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Marie and Steve Swope

PHILANTHROPISTS & CHRISTIAN CITY SUPPORTERS

Marie and Steve Swope – A Marriage Strengthened by Serving Together

You celebrated your 41st wedding anniversary in 2018. How did you meet and how has serving together impacted your marriage over the years?

Marie: We met when we were 16 working at the same department store in Atlanta. We went to different high schools. After graduation, Steve went to Georgia Southern College, and I went to Georgia State. After a year, he came back to Atlanta and enrolled at Georgia State. We got married in our junior year, and both graduated from Georgia State with bachelor’s degrees in marketing. Steve went to work at Delta Air Lines and I went to work for a chemical company.

Steve:
Together, we’ve always served by doing things for other people. We do that within the context of our church, our community, our family and our friends. That’s one reason Marie and I have such a strong connection. We’ve both got the same mindset about service. We serve others because that’s how we were raised, and we tried to raise our kids the same way.

What’s your philosophy about the best way to make an impact through philanthropy…

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Steve:
I really do believe when it comes to giving, everything we do is for ourselves and for someone else. When you do something for someone else, it involves sacrifice because you could be doing something for yourself instead.  As we in life have come to understand, one of the greatest pleasures is doing things for other people.  It does call for sacrifice, and you’re not willing to sacrifice unless you care. Once you care about something, it’s easy to sacrifice. You see it many times with tutoring, charitable giving, people that do volunteer work. It’s because they care about that cause, they care about that person.  They’re willing to give of themselves. Whether it’s their time, or their skill, or their financial resources, giving always involves a sacrifice. What value does life have if you keep everything for yourself? The more you love something, the more you’ll sacrifice for it.

Marie:
We’ve always done good things. We’ve always volunteered. When the sale of the second company came along, it enabled us to do the major things. And I had way more time to fill than I had before the kids were grown. That’s when I got involved with the GED and Literacy program in Newnan. I’ve been volunteering now for 17 years, and it is the best thing I do every week.

Steve:
Throughout our entire married life, we’ve always given of ourselves and financially to the degree we could.  Even when we first got married, we did things in our church community mostly. When we moved to Newnan, we began to get more involved. We’ve always supported charities, church work, and schools to the degree we could. I don’t think we’ve changed. But what has changed is our capacity to do good.  We can have a bigger impact than we could have otherwise.

Marie:
The Bible says, “the more someone is given, the more that is expected of them.”  I believe those of us who are given a lot have a responsibility to give back. Steve and I treat ourselves pretty well, but we don’t to the detriment of other people. That’s how we got started giving in a bigger way. We made the decision to Biblically tithe, and we took 10 percent of what we made on the sale of the company and set it aside to go to charity.  We decided to support local charities and most of them are dealing with children.

I feel strongly about this: it’s easy to write a check, and we could have said, “we’ll just write a check,” to all of these different organizations. It’s much harder to give of yourself, but that’s what we do. We don’t just write checks. We’re on the ground and working.

What motivates you to support children’s charities in particular?

Steve:
Probably 95 percent of what we do is targeted to children and vulnerable people within our community.  When Marie said the most enjoyable thing for her during the week is the GED program, mine is when we go to the Title I school on Wednesday and tutor kids for a couple of hours. We’re in our third year now.  The kids remember who we are, and we only see them once or twice a month. There were 25 we worked with last year. They come running down the hall when they see us, and we love working with them. Some of them say they only want to work with the “boy” Swope, not the “girl” Swope.

Marie:
These are children who desperately need attention, and they’re struggling on so many levels. They’re food insecure, need clothing, sleeping on one cousin’s couch this week and another cousin’s couch the next, or in need of a bath. It’s really tough, but these kids are so optimistic.

You mentioned being involved with your church community throughout your marriage. How have you grown through serving your church?

