Throughout the year, mission teams assist Palmer Home with maintenance and beautification work around both the Columbus and Hernando campuses. Their dedication allows us to offer children who come to our campus a beautiful, safe space while focusing more of our resources on the children’s needs. Mission teams and Palmer Partners, like Chad Robertson, owner of Pro Turf, return year after year and are close to our hearts.
In March 2018, Robertson partnered with North American Coal to donate 10 trees to the Palmer Home campus in Columbus. They brought a variety of trees including cherry bark oak, live oak, swamp chestnut, and water oak. Chad and his team, with help from children on the campus, planted all of the trees to bring shade and new life to the campus grounds.
Chad has volunteered for Palmer Home for over five years. In addition to planting trees, he played a role in hay donation for the horse stables and helped to line the Palmer Home garden. One of his main goals is to engage the younger generation in mission work at Palmer Home.
“So many kids these days do not realize how fortunate they are until they participate in mission work,” says Chad. “Seeing God’s and Jesus’ love draws me to love others and give my resources out to those who are not as fortunate as me.”
Pro Turf, based out of Winona, MS, is owned by Chad and Bill Robertson. They specialize in erosion control and have over 21 years of experience and they serve Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Pro Turf’s partnership with North American Coal’s Ackerman Coalmine reclaims projects and serves several 501(c)3 Christian organizations.
If your church, business or organization would like to schedule a mission project with Palmer Home, visit our volunteer page.
Meet Amber McClurkan, Jonah’s Journey Caseworker.
Amber joined the Jonah’s Journey family in November of 2015 as a bright addition to our staff. She grew up in Cookeville, just around the corner from our home office, and graduated from Tennessee Tech. She now lives in East Nashville with her husband David, who is a Nurse Practitioner. Amber loves all things outdoors, but especially enjoys traveling and backpacking her way to both new exciting and old familiar places. That sense of adventure makes her the perfect person to jump head first into the challenges and rewards that Jonah’s Journey brings.
What brought her to Jonah’s Journey:
Since I’m from the Nashville area, I had friends who were considering becoming caregivers through Jonah’s Journey. They introduced me to the ministry, and as I prayed with them and supported them through their decision to join Jonah’s Journey, I also fell in love with the story of redemption this organization represents.
What makes her perfect for the job:
At a young age, I was a witness to the destructive power of addiction in the life of a loved one. Along with that, I was able to see the healing power of a community that is dedicated to standing in the gap for those in need. Later, through an internship at a domestic violence shelter, that passion for preserving families and caring for women and children in hard places was even more solidified. This has always been it for me- social work and behavior health is my calling.
Her favorite thing about Jonah’s Journey:
I was first drawn to the strong connection that Jonah’s Journey emphasizes with birth families. I love that if you can pour into that birth family, that’s where true change comes on a generational level. Caregivers who invest in a birth mother see amazing results, and even if hard times come for the mom, her first call will be that family who showed such love to her.
On how the community can be involved:
First, we need people to pray. Pray that God will send more workers, more families, and pray about whether that family might be yours. And pray for our birth moms and birth families.
Second, come to an interest meeting. If you’re not in Nashville, look into foster care options in your own city. If you aren’t ready for full time fostering, respite care is a great option. By providing respite care, you’re serving the families and children who are involved in Jonah’s Journey caregiving. Respite provides a great introduction to the work that Jonah’s Journey families do.
To anyone thinking of becoming a Jonah’s Journey caregiver:
The Lord will truly equip you, but you must be absolutely dependent on Him throughout the journey. Foster care isn’t something that can be done well in your own strength. Get your community involved, get plugged into a church, and invite others on this journey with you. Build up a support network of families and individuals within your church or community who will support you and point you to Jesus when you’re uncertain. And ask someone to pray with you as you consider it—I wouldn’t be here today if someone hadn’t asked me to pray about this work with them.
Even if you aren’t ready to be involved as a full-time caregiver, you can be involved in this mission. You can provide respite care, relief care, or come alongside one of our moms and help them. This task is bigger than one family caring for one child. If it’s not feasible for you to take in a child at this time, there are tons of ways to still be a part of this mission. Join us and Make Their Journey Yours!
As the days grow longer and warmer, summer vacation is already on the minds of many people. Across the United States, millions will include a summer mission trip in their plans. Youth groups, Sunday School classes, college ministries, and mission teams will pack their bags and travel to another city, state, or even country to serve in some way.
Each year, Palmer Home for Children opens our doors to groups like these who are looking for a way to make a lasting impact. While Mission Teams are welcomed throughout the year, summer is without a doubt our busiest season. On any given day during the months of May-August, our campuses are littered with volunteers in brightly colored t-shirts, ready and willing to do whatever they can to help.
Depending on our need and their skills, teams participate in a variety of projects, ranging from landscaping, gardening and minor construction, to painting, home repairs, helping with events, and of course, spending quality time with our residents!
