Columbia children’s home finds way to help kids during Christmas and throughout the year thanks to donations
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Christmas is a special time of year for Epworth Children’s Home, which has been serving the community for 125 years.
However, the organization needs donations to help make Christmas special as well as help foster families every day of the year.
Hundreds of kids are served by Epworth Children’s Home. Around 76 of them at a time are in residential services, living in one of the nine cottages on campus.
“Of course the youth relate to each other and are close to each other. Also, we have dedicated staff that step in. They consider them parents as well,” said Beth Williams, Epworth Children’s Home president.
Epworth staff says that 65 percent of kids and teenagers placed are removed from their homes by state social services due to abuse or neglect. The new setting gives them a better chance of succeeding.
“All of our kids whether they be in foster homes or on our campuses are in the public school system,” Williams said. “Also, for our teenagers who are independent living, many of them are at Midlands Tech or have jobs and are going the career track.”
Epworth hopes to provide children with a safe home, as well as a Merry Christmas.
“Every year at Epworth, Christmas is a big time,” Williams said. “We try to continue to help the kids, even though they’re away from their families, see the magic of Christmas and what it’s about. They receive lots of gifts.”
The children’s home serves not just on its campus but also through foster families.
“We work hard at recruiting and screening our foster families across the state,” Williams said. “We’re very proud that we have over 100 licensed foster parents in the state of South Carolina.”
A resource closet helps foster families with clothing for the children.
Its mission inspired one Columbia resident to donate his own money for the cause.
“My wife and I want to adopt someday. ” said Columbia resident Zach Neal. “We just wanted to do something to cheer them up and for Christmas. It’s just something to give back to the community.”
In a year that has been tough financially for many, Neal still found the desire to spend 570, giving his Christmas bonus check away for the needs of others.
“God put it in my spirit to donate my money,” Neal said. “I feel good about it.”
It’s an example of finding a way of giving back to the community during the season of giving.
If you would like to donate to the children’s home, you can find out more here.