CHILDHOOD SHOULD be a careless time filled with love, comfort, and security, like a favorite snuggle blanket. But too many times, things look terribly different in some children’s lives. Neglect or abuse steal these and much more from them. Suddenly, everything they knew, including what they deemed good and comforting, is ripped away, leaving them without anything familiar. A few necessities shoved into a grocery or garbage bag are all they have to call their own, and they sleep on the floor of the social worker’s office until placement with a foster family. When the placement occurs, there’s still a void and profound loss. Adjustment is difficult because we all long for our idea of normal.
Always Endure’s House of Hope is their response to the interim needs of these children in foster care. Our community’s heart for children continues to grow, as seen in its support of Junior’s House, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Clothe our Kids, and other local resources serving children in need. Local help for this project reflects Lincoln County’s commitment to hope and healing.
Always Endure CEO and Corey Buckner Founder Always Endure with his wife, Brittany, to remove barriers for families enduring major medical diagnoses and added adoptive family and foster children support, both in response to the outpouring of help and support they received during their journey through cancer and adoption.
Corey said, “What makes Lincoln County so special is that you have support, and people are here for you. It’s a special place to live.”
In July 2022, the Always Endure board voted to expand into foster care and prayed God would give direction and provide the resources. House of Hope was the answer.
“In less than a year, we had God’s answer to many specific prayers for the land, a builder, and even fundraising and community support. Our community is so generous and supportive. Out of a $250,000 goal, we only lack $76,000. And that’s not even counting the support of people who are already committed to helping us with their expertise and donated time, materials, and resources — things that will help offset that cost. It’s been tremendous to see God move in all these people,” said Corey.
House of Hope will be a safe place for children in the foster care system to stay while awaiting placement. Their social workers will accompany them at all times, and trained volunteers will assist them by playing with the children, cooking meals, retrieving needed supplies, and offering a warm, homely environment. It will provide a safe place for the social worker to keep an eye on each child while giving the worker resources, such as Wi-Fi and an extra set of eyes and hands to assist the children. It’s a program that not only helps the foster child; it also benefits the foster family.
Corey said, “We want to help assist with all that. Compared to the office [where they’ve been staying and sleeping], our prayer is that they come in and feel like, ‘Wow, this is a different place!’”
Rather than being cooped up in an office all day, the home will offer more room and freedom to carry on normally with a playground and an area to watch TV and read books. Some will be in the home longer than others, but the goal is the same for every child entering the House of Hope doors.
“Our prayer is that we can just instill some hope into what may seem like a hopeless situation. We’ll have kids who are newly removed from some type of awful situation, and we may also have children who have had a disruption in their care, and their social workers must find a different home for them,” said Corey. “Regardless of the situation, we just want them to know that they’re loved, they’re cared for, and that we see hope for them. Every story is going to be different.”
There are many ways to help House of Hope fulfill its mission. Everyone can do something. Trained volunteers are needed to serve at the house, but that’s one of many ways to get involved. There is always a shortage of foster families, but if you don’t feel led to serve in that capacity, consider your other gifts and talents. Also needed are ongoing financial contributions to sustain the house, as are your prayers, which are free but priceless. Pray for the home’s completion, ongoing work, and the workers, children, and families they will serve.
“We’re trying to change the culture of foster care. It’s really cool to see all that God has done in a year or less; it’s just really incredible. And it’s all Him. We can’t take any credit. We’re vessels and instruments that He uses, and we give Him the glory and the praise. He has to stir in people’s hearts and open those doors,” said Corey.
He’s stirring and opening. How can you support House of Hope today? GN