Lake Waccamaw, NC - A group of nine volunteers from First Baptist Simpsonville spent a week building horse paddocks and shelters on the Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina farm.
“We were able to match the skills the volunteers had to a project that will have a significant impact on our organization,” said Volunteer Mobilization Coordinator Lisa Brown. “These new paddocks and shelters allow us to board more horses, bringing in more income for the organization’s programs. The shelters also allow more space to house our therapeutic horses, which means more youth served through our Eagala Equine Therapy program.”
This volunteer experience was made possible through a connection created back in June 2021 when the Church of Simpsonville brought their youth group to campus through Mission Serve.
“Before that trip, most of the participants had never heard of BGHNC and learned at that time of how endangered children were cared for,” said Tony Brown. “My getting to know Lisa Brown was nothing more that God bringing two people together at the right time. I learned early on that Lisa had just started her new job at BGHNC a few weeks before we arrived. I knew nothing about how volunteers were used on the campus and Lisa was getting her feet on the ground to try to get some projects done. We had a short conversation concerning the needs at BGHNC, a later phone call, and a later visit to discuss possibilities of bringing a men’s group to help with some construction needs around campus.”
Those discussions led to the plan for a five day trip in early March to work on the assigned project.
“Much prayer was lifted up over the next few weeks asking the Lord for the right men with servant attitudes to go, for the projects to be doable for us, and that the weather would be kind and allow the work to be done,” Tony Brown said. “The nine men that accepted this assignment were the perfect fit for the team that needed to be at BGHNC that week.”
He credits the communication and planning efforts completed before the volunteers arrived on campus for the success of the project.
“Lisa Brown did an amazing job of arranging the logistics of us being able to stay on campus and have our evening meals prepared,” he said. “Our church contributed the fuel funds for travel and the men were willing to pay for some of the food after a generous donation was given to us by a church member. (BGHNC Director of Grounds & Farm Operations) Eric Tachau had conversations with our construction captain and all of the supplies were determined and delivered to the sight before we arrived or as we needed them. Several of the staff members of BGHNC provided the evening meals to us that allowed us to get in full days of work. And the weather was perfect for the time that we were there with 100 percent of the work needing to be done outside.
“The best part of the week was watching how everything came together for the planned work,” he continued. “Many things were totally out of our control but God was there and provided for us to start and finish what we started in the allotted time. From our perspective, the week was a success and everyone was satisfied with the accomplishments and the comradery exhibited throughout the week.”
The entire experience has the volunteer group inspired to come back to the Lake Waccamaw campus.
“Yes, the team would be willing to come back to help again to make BGHNC be the best that it could be for children of North Carolina with many needs,” Tony Brown said. “It is our hope that we can do it again!”
This is the volunteer experience BGHNC President/CEO Ricky Creech envisioned when he arrived at the nonprofit.
“Boys and Girls Homes has long enjoyed the benefits of volunteer support for projects across campus, but we haven’t fully tapped into this resource,” said Creech. “We want to be able to provide a volunteer experience at a different level, allowing our volunteers to share their talents in a more coordinated way.”
The organization will soon be launching a volunteer website that will allow potential volunteers to select projects and track their hours.
If you are interested in volunteering, contact Volunteer Mobilization Coordinator Lisa Brown at email@example.com or 910-646-3083.
About Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina
Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., has been helping children since 1954. Since then, more than 7,500 children have benefitted from the services of the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. BGHNC offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, Success Coach services to prevent children from coming into foster care, and free children’s therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 320 children are cared for through the residential, community-based services, and school program provided by BGHNC at any given time. BGHNC operates its program, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. BGHNC is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation. To learn more, visit www.boysandgirlshomes.org.