Steve:
I was raised a Methodist, but when I was 17, I converted to become a Roman Catholic. I went to mass a couple of times with Marie during our early dating years. When I was at Georgia Southern, a couple of my friends were Catholic. I went to church with them a few times, and I met with a priest in Stone Mountain. I found a depth in the Catholic church that I didn’t have previously. Maybe it was just that I was too immature to understand. So I became Catholic, and we’ve been very faithful churchgoers ever since we got married. Marie’s dad is a deacon, and in 2002 our pastor asked me if I was interested in becoming a deacon. I applied, started in 2003, went through the 5 years of formation and in February 2008, I was ordained.

Shortly thereafter, I was told the archbishop wanted to meet with me. They wanted me to be director of the formation program for all the permanent deacons. I told them I couldn’t do it, because I was CEO of a company. I had a full-time job, and there was no way that was going to work. The archbishop suggested I go home and pray about it. On the way home, I called Marie who reminded me I had been thinking about getting out of business and maybe this was my path out. I took that job. From 2008 to 2011, I had my full-time job as CEO of my company, and part-time job for the archdiocese. God graciously helped us sell the company. Then I went to work full-time for the archdiocese. In that capacity, I’ve done a lot of things, and I was director of formation for the permanent diaconate for a little over five years.

When Joseph Mitchell died, who was Margaret Mitchell’s nephew, he gave his entire estate to the archdiocese. The archbishop asked me to take that over. Up until last year, I was CEO of the company that had control over the book rights for Gone with the Wind. We still have control over all of Margaret Mitchell’s personal effects, including her press card, library card, Atlanta Journal Constitution employee ID, and driver’s license. Those effects are in our climate-controlled archives, but I’ve been working diligently with UGA, the Smithsonian, and Atlanta History Center, because the artifacts are important to the City of Atlanta. I was at St. George for 32 years, and last year I was transferred and assigned to St. Mary Magdalene in Newnan.

While your family has been connected to Christian City for many years, you became involved just recently. What prompted your engagement?

Marie
I’ve always known Christian City was here because my mother volunteered here for over 20 years. Last year, we came to realize what Christian City means to children who could otherwise have a different life story. They could be on the streets, or they could be living in abusive or neglectful situations and perpetuate yet another generation of people who are impoverished or uneducated. Christian City gives these children the chance to break that cycle. The truth is the only way out of poverty is to break the cycle, to give these children another opportunity, and being educated is the biggest opportunity.

Steve:
We visited Christian City, and LaVann gave us the tour. We met the house parents and toured one of the homes while the children were at school. We found out this is “real.” It is awesome. It’s an effective program, something that works. Everyone we met were genuinely good people with the interest of the folks who live here in mind. It fits perfectly with what we want to do.

Marie:
The Children’s Village is home. You feel the love, and you see the message. In society, we see the breakdown of families. What Christian City does is give that back. We can think what we want about society changing, but the bottom line is children still need families. Family doesn’t have to look like it looked when Steve and I grew up in suburbia with a mom and a dad, but that concept of family must be there.

I think that’s one of the important messages that Christian City sends out, too – that society is changing, but we’ve got to have families. Children musthave a family. And sometimes they find their family at Christian City. I think that’s one of the reasons we’re so enamored with Christian City and what is being done. It’s the fact that we can change children’s life stories.

What’s the next step for you in your engagement with Christian City?

Steve:
We invited people to last year’s Drive and Dine, and they were moved when the event co-chairs, Anne and Taylor Josey, spoke. It struck them and touched their hearts. They were moved to give, and perhaps they will go out, inform and invite others.

Marie:
It’s now our responsibility to inform people. Christian City needs assistance. Any non-profit needs money, and it’s our job to let people know that this place does exist, and that Christian City is a worthy organization to support.

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Debra Stegall

ASSISTED LIVING MEMORY CARE MANAGER

Debra Stegall – Caring for residents since 1982

Working at Christian City is a ministry for me. I was chosen by God to care for His people, and that is the reason for my long duration here. I feel that Christian City impacts the lives of our residents by providing them with a quality home where their spiritual, social, and medical needs are met.

