At Palmer Home, we know that it only takes one day to change a life. Many children on our campuses have experienced the sadness of being separated from their families. Others have suffered at the hands of an abuser, or have experienced rejection and loneliness far too often in their young lives.

Fortunately, we often have the privilege of being a part of a day in their lives when everything begins to change for the better. While every child at Palmer Home has experienced some sort of loss, it is our mission to ensure that the day a child arrives on our campus, they embark on a new journey of healing and restoration. In light of that purpose, we are thrilled to be nominated for the Regions What A Difference a Day Makes campaign.

Through this nomination, we receive 50 volunteer service hours and a $500 donation from our local Regions bank. This already generous offer can be increased tremendously through the subsequent contest, beginning November 1. In order to help us succeed in this contest and gain 100 service hours and a $5000 prize from Regions bank, we are asking our supporters to vote for Palmer Home for Children in the What A Difference A Day Makes campaign!

Showing your support is easy to do- just head over to the Regions Doing More Today website beginning Nov 1 and cast your vote! Then, share your vote through social media and encourage your friends and family to join you in supporting our quest to make a difference in the lives of children in need. Winners will be decided by votes, and announced on December 1st.

We know what a difference a day can make, so we’re fighting to be sure that when a child comes to Palmer Home, every day is a new opportunity to grow, learn, and heal.

Help us make a difference by voting for Palmer Home for Children every day during the month of November in the Regions What a Difference A Day Makes campaign, as we work hand in hand to bring hope and healing to children in need.

Palmer Home supporters show up in so many ways to help our children, but we constantly receive requests from friends wondering how they can do more.  Through crowdfunding, we are able to communicate a specific need, demonstrate exactly how it will benefit our children, and allow our amazing community to step up and meet that need.  This platform, aptly named “Grow Hope” is a way for friends of Palmer Home to interact with our mission in a new, exciting way.

Crowdfunding can be defined as a large number of people giving relatively small amounts of money to fund a cause, generally using social media to spread the word. It’s a concept we have recently embraced at Palmer Home for Children, as a way to share specific needs and allow our supporters to become the solution.

Palmer Home launched our very first crowdfunding project in September, in an effort to support the ambitions of children participating in our Hope Reins equestrian program.

“We have this absolutely gorgeous horse trailer,” says Hope Reins instructor Pam Cunningham, “but we need a truck that has the ability to pull 10 to 12 thousand pounds loaded into that trailer, and carry at least five people.”

What Cunningham is less likely to highlight is the fact that she has used her own personal truck up to this point, not willing to let the children miss out on any opportunity, even if it comes at her own expense. Each year she gives more experienced students the chance to compete in horse shows and attend big events such as the Rolex Three-Day Event in Kentucky.  Younger students are invited to trail rides at Lake Lowndes State Park- all made possible because of Pam Cunningham’s commitment to the children of Palmer Home.

The benefits of involving our children in an equestrian program are multifaceted, and Cunningham sees them show up in various ways.  She loves introducing a child to a horse for the first time and watching that child slowly develop a sense of trust, compassion, and confidence through continued interaction.

Our children are involved in every aspect of caring for the horses, whether feeding them, grooming them, cleaning out stalls, or even praying for the health of a sick horse at times.  The bonds between the horses and the children are strong.  Several children ask to come help out at the stables when they’ve finished their homework and cottage chores. “For them, it’s their happy place,” Cunningham shares with a smile.

Our Hope Reins crowdfunding project is scheduled to come to an end in a few weeks, but our goal has not yet been reached.  In order to help offset the cost of a gently used truck for our Hope Reins riders, we would like to raise $8,000.  It’s a big number, but we’re confident that friends like you can get us there!  Will you show your support of the Palmer Home Hope Reins riders by helping us reach our goal? Customized levels of support are available from $12 to $350!

When Cory Head, Youth Minister for St. Paul Catholic Church in Flowood, Mississippi, met with his youth group at the end of the 2016 school year, he asked them what they wanted to get out of the youth group. Many said they wanted to do more outreach. Specifically, a group of seniors wanted to organize a 5K Color Run.

