Breaking Ground Rescuing Children
Rain poured down, washing away roads and triggering thunderstorm warnings across northeast Mississippi the day before Palmer Home’s ground breaking ceremony in Hernando last month. The skies cleared just in time for Drake Bassett, President and CEO of Palmer Home for Children, to survey the muddy mess left at what was to be the site of a much anticipated ceremony.
As he and his team debated moving the ceremony indoors, he said he was reminded, “There’s an architect with much bigger plans than ours. We are just a piece of that plan.”
They ultimately decided to move the ceremony inside, but Bassett said the location didn’t really matter all that much; what really matters is the reason for the event in the first place.
On Tuesday, April 12, local and state officials joined Palmer Home’s board members and executive team to celebrate the beginning of construction on three new cottages on Palmer Home’s Hernando campus.
Through the Hernando campus chapel window the sun shone brightly as Bassett announced, “It’s a new day!”
Lynn Fitch, State Treasurer of Mississippi, echoed his sentiment, “We celebrate a new day, a new tomorrow—not by happenstance, but by the will of God.”
Just as the people gathered in the chapel had to wait out the storms of the previous day, Bassett reminded them that children across the country are facing storms in their own lives, waiting to be rescued and restored in a place like Palmer Home. Currently Palmer Home has over twenty children waiting for a home. The three new cottages started that day will provide room for thirty children, doubling capacity on the Hernando Campus.
While the sun shone down that Tuesday morning, Bassett reminded the guests many children are experiencing dark days most of us cannot imagine. Caring for even one-hundred-fifty children or two-hundred children would just scratch the surface of the number of children in need.
“But if we team up, if we think a little bigger, we can reach a whole lot more children,” Bassett said.
In addition to continuing to build on their physical campus, Palmer Home has added a privately funded, faith-driven alternative to foster care called Jonah’s Journey. Through this program, children who do not thrive in a residential group home environment will find care with “foster” families. These families, like Palmer Home’s residential caregivers, will stand in the gap for children who need a safe place to call home.
Bassett related the story of three boys rescued from an indescribable situation last fall, who were so physically ill they had to be quarantined from the other children on campus for their first few weeks at Palmer Home. Caregivers on the Columbus campus provided the physical, emotional, spiritual and educational support these boys desperately needed. Just a few days before the groundbreaking, the boys left Palmer Home to be reunited with family members who were eager and ready to care for them. These boys are but one of the many stories affected by Palmer Home’s dedication to rescuing and restoring children’s lives.
“We want to help as many of these stories as possible,” Bassett added. With three new cottages and opportunities for many individual Christian caregivers, Palmer Home is on track to do just that.
Click Here to view photos from the Hernando Groundbreaking Event.