We like to try to update you all, as much as possible, on what’s going on with the kids. But since Beth passed away and COVID hit, we have received a tremendous amount of support and encouragement from all of our donors and those of you who simply continue to pray for us. We have so many people checking in on us that we just wanted to take a second and let you know how the staff is doing since the pandemic has changed our lives and Beth stepped out of our lives.
Beth was a busy person but she had a sense of humor that kept a certain energy going throughout campus. So, we have been attempting to fill that void…..sometimes, successfully, sometimes….yeah, not so much.
Whether it’s Angela walking about campus in her “COVID SUIT” or me having “coffee with Beth”, the laughter is slowly coming back. Without our groups on campus, the maintenance staff has been putting in long hours to give the front of our Admin Building a fresh look. And since my office is on the front side of the building, Glenn has no problem banging on my window to give me a little scare. And Kiana just copes by capturing a picture of how she is feeling each day. 🙂
Cathy and Don, houseparents, have been keeping the kids busy in the garden and creating “art”. But the days are usually started off with chapel and a corny joke that Marci finds for our announcements. All of this to say, we are healing. God is watching over us and all of you are praying for us……and we feel it. Thank you for going the extra mile for this agency.
For the kids,
AAAAAND THEY’RE OFF!!
The fall semester is in full swing and the kids are doing VERY well. Home seven’s housemom, Kim Lucas, is one of those crafty, fun people who sees something on Pinterest and can recreate it. Kim had fun with the kids on the first day of school taking pictures to help the kids enjoy their first day back. I wish you could see the smile on the face of the girl holding the sign but due to confidentiality purposes, I had to crop out her face and name. 🙂
The kids have adjusted to the pandemic and have settled into their classes. From 7th grade to Senior year, ALL of our students are doing well so far. Mrs. Terhune, our principal, reports that the ICP class (Integrated Chemistry and Physics….yuck!) has all straight As. WOW! We even have one student taking SPANISH! Mrs. O’Keefe and Mr. Lucas, our teaching staff, have been able to work hard with the kids one-on-one and it is paying off. We ask all of you to pray for them in their continued efforts and to pray for more teachers.
Even though I can’t enjoy the summer spoils from the cooking class, I have enjoyed seeing the kids feel proud of their accomplishments. Most kids that come here are behind in school or received poor grades. Seeing themselves do well is a HUGE self-esteem booster.
Feel free to send a note of encouragement to the kids. Have YOUR kids make a picture for OUR kids and we can post them throughout the school. You don’t have to be crafty like Kim (although we LOVE to see your creations), just be encouraging. WE can’t do this without YOU.
Thank you for continuing to take care of our kids, especially throughout this pandemic.
For the kids,
“Let them eat cake!” Well, in this instance, it was pie. Mmm, mmm, good! Our residents have been working all summer in their cooking class making all sorts of good food. Our school staff has been teaching the kids the “ins and outs” of how to cook. Every so often, the rest of the staff would get to reap the benefits and partake in the different goodies they created. My favorite was pie day! It was announced that the kids were going to be making desserts in class and they needed us to pick which one we wanted from a list and it would be delivered. The choices were sugar cream pie, blueberry cream pie, red/white/blue layer cake, and apple pie with carmel drizzle. Even though this was a hard choice for some, I immediately ordered a piece of the blueberry cream pie.
As we all settled in to our work day, we set aside the idea of pie. Then, what a treat when the whole class and teachers waltzed through the Administration Building holding trays of prewrapped pie, wearing their aprons and gloves! The staff waited patiently in their doorways for the kids to give them their selected item. I felt like a kid at Christmas because my office was at the very end of the hallway and I had to wait my turn. J
Finally, the kids made their way to my office and I saw my beautiful piece of blueberry cream pie sitting in the middle of the tray. The kids were all smiles to see how excited we were. They laughed as I tore open the saran wrap and stuck my finger in the middle of my pie for a quick taste.
Why am I telling you this? First, I used to be a houseparent for many years and I knew that even the smallest things are important in the eyes of a child. Whether they are 17 or 12, these kids are sponges for positive feedback on things they have accomplished. I wanted them to know I cared.
Second, I wanted you to know that all of us here at Shults-Lewis are safe and having as much fun with the kids as we can, in any way that we can, to help them stay focused on their goals and accomplishments before they move on to the next chapter of their lives.
So, please keep the kids and our staff in your prayers as we get ready to move on to our Fall Semester. Thank you for your support, your prayers, and your love.
For the kids,
Lissa Baldwin Development Director
Faith. Family. Future.
COVID-19 – A word we are all tired of hearing. It has invaded our lives and intruded on everything we do. As the world tries to find its “new normal”, the staff at Shults-Lewis would like to send out a HUGE thank you.
We thank all of the people who have been on the frontlines dealing with this day after day; trying to keep everyone calm and giving us hope.
We thank everyone in education who have worked tirelessly to get our kids through the rest of the school year, graduate our seniors, and work even harder to prepare all students for the fall.
We thank everyone who has transitioned to working from home so our businesses can continue to operate.
In general, we want to thank everyone out there for everything you have done to help each other during COVID-19. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” –John 15:12
COVID-19 was not the only struggle we at Shults-Lewis had to face these past few months. For those of you who were unaware, our beloved friend and coworker, Beth Frump passed away on April 5th due to natural causes. Beth was the face of Shults-Lewis and loved our kids with a passion. Shults-Lewis would like to thank all of you out there who sent cards of encouragement, called to check on us, or made donations in memory of Beth. We needed you and, as always, you were there for us.
The Development Team is working together to fill some very big shoes (or to those who really knew her well, flip flops). And even though we will never be able to BE Beth, we can certainly follow her Christian example of hospitality and unconditional love.
So, again, we say thank you. Continue to pray for our agency, this mission, and most importantly, our kids.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.
Lissa Baldwin Kiana Baldwin Hannah Baldwin
Development Director Dev. Assistant Dev. Assistant
Faith. Family. Future.
February. Of course we are going to talk about Valentine’s Day! Did you get the opportunity to do anything amazing for the Hallmark holiday? Glenn & Angela Robertson hosted a Valentine’s dinner for the staff and kids. We had an awesome Italian dinner and played Valentine’s Scategories. I must admit there were some very creative answers. Something you do not want to receive for Valentine’s Day starting with the letter “L”. Lettuce. How about starting with the letter “S”? Surgery. Lots of fun and laughter as we celebrated together.
It’s not polite to share a lady’s age. So I’ll just say we celebrated Ms. Sherry’s “ZERO” birthday this month. Sherry has been a part of the Shults-Lewis family her entire life as her mother was the cook here back in our early years. Sherry also worked in Development for many years as an office manager, and currently, she helps with our food ordering. We are so blessed to have her as part of our family.
As part of our on-going training for our direct care staff, we have been diving into TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention). This is a trauma-informed, connection building training that empowers our staff to meet the complex needs of our kids. We are so blessed to have Jon O’Keefe, our Program Director, as a trainer of this program. As we say around campus, “more tools for the toolbox” as we continue to strive to offer the best care for our kids!
In February, we placed another young man in Home #7. As always, I ask you to pray for his transition into our program! We are truly blessed to be able to work with these amazing kids! We would love to serve more kids, but we need houseparents in order to do that! And as mentioned above, our houseparents are given training and tools in order to help understand and help meet the needs of kids.
Also, be prayerful of the Phone Campaign happening this month. Please pray for our volunteers, donors as they make their prayerful decision regarding donations for 2020, and for the development staff, as we spend a lot of time traveling throughout the month!
Thank you for your prayers and your support!
For the kids,
Beth Frump, Development Director