Head and other youth leaders wanted the event to benefit an organization that supported children. As they began to toss around a few ideas, one of the volunteers at the church had a friend who worked for Palmer Home and suggested the group choose the children’s home as the beneficiary.

Youth at St. Paul helped get the permits for the event and gathered sponsors, including Citizen’s Bank who donated a couple of billboards and some radio time. They also helped put together “swag bags” for the participants, helped run the race and some even participated.

“The kids put a lot of work into it. We are extremely proud of them,” said Head.

On November 4, 2016, Cory, the youth, and a hundred runners gathered at the East Metro Parkway around Dogwood Mall for a 5K Color Run and 1 Mile Fun Run. The runners were divided into five age groups for both men and women, and sixty awards were distributed at the conclusion of the race.

Additionally, the youth group also sought out local restaurants to host give-back nights. Both Raising Cane’s and Five Guys Burgers and Fries chose a specific date to give back a portion of their sales that night to the fundraiser.

In the end, St. Paul’s youth presented Kaitlyn Vassar, Palmer Home for Children Development Director, with a check for $3,500 and asked her to share more with the group about Palmer Home’s mission of providing a safe place to call home for children in need.

“The kids were extremely happy with the results,” said Head.

While Palmer Home hosts fundraising events throughout the year, we also welcome the efforts of organizations, businesses, and churches who want to create their own fundraiser on our behalf. If your group has an idea, we’d love to hear about it! You can contact us at

If you’ve walked through a BankPlus location in DeSoto County, you’ve likely seen the little green houses with the Palmer Home for Children logo pinned up throughout the bank. These houses and the donations they represent were part of a test program for Palmer Home.

“We are so thankful to BankPlus for being our pilot program,” said Michelle Stubbs, Director of Development for Palmer Home for Children.

From November 7 through November 23, BankPlus locations in Desoto County asked every customer, both inside the bank and in its drive-through, if they would like to donate $1 to Palmer Home for Children. The six participating bank branches raised almost $1,000 in less than three weeks. The Venture Drive location in Southaven was recognized for raising the most funds.

As a long time Palmer Home Partner, BankPlus seemed the obvious place to test the new campaign aimed at both raising awareness and raising funds. In addition to being a corporate partner, many of the leaders of BankPlus are individual donors. Although BankPlus has locations throughout the state, the initial campaign focused on Desoto County in order to focus on raising awareness first in a community where Palmer Home has a campus.

“Worth Steen, President of BankPlus, was instrumental in approving the test and getting the employees’ support,” said Stubbs.

Throughout the two and a half weeks, several former Palmer Home residents stopped by the bank to make donations. Each took a few minutes to talk about the effect Palmer Home had in their lives and how far they’ve come since their days living on campus.

One of the most heart-touching donations came from a man who was in the hospital. He wanted to do something to show his support for the children of Palmer Home. He sent his wife with a donation to the bank, even though he was gravely ill.

The campaign gave Palmer Home an opportunity to work out the details of their pin up campaign while at the same time connecting with the community. Stubbs said it was a win-win for the organization.

Ultimately, Palmer Home hopes to expand the pin up campaign to grocery stores, clothing boutiques and other retail businesses. The next pin up campaign is happening now at Cadence Bank locations throughout Starkville, West Point & Columbus.

If your retail business would like to learn more about the campaign and how you can be a part of it, please contact

Girl taking donation box full with stuff for donate

After just two distribution periods, Palmer Home Thrift Stores announces a 400% increase in their Corners of Your Field initiative.

Corners of Your Field, launched earlier this year, allows churches to earn gift cards to Palmer Thrift Stores based on donations to the thrift store from members of the congregation. Churches earn a credit of 10% of the approximate value of the donation which accumulates on gift cards. Churches can then distribute those gift cards to families or individuals who come to the church with needs like clothing, appliances or furniture–anything the thrift store carries. The program helps churches with limited benevolence funds to do more for those in need.

During the first distribution period, the thrift store issued $800 in gift cards to around five different churches. During the most recent distribution period they distributed $4,000 in gift cards to fourteen churches. Nathan Katona, Auxiliary Business Manager, said even more pastors are contacting him about the program since the latest distribution.

