In October, Johnnie and Tammy visited New York Avenue Church of Christ in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It was great meeting Tim Harty and members of the congregation. His message on Sunday was a true blessing. Church visits provide us with the opportunity to share God’s work at Shults-Lewis.
This month, the residents had the opportunity to go on a field trip to Fair Oaks Farms. This farm is the largest dairy producer in Indiana and one of the largest in the county. The kids learned about the animals, farming practices and nutrition. They also were able to experience the rope course. This type of course helps individuals attain personal achievements and overcome fears and anxieties. Despite the cold weather, the kids had a wonderful time. Our kids LOVE school field trips!
In November, we will be visiting Grandville Church of Christ and Sunnyside Road Church of Christ to share information about what the kids of today are facing, how we are impacting the lives of kids, and to connect with our donors face-to-face. If you are interested in having us come out to your church to give a presentation on the work we are doing at Shults-Lewis, please contact me at 219-462-0513 ext. 103. Thanks again for taking this journey with us.
September was a busy month with back to back fundraising events. On September 9th, we kicked off with Popcorn Festival. We sold out of hot dogs and bratwursts. That was a good problem to have. The highlight of the day was when we met a former resident, Mia, who shared her story with us. Without Shults-Lewis, she said “I would never have completed high school and finished college.” We cried and hugged her and our hearts were full! This is why we do what we do! We help kids overcome trauma and change their life forever!
One week later, we celebrated Annual Day. It was wonderful for our staff and residents to finally put names to faces. Thank you for all your positive feedback. It truly takes a village to run this event. I am excited to announce that with your help we raised $20,333.23 in revenue and after expenses earned a net profit of $13,585.43. We also raised an additional $1,000 for our Emergency Medical Responder Services Dinner slated for Spring 2024 in order to honor our police in our community.
In October, we will begin visiting churches. If you are interested in having us come out to your church to give a presentation on the work we are doing at Shults-Lewis, please contact me at 219-462-0513 ext. 103. Thanks again for taking this journey with us.
In August, we said goodbye to the Zandstra family and welcomed Fred & Kim Lucas as houseparents for our boys’ home. The Lucas’s returned back to Shults-Lewis after a 2 year stint away. Fred is teaching Science and Math at the school. Kim brings her creativity to campus, which the kids enjoy. David Warren, our program director’s husband, joined our team and serves as a teacher assistant. He brings his experience with kids from Tennessee Children’s Home. We are excited to have three new staff aboard.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 9th for the Annual Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Festival in downtown Valparaiso. We will be selling food and distributing brochures at this event. Be sure to stop by and see us on the corner of Lincolnway and Lafayette Street. What a great opportunity for us to share our mission of serving kids who face trauma! Hope to see you there!
We are excited to welcome all our donors and visitors to campus on the 16th of September for Annual Day. Breakfast starts at 8 am and includes the following festivities: rummage sale, tour of campus, food and crafts, silent auction and a live auction with our very own, board member, Rick Root.
In July, our staff and residents attended Brynne (age 12) & Brighton (age 9) Vermillion’s birthday party in Genoa, Illinois. Brynne and Brighton requested that donations be made to Shults-Lewis in lieu of presents. They sacrificed presents from their friends in order to support the kids at Shults-Lewis. What an awesome act of kindness and selflessness! During the party, I made a bet with Phillip Vermillion. If he donated $1000 to Shults-Lewis, I would go down the Toilet Bowl slide with my clothes on. To my amazement, a $1000 check was in the envelope with other donations. Phillip and I both accepted the challenge and rode down the Toilet Bowl Slide! Thank you to the Vermillion family for inviting us and helping to support the kids at our children’s home. It was a lot of fun!
Day of Prayer and Giving results are in! We raised $42,719 in money to help fund capital improvements here on campus. These funds will be used to purchase the following: a zero turn mower, new computers, new floors in the bedrooms of Home 5 and 7 and seal coating the parking lots. Thank you for your generosity as we continue to serve kids and spread God’s word in their lives!
In May, our staff and residents attended an end of the school year celebration with box tickets to the Railcats game courtesy of Mike and Jenn Zandstra. For some of the residents, it was the first time to a baseball game. Everyone enjoyed hamburgers and hotdogs at the game. Lots of screams and laughter were heard as we cheered on the Railcats.
In June, we were blessed with a visit from the Youth Group from Naperville Church of Christ. Rusty his wife Heather brought the youth group to help do some much needed work on our campus. They did an amazing job boxing ink cartridges, weeding and mulching around the homes, cleaning out rooms, painting sheds, and much more! Our residents enjoyed lunch with the teens from the Naperville Youth Group and interacting with them in a volleyball, basketball and foosball game. We all shared devotional time each morning as well.
In addition, we started taking DCS (Department of Child & Family Services) public placements this month. We are so excited to see God’s plans unfold at Shults-Lewis.