March 9, 2021 was a Tuesday and the beginning of orientation for my new position as Director of Annual Giving at Crossnore Communities for Children. Forever ago, when I began my career, there was no such thing as earning a degree in fundraising. No one had thought of the fifty-cent word “philanthropy.” Twenty-plus years in, there have been moments of triumph. There have been moments filled with tears. And, there have been moments that made me wonder what I had gotten myself into! As I prepared for orientation, I wondered what I actually knew about the work of Crossnore. I was curious how I would learn to build a case for support.
Learning About the Sloops
I grew up in Avery County, North Carolina, home of the original Crossnore campus. There was mention of Crossnore in local and North Carolina history classes along the way. We learned about the work of Drs. Mary Martin and Eustace Sloop. I remember feeling pride that their professional journey into the ancient mountains of Southern Appalachia started in Plumtree. Pride because my dad’s family were from Plumtree and his people would have known The Sloops. Honestly, I’ve wondered how the Plumtree community felt when The Sloops answered the call to settle in Crossnore! God surely had a plan for The Sloops and their impact is still felt here, as well as in the Hendersonville and Winston-Salem areas.
The Impact We See
New employee orientation demonstrated one glaring deficit on my part: I had no clue of the depth and breadth of care Crossnore provides for the children and families we serve. My brain was stuck in a romanticized perception of the work at Crossnore Communities for Children. As March moved into May, into September, and now December, I witnessed firsthand the magnitude of incredible generosity. Amazing generosity that allows children in our communities of care to learn, heal, grow, and begin to realize a future with hope.
We see hope in the help of cottage parents and therapy services. Adoptive and foster parents share hope when they lay their hearts on the proverbial line by welcoming a baby or a sibling set into their home. Hope bears fruit in birth parents who work hard to reunify with their children in the Bridging Families program. Teens find hope through Youth Independent Living programming that gives them the opportunity to live, work, and go to college or university.
The Impact of Your Donations
Donor giving provides even more hope with celebrations of birthdays and holidays. Children at Crossnore receive a bicycle that is theirs to keep. The kids who live on our residential campuses enjoy age-appropriate, cultural opportunities such as live theatre. Your giving provides wonderful Thanksgiving meals. Donations support enriching travel such as a trip to see the ocean for the first time. Children who have experienced difficulty in their short lives have the opportunity to learn to swim, plant a garden, and care for animals. Your gifts provide opportunities to be nurtured spiritually in ways that are healthy and enduring. And so much more!
What I’ve learned over the past few months is this: with your support, we have the resources needed to give everything to a child who deserves nothing less.
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