Boys & Girls Homes of NC honors memory of area native

December 20, 2016

Lake Waccamaw, NC – On the afternoon of Dec. 20, 2016, two new signs were placed on the campus of Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina to designate the Janet Mitchell Winstead Lake House I and Lake House II in memory of the area native.

The houses are the residences for the teen mothers and babies served by B&GH. It was the wish of the Winstead family that this program benefit from their generosity in memory of the wife and mother who had overcome so much in her life.

Born just a few miles from the campus, Winstead was the youngest of six girls born to Cary and Bertie Mitchell. After her father passed away when she was 10, the family struggled through poverty.

“At an early point in her life, Janet was a single mom with two young children,” said President Gary Faircloth, sharing details provided for the memorial plaque by the family. “Janet knew that education, hard work, a positive attitude, and faith in God, were her keys to success.”

Winstead became a certified brick mason, licensed cosmetologist, interior decorator and trained food caterer. She married Jerry Winstead and the couple added a third child to the mix while enjoying the benefits of the hard work. At the time of her death in September 2015, Winstead had traveled to every continent in the world.

“These houses bear Janet’s name to share her story of hope and happiness, and to offer inspiration to young women in the same place Janet was in at one point of her life,” Faircloth said. “She would tell you that your life is full of opportunities. She would tell you to set goals for yourself and work hard to achieve your goals. She would tell you to never give up on your dreams. She would tell you to laugh. She would tell you to keep your faith in God. And she would tell you that she loves you.”

In addition to the naming of the Lake Houses, four suites were named for members of the family in the Lake Houses. In Lake House II, the Bertie C. Mitchell and Cary W. Mitchell Mom and Baby Suites named in honor of Janet’s mother and father respectively will flank the suite named for Janet. A fourth suite in Lake House I will be named for Terry W. Jackson, Janet’s son. Jackson also serves as a member of the B&GH Board of Trustees and was deeply honored by the entire experience.

“The mission carried out through the services for these teen mothers and their babies would mean so much to my mom,” he said. “To see these suites and this program now bearing family names … words truly cannot express what this means.”

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 6,000 children have benefitted by 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, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited public charter school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 260 vulnerable children are cared for through the residential and community-based services provided by B&GH at any given time. B&GH is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.