Virtual Rotary Day 2021 celebrates connection with B&GH

April 21, 2021

On Sunday afternoon, March 28, Rotarians around the world had the opportunity to attend the 2021 Boys & Girls Homes of North Carolina Virtual Rotary Day sponsored by Rotary Districts 7710 and 7730.

 “One year ago we were forced to make a last minute cancellation due to the rapidly growing pandemic,” said B&GH Director of Community Engagement Dr. Mason Fuller Smith. “This year we were ready and prepared for a new way to connect with our Rotary partners. This event was the first of its kind for our organization. We had attendees from as nearby as Wilmington and as far away as Greece, Turkey, and Egypt! All were treated to a virtual tour of the Rotary Cottage and Lake House for teen moms as well as enjoying a performance by our student Praise and Worship Team in the Leamon Rogers Memorial Chapel.”

Smith added that this event would not have been possible without the support and leadership of key leadership in Rotary taking active and formative roles in the preparation process.

“We are especially thankful for District Governors Dawn Rochelle of District 7730 and David Hayden of District 7710,” said Smith. “District Governor-Elect Angela Jamison was equally instrumental in this process.”

B&GH President/CEO Ricky Creech shared his appreciation for the longstanding connection between Rotary Clubs in North Carolina and B&GH.

“We are only able to do these programs because of folks like you,” Creech said. “We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.”

Creech also updated those in attendance on the current state of B&GH.

“The mission and vision have remained a constant since the founding,” Creech said. “We are living in a world where the future is uncertain. We have been living in a global pandemic, something I never expected to see in my lifetime. It has changed how we do everything and has created challenges. At Boys and Girls Homes we are ready to meet those challenges.

“Child welfare is changing,” he continued. “We’re stepping up, celebrating our past with a vision to the future. We are partnering with creativity to create new programs to meet the needs of our changing environment. We are putting ourselves on the cutting edge of child welfare. We owe it to our children to provide the best services we can.”

In addition to Creech’s message, participants received an inspiring message from one of B&GH’s young residents. His message was one of hope and patience during struggling through hard times and waiting for God’s blessings.

“You don’t always get what you want right away, but hang in there,” he said. “Stay strong. Better things are coming.”

This year’s festivities were held under the theme of “Come to the Table.” In addition to the donation of significant financial contributions, an Amazon Wishlist matching the theme was established to allow clubs and individuals to donate specific items that will help the cottage come to the table. Items included flatware and small kitchen appliances.

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 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.