The impact these teams make cannot be understated. First, teams often are able to complete projects that the ministry would otherwise have to hire out. A summer missions group, under the supervision of our amazing grounds staff, can complete a landscaping job in one day that would have taken our team weeks to do alone. When volunteers are able to help in such big ways, it frees our resources to invest in the lives of our children.
Another incredible aspect of Mission Teams is the passion that quickly develops in the hearts of those who visit campus. Once someone has seen firsthand the joy and purpose that exude from every corner of Palmer Home, they quickly become a life-long advocate for our cause. Many of our teams return year after year, and cite their week at Palmer Home as the best week of the summer—one team has been visiting for 12 years now!
Repeat visitors also have the joy of forming relationships not only with our children, but with staff. They can all tell you how much Mrs. Mary knows and loves her garden, how hard Regina works to keep the campus running like a well-oiled machine, and how Mr. Tom is always ready with a smile, an encouraging word, and a great story. Those that have the opportunity to serve on the Hernando campus have the same stories to share with the addition of a few fishing tales! No matter where they serve, all will tell you that Palmer Home is a place full of love and life, with passionate caregivers, amazing children, and a mission like no other.
This summer, we have a few specific needs and are still seeking teams to join us any week during the month of May, as well as the week of June 19-23. Most of these teams would be primarily helping with landscaping and grounds work, as well as some light construction projects. One major need is for a team that includes someone skilled in installing ceramic wall tile, for some updates to our cottages in Columbus.
If your group, or someone you know, would be the perfect Mission Team for Palmer Home, we’d love to hear from you! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about summer mission opportunities, and join us for an unforgettable experience. They need our help; we need yours!
Garland, trees and ribbon make an early appearance at Palmer Home each year. While other homeowners debate whether to decorate before Thanksgiving or after, in order for our facilities to be ready for our December 4th Open House, our volunteers have to start the decorating early in the season!
Palmer Home has invited donors and the local community to tour the Columbus campus during the Christmas season for fifteen years. This year’s event will include tours of the Lindamood building and cottages, along with light refreshments and entertainment by the Treblemakers, Palmer Home’s choir. Also joining in on the festivities will be the Suzuki Strings of Columbus, MS.
Volunteers begin decorating Lindamood in anticipation of Open House during the first week of November while the children help their caregivers decorate their cottages. Across campus, staff and children will be preparing the grounds for the customary influx of guests.
“Open House is a great opportunity for donors to visit campus and hear about the great things going on in the life of our children,” said Lynn Atkins, Vice-President Residential. “The boys and girls love showing people their cottages.”
Invitations have been sent, but Atkins stressed that others from the community are encouraged to attend as well and tour the beautiful campus of Palmer Home for Children.
This Thanksgiving season, while many of us argue over dry turkey, long drives and which game to watch, children across the country will be longing for a home.
Mississippi’s own Palmer Home for Children, provides nourishment and loving homes to children who would otherwise be left wishing.
With your support, Palmer Home is able to give children a home, a family, and a hope for a future. With the Egg Bowl only a few weeks away, show your team spirit, and support the mission of Palmer Home, by texting either REBS or DAWGS to 91999.
Don’t stop the support with just a donation, help us spread the word and get others involved!
We’ve made it easy for you to get involved and share with your friends. Below are examples of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts plus a link to download custom graphics – you can even post a video using #PalmerBowl sharing your team spirit and support of Palmer Home for Children with your social media friends and family.
FACEBOOK: Don’t let your Egg Bowl spirit end on the football field. Support your team, and Palmer Home for Children, by giving to the #PalmerBowl. Text “REBS” or “DAWGS” to 91999 to choose an amount and see if your team is winning.
INSTAGRAM: Don’t let your Egg Bowl spirit end on the football field. Support your team, and Palmer Home for Children, by giving to the #PalmerBowl. Text “REBS” or “DAWGS” to 91999 to choose an amount and see if your team is winning.
TWITTER: Don’t let your Egg Bowl spirit end on the football field. Support your team, and Palmer Home for Children, by giving to the #PalmerBowl.
DON’T FORGET TO POST AN IMAGE WITH YOUR POST – GET ONE HERE & SHARE WITH FRIENDS, FAMILY & FANS!
On June 25, SuperTalk Mississippi will host the 3rd Annual Radiothon benefitting Palmer Home for Children.
Over the course of the day, staff and volunteers will be taking phone calls from listeners calling in their donations and watching with anticipation as the tally grows nearer and nearer to our $120,000 goal.
Although not everyone can be present on Palmer Home’s campus to participate, below are three tangible ways you can get involved and make a difference.
1. Listen in to SuperTalk Mississippi from wherever you are on June 25 by clicking on this link.
2. Spread the word on social media. You can find sample social media posts and graphics by clicking on this link. Just copy one of the social media posts, upload one of the pre-designed graphics, and share on your Facebook or Twitter accounts.
3. Follow us on Twitter at @PalmerHomeMS. We will be live tweeting during Radiothon, sharing story snippets, quotes from the day, and regular updates on the fundraising tally.
