By: Barry G. Allen- President and CEO
Recently a friend showed me a souvenir of the 24th anniversary of the organization of the Louisville Baptist Orphan’s Home held on June 30, 1893. It included a letter from Mary Hollingsworth, superintendant since its 1869 beginning. It stated “A year ago we had fifty-eight children dependent upon our charity; today we have eighty-two children to care for, and children are coming almost daily. This means additional burdens for us as a people, and we must do this noble work God has placed in our care, for to Him we are indebted for all that we have, and we must help these dear children by giving liberally of our substance. Our work is increasing each day, and of course our expenses of necessity will increase. We appeal to the friends of our Home everywhere, to give liberally for the support of the Home, as we need that help now.”
Just last week I received a communication from Dr. Bill Smithwick, President/CEO of Sunrise Children’s Services, successor of the Louisville Baptist Orphan’s Home, with some startling statistics about children today. Did you realize thousands of Kentucky children go to bed each night and wake up in homes where proper love and concern are absent, where physical, sexual and emotional abuse is common, and where the hope for a brighter tomorrow grows dimmer with each passing day? There have been more than 15,000 confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect, and Kentucky led the nation last year in the rate of child abuse and neglect deaths.
Since 1869 we Kentucky Baptists have been caring for children through this vital ministry. Last year more than 2,000 turned to Sunrise for help. Although the types of care required have changed since Superintendant Hollingsworth appealed in 1893 for financial support, the necessity of “giving liberally of our substance” has not changed. Please join my wife and me and make a liberal contribution to the Thanksgiving Children’s Offering on which this ministry depends. Make an impact for Christ’s sake and for the sake of these children.