My journey at Christian City began in June 1982 after I graduated from Newnan High School in June 1981. After asking my mom to help me find a job where I would be in a Christian environment, I landed my Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) position at Christian City where I worked as a CNA from 1982 to 1985 while attending nursing school at Atlanta Area Tech. I became a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at Christian City in 1985.

At that time, LPNs worked evenings and nights on 3-11pm and 11pm-7am shifts. Only RNs worked the 7am-3pm shift.  In 1986, I became pregnant. Instead of having morning sickness, I had evening sickness; and I was unable to continue working on the 3-11 shift. Thankfully, I was offered a position that was being vacated by an RN on the 7-3 shift – management of the Alzheimer’s (Wilkerson) Cottage at Christian City, and I’ve been managing Memory Care ever since. Today, I’m certified in Alzheimer’s care as a Certified Dementia Practitioner.

Memory Care sometimes spans generations and multiple members of the same family. Over the past three decades…

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…at Christian City, I’ve taken care of a mother, and later down the road, her daughter. I’ve done the same for a husband and wife.

My goal for Memory Care is to provide residents with the care they deserve and keep them functioning at the highest level possible. While some people question how we are able do this work day after day, I find it rewarding to get into their world and make them happy. Also, I am blessed to have a family that believes in the work I do and supports me.

In December 1984, I met my husband, Ray, at Christian City through a mutual friend.  Ray proposed to me in March 1985, and we were married in September 1985.

My family is God’s gift to me. Ray and I have three sons and one adopted daughter. Our oldest son is a music teacher. He is married, and they have a daughter. Our middle son is a producer and associate instructor in music. He is married, and they live in Abu Dhabi. Our youngest son is working on a fellowship for the Hudson River Museum. Our daughter is in 10th grade in high school.

I thank God for my husband who is always there for me. When I need volunteer help at Christian City, he gives me the support I need. He enjoys cooking; so when I need someone to handle the grilling for an event at work, Ray is always ready. His male chorus has visited Christian City to sing for our assisted living residents.

Years ago, my husband and I began sharing our family by being a host family for children living at Christian City. We would take the children to our home for weekend, summer, and holiday visits.  But that just wasn’t enough, so we became foster parents for Coweta County 2004 and continue to the present. I am also a board member for the Coweta County Foster Parent Association.

Ray and I are adoptive parents and foster parents. Over the years, we have fostered about 25 children, including the five foster children currently in our home. In December 2004, this beautiful little 2-year old came into foster care, and she was placed in our home. When she came up for adoption, we couldn’t let her go, even though she had challenges. We made the decision to adopt her.

My husband and I attended classes at the Marcus Institute in Atlanta to learn to manage a child with ADHD, and the techniques we learned were extremely helpful. Our daughter is now 16 years old. She is a praise dancer, and an energetic young lady who is willing to help whomever she can! Our daughter brought excitement and blessings to our family and church family, and she loves her big brothers. While they have spoiled her with attention, our sons have set a great example for our daughter.

Our family is active and always seems to have something interesting going on! In November 2016, we were blessed with the opportunity to be on the Family Feud television game show.  I auditioned with my family, but I didn’t participate in the show.  Instead, I afforded my daughter-in-law the chance to play, and they won the $20,000 prize!

As I continue to work at Christian City, I pray, before starting my daily duty, that I will make sure God’s will is done in my life each day. My aim each day is to make a difference in someone’s life to help them reach their highest potential. I know that God will provide me with what I need to meet the residents’ needs. He always has! For anyone considering fostering or adopting a child, I say, “Just do it!” The need is great and so is the blessing.

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Cathy Mullinax Ledford

RESIDENT OF HOME FOR CHILDREN IN ’70s AND ’80s

Cathy Mullinax Ledford – “…my house parents became my ‘real’ parents…”

I was 10 years old when I came to live at Christian City along with my sister and brother. I’ll never forget the date – April 10, 1977. All my worldly possessions were in a small garbage bag and my hair was in ponytails. Our single mother loved the three of us very much, but she was unable to provide for us. I didn’t know my biological father, but I loved my mother beyond words and knew she loved us unconditionally.