The Jackson Association of Health Underwriters hosted their 19th Annual Golf Tournament on May 4, 2015 at Lake Caroline Golf Club. What began as a tool to raise funds for the young organization has since broadened its reach to offer scholarships to Mississippi students majoring in insurance — and most recently to raise money for Palmer Home for Children.
“I was introduced to Palmer Home as a client of BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi,” said Matthew Brinson, account manager for BlueCross BlueShield. “We knew we wanted to do something [this year] to help kids and Palmer Home came to my mind.” When Brinson was approached by Elizabeth Bailey, president of JAHU, and asked to think of an organization that could benefit from the tournament, Brinson suggested immediately Palmer Home.
This year’s tournament featured a 4-man scramble format, which requires each of the four team members to tee off on each hole, decide which tee spot they like best, and mark the spot with a tee or ball marker. Twelve teams participated in the event. At the conclusion of the tournament, Brinson and Bailey presented Palmer Home with a check for $1,500!
Brinson says Palmer Home is an organization he believes in wholeheartedly. “I am thankful and appreciate that they not only provide a home, food, and clothing for these kids who have had a rough start, but that they teach them that God loves and cares for them,” he said.
Palmer Home supporters like The Jackson Association of Health Underwriters play a major role in restoring the lives of children. Their generosity is directly impacting the generation of the future. We are so appreciative of their support!
While those of us involved in the daily routine at Palmer Home understand the sacrifice, compassion, and love that is poured out daily in the hopes that we’re changing lives for the better… we don’t always get the opportunity to hear from a child’s biological family.
But recently, we received the following letter from a grandmother who placed four of her grandchildren with us many years ago. The words touched and inspired us. We’d like to give you the chance to see Palmer Home through the eyes of a loving grandmother who wanted the best for her grandchildren – and found what she was looking for at Palmer Home.
Dear Palmer Home,
My name is Mary. I have a special and abiding love for Palmer Home for Children.
Palmer Home saved the lives of my grandchildren.
About 9 years ago, my son went to prison and my ex-daughter-in-law was on drugs. Neither could or wanted to take care of their children. I was a single woman and the only other grandparent was dying of cancer.
A very close friend who lived in Starkville told me about Palmer Home. He put me in touch with the organization and a few weeks later, I learned the wonders of Palmer Home and their mission of loving and providing for children.
After much prayer and God’s infinite intervention, I brought the four children to Palmer Home. I had a very heavy heart leaving them… feeling as if I was abandoning them. But I soon realized I was giving them a life full of hope and compassion.
The children flourished at Palmer Home. They were greatly loved and shown the love of Jesus Christ. I’m still in contact with some of the caregivers.
I just want you to know that Palmer Home changed the lives of four lost children. And it changed my life forever.
Palmer Home is truly a place of hope! Thank you again for being a beacon of light and hope to families in crisis and to children who need to feel the love of God.
Tim and Stephanie Edmondson visited our Columbus campus in 2014. When they saw the mission of Palmer Home in action, they knew they wanted to be involved in changing the lives of children in need.
The husband and wife team owns Edmondson Farm, a sweet potato operation based in Vardaman, Mississippi. “We’re a leader and innovator in the production, packing, shipping, and sale of sweet potatoes in the United States,” explained Stephanie Edmondson. “We currently grow and sell over 100 million pounds of sweet potatoes per year.”
Now, in addition to their agricultural accolades, Edmondson Farm is a proud partner of Palmer Home for Children.
Thanks to this new partnership, this May, which is National Foster Care Awareness Month, every box of sweet potatoes shipped from Edmondson Farm will feature the Palmer Home for Children logo. Thousands of these boxes ship domestically and internationally. Additionally, Edmondson Farm will be promoting our mission at food shows across the United States.
Stephanie believes her family’s blessings should be shared with others. “Whether it’s time, money, or products,” she explained, “giving back is very rewarding. Palmer Home holds a special place in our hearts and we’re privileged to be a part of such a great place.”
When Julie and Wade Ricks of First Baptist in Collinsville, Mississippi fell in love with the children at Palmer Home, they decided they wanted to play a role in transforming the lives of the children on campus. Together with their congregation, the Ricks decided to hold a fundraiser to benefit Palmer Home.
So… what was their fundraiser?
“I found some information explaining how other churches offered their parishioners the opportunity to Forget the Frock on Easter,” said Julie Ricks. She explained how Forget the Frock encourages church members to forgo purchasing expensive Easter outfits and instead purchase a t-shirt that serves a purpose – this time, that purpose would be to benefit the children at Palmer Home.
The church collaborated with Palmer Home to create a logo and began promoting Forget the Frock.
“Our people loved the idea of giving to a great ministry like Palmer Home,” said Rick. The church members also claimed that Sunday was the “most stress free Easter morning ever.”
Forget the Frock raised $2,300 to benefit the ministries of Palmer Home for Children. Additionally, the church also brought their very first work group to the Columbus campus on Saturday, April 18.“I have nothing but great things to say about Forget the Frock,” concluded Rick. “I feel like our church will want to do this again next Easter.”