Thank You For Everything

January 6, 2021

During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we received an unexpected phone call. On the line was Mr. Jonathan Houston, a Palmer Home alumnus and now a successful businessman who wanted to make a donation.

“Palmer Home did a lot for me,” he told us. “I want to give back.”

Mr. Houston graciously shared his story with us and agreed to let us share it with you. It’s a testament to God’s unwavering faithfulness and how He uses organizations like Palmer Home to change lives and further His kingdom.

Jonathan came to Palmer Home at age eight with his younger brother. “My mom couldn’t take care of us, but bringing us to Palmer Home was the best thing she could have done,” he said. “I got to go to camps, play sports, compete on the Judo team. I got to meet Archie Manning, Oliver North and Dave Thomas. We had more opportunities at Palmer Home than the President’s kids!”

He continued, “Participating in the on-campus work crew program taught us a lot. I also really enjoyed our sponsors, the King family, who helped show us what a family is supposed to be like. They even put me in etiquette school!”

Most importantly, Palmer Home introduced Jonathan to the Lord. “If it hadn’t been for Palmer Home, I wouldn’t have known about God. Palmer showed me who God was and taught me that I could turn to Him if I needed Him.”

Hope Chapel on Palmer Home campus

“I had a really good time,” he said. “Palmer Home did everything they could for me.”

This is where the story gets hard. Jonathan chose to leave Palmer Home at age 15 to live with a relative and went down a dark path for several years. We explained to him that Palmer Home now has a transitional program for teens in our care, specifically designed to help young adults navigate their unique challenges and grow in independence.

After hitting rock bottom, Jonathan found God and turned his life around. “If I didn’t have Palmer Home, I wouldn’t have known to go to Him. He’s turned the bad into something positive.”

Man holding Bible

Now 37 years old with children of his own, Jonathan is a partner of a successful home remodeling business in Alabama. He plans to open another business next year.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from. You just have to keep going and keep God first. I know what it’s like to have nothing, and now it’s my time to give back. It’s better to give than receive.”

“What Palmer Home does for children is outstanding. Thank you for everything.”

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