Burlington Sock Puppets Baseball Game

 

On Friday, July 30, 2021, the children and staff of MHCO were treated to a great night of fun, food, and even fireworks!

Our VIP kids could eat all they wanted…and they could choose from hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken sandwiches!  (Or they could have them all!)  There were sodas, bottled water, and potato chips as well.  Each of them enjoyed a delicious and refreshing Sno-Cone for dessert!  They participated in the sideline entertainment between innings.  And there were fireworks to light up the sky before they headed back to Oxford!  It was an amazing experience and a wonderful memory our kids will always be able to look back upon.

A simple “Thank You!” hardly seems enough to express our gratitude!  Thank you to all listed below for making a difference in the lives of our children!

  • Jason Ross Auto Sales

  • Jason and Kellie Ross

  • Brother Jeff Ross

  • Sammy Ross

  • Allan Ross

  • Thomas Ross

  • The Burlington Sock Puppets & General Manager Thomas Vickers

  • Alvin and Fran Billings

  • Bob and Christine Hoblit

  • Lindsay Billings

  • Worshipful Brother Albert Freeman

  • The School of Graphic Arts

Our kids are heading back to school!

It’s that time of year again and our kids will be heading back to school in a few short weeks!  Below is a list of school supplies they need! 

If you’d like to help, call 888-505-4357 or email lfrederickson@mhc-oxford.org.  Thanks!

 

2021-2022 School Supply Needs List:

Earbuds and Headphones are greatly needed for ages three to 22!

Various Art Supplies Required for Art Classes

  • Art 4B Drawing Pencils
  • Sketch Pads for middle and high school art classes
  • Small paint sets for art classes
  • Watercolors
  • Pink Art Erasers
  • Permanent Markers
  • Poster Board (all colors)
  • Science Fair Type Display Boards
  • Stencils for letters and numbers

 

General Supplies Needed

  • 1 inch binders
  • 2 inch binders
  • 3 inch binders
  • Pre-Kindergarten/Primary Writing Paper Tablets
  • Mechanical Pencils
  • .8 Lead for mechanical pencils
  • Hand-held sanitizer
  • Lysol or Clorox Wipes
  • Copy Paper
  • Cardstock copy paper for projects, awards, certificates
  • Notebook Page Dividers
  • Graph paper
  • Combination Locks
  • Post-it Notes/Pop-Up
  • Clear tape
  • Paper Towels

 

Tutoring Supplies Needed

  • Skill (Math, Reading, Science, History) workbooks for tutoring and extra practice (all ages)
  • Manipulatives for counting, sorting, ABC practice (educational/skill-based games)
  • Academic Award Ribbons/Medals
  • Prizes for our Academic Wellness Gift Store (small toys/games, gift cards
  • Small Dry Erase Boards
  • Expo Dry Erase Markers and eraser

 

Technology Resources Needed

  • TI 36X Calculators
  • TI 84 Calculators
  • Chromebooks

The Bike Shop

 

MHCO is proud to announce the opening of “The Bike Shop”!  This new “department” at MHCO was started by Joey and Kenny!  These two amazing guys and their wives are House Parent couples here at the Home.  They’ve set up this space to repair and improve the bikes our kids are already riding as well as store new and donated bikes for future use!

Since they are just getting started, they are in need of some tools and and other necessities listed below.  If you’d like to help out, please contact Joey and Kenny directly at bikeshop@mhc-oxford.org.

Bike Shop Wish List:

  • Tool Box
  • Screwdriver Set
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Spoke Tool
  • Allen Set
  • Hex Set
  • Vice Grips
  • WD 40
  • T Handle Set
  • Power Strip
  • Socket Set (Standard & Metric)
  • Wrench Set
  • Extension Cord (50 Ft.)
  • Fans
  • Tube Repair Kit
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Cycle Repair Kit

 

North Carolina’s First Children’s Home turns 148!

MHCO is entering its 148th year of caring for children in need!

We are older than:

  • Airplanes

  • Motorcycles

  • Automobiles

  • Television

  • Movies

  • Light Bulbs

We are able to continue to fulfill our rich heritage because of the generous support of many giving hearts!  Please help us continue caring for children in need for another 148 years.  CLICK HERE TO DONATE AND SET UP YOUR RECURRING GIFT!

Growing Hearts, Brighter Futures

 

The Terry Mills Gilliland – HDR Bridge

While this was a time of “safer at home,” MHCO has seen some impressive progress in moving forward on several projects. Most notably the HDR Bridge was completed on 6/5. Time and elements had taken it’s toll on the steel I-Beam, Railroad Tie bridge which was put in place in the 1960’s. Serving its purpose well, the bridge had become dangerously worn and erosion made the bridge unsafe for vehicle traffic. As local developments increase Jordan… Creek has seen an increase in water flow, often overflowing the bridge.

