Building for Generations to Come: The Dr. Hugh Francis, Jr. Wellness Center

May 25, 2021

Building for Generations to Come 

After years of patience, prayer, hard work and generous support, we officially broke ground on the Dr. Hugh Francis, Jr. Wellness Center on our Campus last month. To me, the exciting thing about the wellness center is the opportunity for our children and our staff to have a place to work, play, and be together.

I’m excited to know that kids who have missed educational opportunities will have a safe place, without peer pressure, to receive the academic support they need.

I’m grateful that visitors, families and donors who come to visit us will have a welcoming, state-of-the-art building to hear our story, see our pictures and meet our people.

I’m pleased that the Wellness Center will be a safe place for our children who need to share their hurts, cope with their pain, and find counseling and comfort to begin a journey of healing.

I’m also excited to imagine this as a child friendly place, not an institutional building. I want our children to feel like they can come and go, see people who matter to them, participate in activities, play in the pool, and have the additional comfort of being around our staff.

We Are a Family

It is important for any organization to have a central space. But we are not just an organization, we are a family.

Some of my best memories working at Palmer Home involve staff and kids enjoying time together. We have a wonderful team that cares for our children, so the more we can bring them together in a friendly, supportive environment, the greater the outcomes.

There’s also a big picture dimension to this. In my mind, we are making a statement about the future of our organization. Palmer Home for Children has been in existence for 125 years, but by building new facilities we are messaging that the mission is alive, the need is great, and together we are committed to the next 125 years.

So, as we raise and spend a lot of money on a new building, it’s really “small change” in comparison to the impact this will have on the children we serve today and others in generations to come.

Long after you and I are gone, children will be here swimming, going to school, enjoying the lake, having dinner, and growing up in a safe, peaceful, loving environment. That’s what this wellness center represents to me, and I am eager to see it open its doors!

Drake Bassett, Palmer Home President & CEO

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