Children's Home alumni include teachers, social workers, business executives, attorneys, nurses, and entrepreneurs. Many former residents have kept in touch with us over the years. If you would like to share your story, add your name to the alumni mailing list, or simply contact us to let us know how you're doing, please click here.

 UMHC Alumni Success Stories

 Stephen Latshaw

I spent a little more than five years of my life at the United Methodist Home for Children. As I reflect back on those years, from ages 10 to 15, I consider the impact my stay at the Home had on my life.

The circumstances that led me to the Home were unfortunate, but perhaps a blessing. I was able to stay with my brother and sister which, especially in the beginning, made things bearable, if not normal.

As I adapted to my new surroundings, I learned there were many children who also had unfortunate circumstances in their lives. Through this common bond we became a very attached group.

The staff at the Home did a remarkable job of binding together so many children from different races, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds. The ability to have so many children come together in one place, relatively trouble-free, is a credit to the commitment and dedication of a caring and responsible group of people. It is these people to whom I am grateful.

My stay at the Home allowed me to experience so many things which contributed to my becoming a fruitful, productive member of society. I learned how to get along in a very diverse community. There were kids and staff who were Caucasian, African-American, Asian, and Hispanic. We were together all of the time. Through this diversity, young people learned to respect others and their property.

Despite all of the kids, 'life' was pretty normal. We went to school, we had to do chores, and we got into trouble when we did something wrong. I believe the routine of the Home led to a sense of belonging and normalcy.

The Home provided more than belonging and normalcy. We always went to church; we always had athletic competitions with outside groups or among ourselves; we were always given the opportunity to experience new hobbies or skills.

Through the programs at the Home, I learned many good traits which include fairness, perserverance, discipline, teamwork, and so many others. It was the efforts of the staff that enabled so many kids to grow and develop into productive citizens.

The Home still succeeds today because of the dedicated, caring staff. I have the honor of remaining very close to members of the staff at the Home, and I know of many other kids that still return to the Home or call on the phone to say "Hi". It is these acts by those who have lived at the Home that show the impact this place and these people have had on so many lives.

 Susan Whitmire Barnes

How could I have known 30 years ago what the United Methodist Home for Children was going to mean in my life? I can still remember the day when I was thirteen years old, knowing we could not stay in the situation in which we were living, crying, praying, and asking God to please help me and my three sisters find a place to live, a place where we would receive the care we needed.

I did not even know for sure God heard me until a few months later. The four of us were asked if we would visit the United Methodist Home for Children to determine if we would live there together or be separated among four different relatives. As soon as we visited, and felt the love and care at the Chidlren's Home, we knew we had found our home and a way we could stay together.

It is impossible to describe all the United Methodist Home for Children has done for me and given to me. They helped me pick up the pieces of my broken life and put them back together in a way which enabled me to become whole. While living there, I received not only food, clothing, and shelter, but also love, support, stability, and help in dealing with the pain of a difficult childhood. At the Home, I found myself part of a large family, and received the nurturing I needed to mature and succeed in college and adult life. I now have a wonderful marriage, family, and a very complete life, for which I give much credit to the love and care I experienced at the Home, enabling me to reach my full potential in life.

I often look back to that day at age thirteen when I asked God to help us, and I am so thankful that He heard the broken-hearted prayer of a child. I am also thankful the United Methodist Home for Children continues to piece back together the lives of young peope who need someone to care for them and love them. Sometimes the Home may be all they have…..

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