Alumnae Terry Mills Gilliland always keeps her Home and her younger brothers and sisters in mind as she chairs the Chip Shots for Children Golf Tournament and serves on the Alumni Association Board. In the Fall of 2019, Ms. Gilliland suggested MHCO submit a LOI with the HDR Foundation. HDR engineers provide a variety of services to groups like NCDOT, including designing bridges. This project was especially rewarding for all involved. HDR Foundation has been seeking providing resources for a project in the Southeast, building bridges is one of their expertise, and Ms. Gilliland who works closely with HDR was raised at the Home.

The new bridge provides MHCO with safe access to the back of the property, supports the farmer’s efforts, and provides significant safety and service access for the Sheriff, Oxford Fire Department, and City and County officials. MHCO expects and intends for the back of the property to be utilized more for Masonic Events, such as outdoor degrees, Environmental Educational opportunities, and Scouting Activities.

This project was simply not possible without the support of many. During the course of this project, HDR Engineers, located in Raleigh, volunteered their design and engineering work. Catlin Engineers and Scientists conducted the Geotechnical Investigation for the Bridge, waiving their fee as a donation to MHCO. Sanford Contractors provided additional supports to keep expenses within the HDR Foundation Grant. Granville County and Oxford City officials supported the project helping keep related expenses minimal. The fifteen-foot wide concrete bridge with concrete footings protecting the pilings was built without cost for the Home.

The Bridge Project has special meaning during these challenging times. The bridge is visual progress at a time when the world virtually stopped. The bridge also represents safety, the main purpose of MHCO’s planning and decisions at all times, but especially during the pandemic. Finally, the bridge represents access. The children have access to more resources toward a better life crossing this bridge and all the bridges in their lives, thanks to everyone’s support.

The bridge was dedicated on August 14, 2020 following the MHCO Board Meeting. On behalf of our children, staff, Board of Directors, Alumni, and friends and supporters we extend our gratitude to all who made this possible!

What have we been up to during the Covid-19 Pandemic?

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all. We especially pray for the children in our care, the staff providing the front-line services, the medical and first responders sacrificing for others, all our families, all those in the Fraternity, and all those impacted directly. Economic and domestic challenges will negatively impact families. Please help refer families who are going through troubling circumstances. MHCO can provide for the children, while families get back on their feet.

MHCO continues to take a cautious approach to opening up. Events on campus are primarily cancelled through July. Some visitors have been allowed on a case by case basis depending on the nature of their business and the ability to remain safe. Visitors are not entering any cottages. A decision regarding the Masonic Homecoming Festival will be made by the 8/14 Board Meeting.

The campus remains active with the pool, gym, playgrounds, bike rides, and summer academy. Children have become Pen Pals with WhiteStone residents, one of which grew up at Oxford Orphanage. We appreciate WhiteStone reaching out to suggest this wonderful connection between our residents.

We look forward to rescheduling, visiting, inviting, and being personally connected with everyone soon. Videos are out and being developed to celebrate and recognize several of these events, as well as, provide ongoing information regarding your Children’s Home. Check them out below and on the MHCO Facebook page.

We continue to focus on the positives and opportunities this situation has provided. The campus is active with laughter and play. Staff and residents are serious about doing their part to help keep all safe. We are prepared to provide virtual presentations. Let us know if your lodge, church, business, etc. is interested and we will Zoom right to you.

We still miss seeing everyone and hope to be able to visit soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECU Foundation Provides Grant to Help Expand Independent Living Program for N.C. Youth

Raleigh, N.C. – The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford (MHCO) has received a $40,000 Capacity Building Grant from the SECU Foundation to help the non-profit develop a comprehensive plan for the expansion of their Independent Living Program (ILP) for youth ages 18-23 who are transitioning from foster care to adulthood. An announcement was made yesterday during a district-wide SECU Advisory Board meeting held at the Granville County campus, where SECU Foundation Board Chair Bob Brinson presented the ceremonial check to MHCO officials.

“We are pleased to help the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford further their mission to assist children and young adults who need a stable, caring, and loving home,” remarked Bob Brinson. “MHCO has a long history and proven track record of providing residential care services to children and families. We hope the Foundation’s grant will help them move forward with increasing their capacity and expanding ILP services to help address the needs of the foster care population.”

