC Northern Ohio Chapter to be involved with CCHO in this capacity, and we look forward to many more years of blessing the members of this community, as they have so richly blessed us in return.

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

Cool cars and warm hearts (Story 27 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). For the last 10 years, the Mid-Ohio Corvette Club (MOCC) has blessed our young residents with a memorable day filled with yummy food, outdoor fun and rides around campus in some of the coolest cars you’ve ever seen. In story #27 of our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series, Jim Morrison and Regi Muich from MOCC share the history behind their annual Cruisin’ for the Kids event, which just drew 162 Corvettes to the CCHO campus this past Saturday, August 10. We are so grateful for this 10-year partnership with MOCC!

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.

Members quickly worked as a team to organize committees for everything needed to create a successful, fun and financially rewarding day for CCHO. Flyers were printed and mailed to anyone and everyone we knew who owned a Corvette so they could mark their calendars for August 14. From April through early August, the Corvette Club members canvassed an area consisting of at least three counties practically going door-to-door to both individuals and companies asking for contributions for CCHO.

The big day arrived with terrific weather and excitement, as well as butterflies. The gathered enthusiasts enjoyed visiting with one another during a pastry, bagel and fruit breakfast at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Wooster. They were also treated to the local FM radio station WQKT playing music and asking trivia questions for prizes.

Shortly after, 110 Corvettes were on their way to CCHO on roads chosen to show off some of the Wooster area’s natural beauty. Upon arrival, they were parked in a large grassy area near a pavilion set up for all the activities at the home.

My wife Darlene and I are proud to be members of an organization with fellow members who are willing to do what must be done. It doesn’t really seem like work when we have the opportunity to show a few children love and kindness. It warms our hearts when we as a club can create a smile on a child’s face from something we have done.

-Jim

This Cruisin’ for the Kids event has grown over the past 10 years, and the kids and staff now choose the car show winners. One year, the children chose as their favorite a particularly beautiful car that had won multiple trophies at other shows. The owner later told me that this was the best trophy he had ever received and that it meant more to him than any other.

We now give rides to the children and staff as well, a tradition that started when one of the Buckeye Corvette Club members showed up with a banner for the girls to wear that said, “Buckeye Princess.” The girls who wanted a ride were allowed to sit as Princess of the Day while riding around the campus waving to everyone. When it was discovered that the boys felt left out, all the kids (and staff too) were given rides.

It is heartwarming to see the kids enjoy the cars and attention each year. After getting into a convertible, one little girl looked up and squealed, “This car doesn’t have a roof!” Two years ago, we sang happy birthday to one of the residents. I have never heard a more sincere rendition of the song.

We wish CCHO a very happy 50th anniversary! MOCC and other Corvette enthusiasts are honored to share the day with the kids at CCHO.

-Regi

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

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.

Connect2Kids (C2K) is an incredible volunteer program where people who love Jesus get to put His love into action and follow His command to love. This program offers the ability to fellowship, teach, and guide hurting boys and girls on our residential campus.

Our current C2K volunteers come into kids’ lives once a week and typically provide a meal, an activity and a devotion or lesson focused on Jesus or other Bible stories. We are looking to expand this program to include individuals who have a specific skill and a desire to help kids find a new spark, passion or coping skill that they can use for long-term success.

For so many kids in residential, their lives have been filled with hurt, abandonment and rejection. They’ve never taken a dance or music lesson. They’ve never tried out for a school play or played a team sport. They lack the confidence to try new things because they have always fallen behind their peers.

The expansion of our C2K program allows our kids and teens to explore new interests and find something they enjoy. We hope the experience will guide them into pro-social activities when they finish their residential stay and get back into their communities.

This week, our residential youth and staff put on the annual Campus Talent Show to an audience made up of staff and peers. What an amazing time to see our kids and teens share their unique abilities. Beautiful voices. Incredible artwork. Creative dances. Heartfelt expression. So many special giftings that had the opportunity to shine and be celebrated.

Program staff came alongside our residents to assist with costumes and performances. They also contributed through dynamic performances of their own — much to the delight of everyone in attendance.

Consider your skill set and pray about serving with C2K Individual. Teaching six weeks of soccer or eight weeks of theatre could impact a youth for a lifetime. We’re looking for volunteers to serve once a week for a six- or eight-week session. Perhaps the time and encouragement you give will be part of next year’s talent show.

Learn more about this new opportunity at ccho.org/volunteer or contact Campus Pastor Tim Hartzler at hartzlert@ccho.org or 330.345.7949, ext. 2597.

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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

Decades with Discover (Story 5 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). We wouldn’t have reached this milestone without the faithful and vital support of incredible churches like Discover Christian Church in Dublin, OH. Discipleship Minister Jim Brechbuhler shares why Discover has supported CCHO for decade upon decade in story #5 from our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series.

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!

This has been a long and treasured friendship. Discover supports CCHO monetarily on a monthly basis, as well as with our previously mentioned men’s construction trips. Our missions ministry and children’s ministry also help with Christmas gifts and pillows for the children, as well as with other periodic projects.

Three words quickly came to mind when I began to think of the people at CCHO, three words that best describe my deep love and respect for this ministry. Yes…CCHO has a physical location, but CCHO is its employees and the kids and families they serve. Each word comes straight from scripture.

The Discover Christian Church team pouring cement at One Heart Stables in the fall of 2018

KINDNESS

From Kevin Hewitt (President & CEO) to our own sitting board member, Bill Roberts, to the maintenance guys who we know well, kindness permeates every level of CCHO. Stumpy, Tim, Winky, Mikey and Mark from maintenance and John from One Heart Stables work closely with us on all our construction projects. We see them interact with the kids and how the kids love to joke and talk with them. Due to behavioral issues of the children that unfortunately often result in things getting broken around campus, these men sometimes have to fix the same things over and over. For many, this would be frustrating, but we only see kindness in their responses. We work long hours to get our constructions projects done in short periods of time, so we’re always asking them a zillion questions and have them running everywhere for us, but they always respond kindly! We’ve seen cottage workers endure less than kind words from children that have only had unkind words spoken to them, yet they always respond in kindness. We watch how the employees treat each other, and kindness is front and center.

PERSEVERANCE

Each day that we’re working on campus, we see Carla and the other equine counselors head out through the pastures, each leading a horse with a child in the saddle who needs to talk. Daily, they lovingly invest many hours in walking and listening, helping kids unpack their deep hurts. Our guys see counselors go home at the end of long days of helping families heal. Even though they might be weary, they often stop to chat or at least wave and smile on their way out. Professionally, helping those that hurt can be tough, in that it takes a toll on caring people. It takes perseverance to go the distance and not give up. The CCHO staff perseveres because they’re professionally strong and know that Jesus walks with them into every situation they encounter.

HUMILITY

Rare is the organization where everyone with whom you come in contact exhibits a humble spirit. Humility is in great shortfall these days, but the Holy Spirit is actively cultivating it among the CCHO staff on a continual basis!

Christ-centered kindness, perseverance and humility explain why kids and families come to CCHO hurting and leave with a new outlook on the future. Every time we pull onto campus, we know we’re going to be blessed more by the staff than we’ll bless them. We look forward to serving CCHO for many years to come and would encourage everyone to join in the mission of CCHO! From all of us at Discover to our CCHO friends, we love you all!

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