One local church used their gift cards to purchase five couches for international students at a nearby college. Another church issued gift cards to families who needed new mattresses, but couldn’t afford to buy them retail.

“It’s really a win-win,” said Katona. “It helps Palmer Home. It helps the needy. And it helps our community churches.”

Call for more donations

Between the Columbus and Starkville locations, Palmer Home Thrift Stores see 1,000 individual donors every month and take in around 40,000 items. In order to grow the availability of items and sales, they are always in need of additional donations.

The thrift stores do not accept televisions, used mattresses or non-working appliances, but they will take donations of just about anything else. Katona said while they don’t have any specific items they’re currently asking for, they are need of a lot more donations in general.

Katona and Palmer Home continue to remind people that when they give to Palmer Home Thrift Stores, they are doing more than getting rid of things they no longer need. Each gift and each purchase is helping to fund the operations of Palmer Home, where over 100 children are cared for, loved and educated every day. Now, through the Corners of Your Field program, those donations also assist others who are needy in the community.

Scheduling donation pick-ups

To make giving easier, for donors with more than ten bags or boxes of donations or large furniture donations, Palmer Home Thrift Stores will actually come to you! Go to and enter your zip code to see if you qualify.  “Even if we’re not open, you can still get your pick-up scheduled,” said Katona.

In addition to donating items to the thrift stores, Palmer Home supporters can help by sharing about the thrift store needs and the Corners of Your Field program with friends, at their church and through social media.

Follow Palmer Home Thrift Stores on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

If you were to wander onto the campus of Palmer Home for Children between the hours of 8 AM and 2 PM, you might be surprised to find a small schoolhouse full of children studiously engaged in individual lessons via computer.  In each classroom there’s an array of interactive technology such as electronic white boards, e-readers, laptops, desktops, printers, and workstations designed to ensure that teachers and students have every possible resource at their fingertips.

This setup is essential for the operation of Palmer Home School, which serves to meet the needs of the children living at Palmer Home, an organization that cares for children in need.  Often children who arrive at their doorstep have lacked consistent education, and may be years behind their grade level.  The existence of an on-campus school allows these students to complete course work at their own pace, with a small student-teacher ratio where help is always available.

What many people don’t realize is that the Palmer Home School likely wouldn’t exist without the partnership between Palmer Home for Children and Severstal, now Steel Dynamics.  The partnership began in 2012 when the company first donated $5,000 to Palmer Home as a gift to the general fund.  Eventually this led to their aid in renovating the Friarson building, where the school is now located.  Four years and more than $50,000 later, the partnership is thriving.

In 2016, Steel Dynamics made a $75,000 commitment which will spread over 3 years, to cover necessities such as updates to educational technology, special needs and gifted placement testing, and continued renovations to better suit the needs of the school.  Fortunately, the corporation hasn’t stopped at the necessities.  For the second consecutive year, they will provide funding for students from Palmer Home to attend LeaderSTATE at Mississippi State University, a week-long leadership immersion experience.  Other perks, such as tours of the Steel Dynamics facilities in Columbus and workforce development with older students, are not an uncommon occurrence.

“The partnership has been very meaningful for Palmer Home,” says Development Director Emily Ferril. “The leadership at Steel Dynamics is quality, and their giving truly spreads from the highest levels of management down.” Employees of Steel Dynamics are encouraged to engage on a personal level as well, and many have been known to donate rewards they have earned through the company to Palmer Home for Children.

Palmer Home operates on a saying that simply declares, “They need our help. We need yours.”  Without companies like Steel Dynamics, willing to go the extra mile to provide that aid, fewer children would experience the thrill of making honor roll, fewer teens would see their dreams for college or career open wide before their eyes, and fewer children would know the hope of a future offered to them within the gates of the Palmer Home for Children.


What do you do when you find yourself with extra playground equipment? Recently, Heritage Academy in Columbus, MS found themselves facing this dilemma after they converted an elementary playground into a picnic table area for their sixth grade students. After the renovations, the school no longer needed the playground equipment.

