By Travis Johnson
Director of Development
United Methodist Youth Home
The United Methodist Youth Home (UMYH) celebrated one of its most significant accomplishments in the ministry’s 39-year history Sunday, April 15. Close to 100 guests joined in the celebration of the Grand Opening Dedication for the Holder Home for Boys, a newly-constructed dorm for at-risk teenage boys. During the ceremony, there was a ribbon cutting to commemorate the new home’s opening, but the focus of the program was to give thanks to God for giving this UMC affiliated non-profit the opportunity to expand and serve more troubled young men with the love of Christ!
The Holder Home is named after Linda Holder a long time employee of UMYH who devoted 30 years to help sustain the ministry through trials and triumphs. In commemorating Linda's legacy with the youth home, staff members were given the opportunity to share thoughts, devotions, and give thanks for this new ministry milestone. Therapist Megan Knies shared the story of a young man at UMYH who was abused and locked in a closet most of his life. At Christmas time this young man had what may sound like a strange request to some. He wasn’t seeking toys or tablets, but what he wanted most was a hug because no one in his family had ever given him one. She says, "stories like these force you to care more for your own family."
Assistant Director of Mission and Justice Ministries Rev. Tom Heaton offered a prayer dedicating the Holder Home and the work that would be done there to the glory of God. Rev. Heaton also presented a check to UMYH Executive Director Kelly Salee on behalf of Bishop Trimble as part of the annual Bishop's Christmas Offering, an offering that helps to support local organizations around Indiana and across the country that are committed to serving and improving the lives of young boys and girls. Rev. Heaton stated "The United Methodist Youth Home has been doing amazing work for decades. The new Holder Home for boys will replace a modular building the boys have been living in that is probably 40 years old. Many of the boys were excited that they would have their own bedroom. For many, this is the first time in their life they will not have to share a bedroom."
"This was truly a team effort," said Travis Johnson, Director of Development. "We thank God for every UMW & UMM group, lay and clergy, who volunteered, advocated and even help build the deck. The individuals and congregations of the Indiana Conference truly show their hearts for the youth we serve. There's no way we would be able to accomplish this level of impact without God using them to show His love to some of the people who need it most."
Those who were unable to attend the Dedication Ceremony and would like to tour the new facility, you're encouraged to reach out to Travis (email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 812-479-7535) to set up a visit. If you would like to learn more about how your family, church, or group can help the life-changing work happening at the United Methodist Youth Home in Evansville, you may contact the Youth Home by visiting www.umyh.org. They’d be happy to hear from you.
Remember, you don’t have to be a superhero to help give troubled teens hope for tomorrow! We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!