Harriett Covington continues service to B&GH

October 29, 2019

Harriett CovingtonWhen Mebane’s Harriett Covington first started her service to the abused and neglected children of Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, she knew very little about the nonprofit organization.

“Before I joined the Hawfields Civitan Club in January of 1980, I helped the local club with some chicken dinners to benefit Boys and Girls Homes,” said Covington. “At that time, I did not know where Boys and Girls Homes was located. I knew very little about this project but I knew it benefitted children.”

Once she joined the Civitan Club, Covington decided to find out more about the designated project for the organization.

“I had listened to our district chairperson share news from Boys and Girls Homes at our Civitan district meetings,” said Covington. “On my first visit to the Homes, I was sold. I could feel the love in the air around that campus. I wanted to be a part of helping children, especially children who had not been given a chance to succeed in life.”

The nonprofit organization based out of Lake Waccamaw has a mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. B&GH offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, free children’s therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 320 vulnerable children are cared for through the residential, community-based services, and school program provided by B&GH at any given time.

In 1996, Covington was presented with the opportunity to be the Boys and Girls Homes chairperson for North Carolina District East Civitan. This position makes Covington a member of the Board of Trustees for the nonprofit that has served more than 7,500 children from across the state since its founding in 1954.

“The thing that kept me involved all these years is that I saw a great need for children to have a good life – food, love, care, schooling, medical care, spiritual involvement, clothes, etc.,” said Covington. “It’s not fair that some children have to live in such terrible, abusive situations.”

In order to help meet the needs of the children, Covington makes sure to provide continuous updates to the members of Civitan clubs throughout her district.

“In my position as chairperson for the district, it is my responsibility and privilege to promote B&GH to all of the Civitan clubs in my district,” Covington said. “I do this through our district newsletter, speaking engagements and letters for Christmas sponsors. I talk about B&GH so much that when I say I am going to a meeting, my friends ask, is this meeting at Boys and Girls Homes?”

Over the years, Covington has seen a variety of growth and expansion for the organization beginning as a residential campus to development of new services like foster care, adoption, a teen moms program, and a school on campus. Covington has also had the opportunity to create a tradition of Christmas sponsorships for the children of the Homes.

“Sometime along the away, our Civitan district was asked to provide Christmas gifts for the girls in the Civitan Cottage,” said Covington. “I had such a tremendous response to my letters for sponsors that now we sponsor a lot of the children on campus. Over the past four or more years, we have added Christmas stockings for all the children and youth who must remain on campus over the Christmas break because there is no suitable home for them to visit.”

That has averaged about 30 stockings each year, in addition to a handful of stockings for the teen moms and babies.

“I love being involved in providing Christmas for the boys and girls who live there,” Covington said. “Our Civitan Creed states, ‘my ears hear the cry of children’ and ‘bleeds for every injury to humanity.’ That is the reason that I have stayed involved in B&GH.

“It has been a joyful experience for me to be able to help raise funds and do things for children,” said Covington. “I want the children there to know that someone cares. The experience of being part of Boys and Girls Homes has been a real joy to me. My life has been much richer for the opportunity to serve.”

About Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., has been helping children since 1954. Since then, more than 7,500 children have benefitted from the services of the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. B&GH offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, free children’s therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 320 vulnerable children are cared for through the residential, community-based services, and school program provided by B&GH at any given time. B&GH operates its program, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. B&GH is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.