Earlier in the year, their Senior Class participated in a leadership retreat. At the retreat, the seniors discussed various service projects their class could coordinate. They wanted to select a project that would be meaningful to them. Having grown up in Columbus, many were familiar with Palmer Home, and several even have friends that currently live on our campus.

“We knew that Palmer Home needed additional playground equipment through our talks with them. Since the elementary school no longer needed the equipment, the seniors provided the necessary manpower to clean it up and transport it to the Palmer Home Campus,” said Amanda Shelton, a guidance counselor for Heritage Academy.

Heritage Academy’s Senior Class also helped decorate Palmer Home’s Lindamood building for the last annual Christmas Open House—and some even helped serve at the event. Additionally, the class raised over $1,000 through a fundraiser with Lost Pizza Company to buy new swing sets for both Palmer Home campuses. These young men and women are setting a strong example of service and leadership for others.

“Palmer Home is such a great organization to help because there are so many ways to help!  The staff and children at Palmer Home are always so appreciative of anything we do, whether it is a donation of time, money and/or resources. This is a home that has needs like many other families – but the needs are just bigger since they have so many children. The children there are precious, and when you interact with them, it just makes you wish you could do more,” added Shelton.

If you are interested in serving with Palmer Home, check out the Volunteer page on our website for some great ideas for how to put your skills to use giving back!

L to R: Drake Bassett, Del Lowry, Floyd Lowry and Brent Gholston representing Monsanto

L to R: Drake Bassett, Del Lowry, Floyd Lowry and Brent Gholston (representing Monsanto)


COLUMBUS, Mississippi, February 14, 2013 – Palmer Home for Children will enhance programs for its residents thanks to the support of local farmer, Floyd Lowry, and America’s Farmers Grow Communities.

Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, which is the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, Grow Communities provides eligible farmers the chance to win a $2,500 donation for a local nonprofit organization of their choice.

Lowry selected Palmer Home for Children to receive the $2,500 donation. “We are honored to receive the funds from the Lowry family for the third consecutive year,” said Palmer Home for Children Director of Marketing and Communication Katharine Hewlitt.  “The generous donation made possible by the Monsanto Fund will help our Horticulture Therapy Program.  This program provides an opportunity to teach our children structure, fiscal responsibility and discipline, as well as give them an entrepreneurial experience.”

“It’s heart-warming to help the Palmer Home,” said Lowry. “Anything we can do is a pleasure for us.”

This year, the Monsanto Fund will invest nearly $6 million in rural America through Grow Communities, which includes double donations for counties that have been declared natural disaster areas by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) due to drought.

In Mississippi, $97,500 is being given across 26 counties.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund to partner with farmers in helping them positively impact their communities. This program is part of the Monsanto Fund’s overall effort to strengthen rural America.

For a complete list of Grow Communities winners and more program information, please visit

About the Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at

COLUMBUS, Mississippi, September 7, 2012 — Palmer Home for Children is the gracious recipient of a donation given by Gary Dedeaux, owner of Gary’s Pawn and Gun, in memory of his daughter and her love for children.  Mr. Dedeaux has a passion for Palmer Home, and in his spare time has taken many of the Palmer Home children on their very first airplane ride through the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association).

In the store’s fourth annual Ruger Sale, a special edition Ruger rifle covered in a Mossy Oak camouflage was sold exclusively through Gary’s Pawn and Gun.  At a kickoff dinner, Gary shared his interest in the Palmer Home and his desire to honor his daughter in a special way. He invited the guests to show their support by participating in the special sale, but he led the way by presenting a check to President Drake Bassett for $100,000. “Gary had communicated his desire to make an impact and he certainly accomplished that. We are overwhelmed by his generosity,” said Bassett.

Additionally, Ruger C.E.O., Mike Fifer, inspired by Gary’s commitment, donated an additional $25,000.00 on behalf of the Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. The spirit of giving continued with an auction of a custom pistol that was sold four separate times producing another $25,000.00. Gary requested that the evening conclude with a performance by the Treblemakers, the children’s choir from Palmer Home.