The state licensed and nationally accredited Masonic Home for Children at Oxford has been operating since 1872. It is one of the few facilities with a statewide reach to provide an independent living program for young adults in addition to offering residential care services and support programs for children from infancy to adulthood. SECU Foundation’s grant will assist MHCO with assessing organizational strengths and growth areas, improving statewide marketing strategies and fundraising efforts for continued sustainability, training staff for program expansion, and obtaining a new ILP campus design.

“The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford is honored and humbled to receive this generous and thoughtful gift from the SECU Foundation to address capacity issues,” said Kevin Otis, Administrator of the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford. “MHCO is North Carolina’s first children’s home, and over 10,000 children have had an opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed at tremendous levels thanks to the support of our gracious donors. This tradition continues today as SECU Foundation and MHCO join together to brighten our children’s futures.”

About SECU and the SECU Foundation

A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, SECU has been providing employees of the state of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for 82 years. The Credit Union also offers a diversified line of financial advisory services including retirement and education planning, tax preparation, insurance, trust and estate planning services, and investments through its partners and affiliated entities. SECU serves over 2.4 million members through 267 branch offices, nearly 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Member Services via phone, a website, www.ncsecu.org and a Mobile App. The SECU Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization funded by the contributions of SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high impact projects in the areas of housing, education, healthcare and human services. Since 2004, SECU Foundation has made a collective financial commitment of more than $169 million for initiatives to benefit North Carolinians statewide.

Life is Cool in the Pool!

The new pool was officially dedicated on May 10th.  Board Members, donors, employees, children, and friends of the Home joined to recognize the historic impact of previous pools and this impressive reprieve from the summer and life’s rigors.  Friday’s recognitions included Oxford Mayor Sergent, Chairman Preslar, PGM Hallman, GM Sigmon, and NCMF Chris Richardson.  PGM Hallman shared historic information written by long time Oxford Orphanage employee, Nettie Bemis.  In the report Ms. Bemis shared the many positive benefits of the pool for the children, including improved health.  We look forward to continuing these benefits for the children for several decades.  The dedication ceremonies went extremely well and the children got to swim in the Home’s pool for the first time in two years.  Fundraising continues to completely pay for the pool.  Contact us if you would like to make a splash with your contribution.  And special thanks to all who continue to meet the needs of our children!

 

Announcing the Donald L. Sizemore Memorial Fund

New Fund Honors Life, Impact of Donald Sizemore

He was the one who brought you french fries after every dentist appointment. He was the one who coached your Little League team. He was the one who spent four decades at your home, dedicating his life and life’s work to provide a better home and future for thousands of children. And now, we are the ones to recognize and honor Donald L. Sizemore for the love and dedication he showed to so many children, for so many years, cared for at Oxford Orphanage and The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford.

The Oxford Orphanage-MHCO Alumni Association recently announced formation of an endowed, memorial fund honoring Mr. Sizemore. The fund, administered by the North Carolina Masonic Foundation, will make an annual contribution from its endowment to MHCO, for use of the residents in their care.

Like Mr. Sizemore, this fund will impact young lives now and provide a foundation for support and giving to all children who need our Home in the future.

The fund is built on love, memory and stories – stories that will live forever through the voices of so many alumni and employees of the Home. They tell of Mr. Sizemore’s care, compassion, and belief in our Home and its mission while he served as cottage counselor starting in 1964, and later in administrative positions and as coach for various little league teams on campus. Primary to his work was the admission of children, traveling thousands of miles, meeting with families, and serving as the first contact to those who needed a home at Oxford. For many alumni, Mr. Sizemore was the constant and caring soul during their time our Home — and even after they left.

Your tax-deductible contribution to this endowment fund of the alumni will ensure that our beloved Mr. Sizemore will be remembered for generations to come – through support every year – that will help keep out home strong into the future. This is every alumni’s opportunity to recall and cherish the impact of this employee, friend, and supporter of their lives and of this Home for years to come.

Donations can be any amount. Gifts will be recognized by the Alumni Association as charter gifts to the fund and will be part of a wonderful announcement and first gift presentation at our 2019 Homecoming.

Information on how to honor your memory of Mr. Sizemore with a gift is below. For more details , please contact Tina Gilreath (919-603-3906)/tgilreath@mhc-oxford.org or Chris Richardson (919-690-5996)/crichardson@mfnc.org.

Donations can be mailed to: MHCO c/o Tina Gilreath, 600 College St., Oxford, NC 27565. Checks should be made payable to The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford or “MHCO” and must include “Donald Sizemore Memorial Fund” in the memo line.

Online donations can be made at www.mhc-oxford.org or www.mfnc.org. Be sure to note “Donald Sizemore Memorial Fund” on your online gift form.

Thank you for your consideration and for helping us remember in a meaningful way how Mr. Sizemore dedicated his life to giving children a chance at our Home in Oxford.