While I’m sure the decision was heartbreaking for our mom, she entrusted Christian City to raise us with strong Christian values in a healthy, happy home. That was one of the best decisions she ever made. Even though I was only in fourth grade, I believe I knew I wanted to break the cycle that led to a life of poverty and poor life choices for my family. I also believe God has a hand in everything through His will.

Thankfully, God led us to the home of Mom and Dad Kimmons at Christian City, a couple with a special gift for loving each child in their care. They encouraged each one of us…

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…to do our best as individuals. My house parents became my “real” parents, and they still are to this day. We talk on the phone regularly, meet for Sunday meals, and celebrate holidays and special occasions together as a family.

When the Kimmons home became a “boys” cottage, I had to move. Eventually, I was blessed to move to the Moore cottage in seventh grade. By that time, I knew and accepted that I would not be reunited with my mother, and I was at peace with it. God closes and opens doors for a reason. In the end, it’s always a blessing.

Mom Moore is one of the most gentle, loving, kind and caring women I have ever known. In fact, John Kimmons and Sarah Moore are two of the most Christ-like people I know today. I named my daughter after Mom Moore. Their positive influence on my childhood was life-changing; and they planted the seed that helped me to break the cycle of poor decision-making that had perpetuated through several generations of my mother’s family.

Dad and Mom Kimmons also planted the seed that led me and my husband, Stuart, to start a small business that has provided for our family and allowed us to send our children to Christian school. I met my husband of 25 years when we were in the same eighth-grade homeroom and on the track team, but we didn’t begin dating until after college. When we married in 1993, my dad, John Kimmons, walked me down the aisle at the church we attended as a family.

Stuart and I have been blessed with three children, now 23, 21 and 19, who have thankfully made good decisions in their lives due to their personal relationships with Jesus Christ and ongoing involvement with our church family. Our son, Justin, is in the U.S. Coast Guard; daughter, Sarah, will graduate from nursing school in May 2019 with a BSN degree; and the youngest, Kaitlin, was the valedictorian of her high school class. She is a freshman at Kennesaw State majoring in civil engineering.

It was at Christian City that I experienced the value of a strong Christian family and accepted Christ as my savior. In turn, my husband and I make every effort to live by example for our children. When I developed breast cancer in 2013, my strong faith in God along with the love and faith of my family and friends saw me through the difficult times. Today, as a cancer survivor, I look forward to seeing God’s plan unfold in our children’s lives so they can be a blessing to others.

Thank you for letting me share my story with you. Having been raised at Christian City, I know first-hand the true blessing that the Children’s Village has been in the past, is today, and will continue to be for countless children in need. God is faithful.

My favorite scripture is Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Thanks to God, Christian City was in my path, and I am here to share this blessing with you today.

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Arlene White

ACTIVE SENIOR RESIDENT & VOLUNTEER

Arlene White- “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

Hello! My name is Arlene White. I’ve been a resident of Christian City’s active senior living community since August 2016. It is said “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” in an expression taken from a Chinese proverb. I’d like to share some steps along my path to residing at Christian City during retirement.

Never one to be idle, I’ve had plenty to keep me busy during my lifetime. I have family residing in the Atlanta Metro area consisting of my son and two daughters, two granddaughters, and two grandsons. My working career spanned years of working in the finance and accounting field with government agencies, non-profit organizations, mortgage companies and other private corporations.

An abiding faith in Christ and love for people has kept me involved with church groups and volunteer activities from my youth. I volunteered with the American Red Cross…

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…as a physician’s assistant at United States Air Force Hospital, Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal; Project Open Hand in meal delivery to elderly and disabled residents in Atlanta; United Missions as computer literacy facilitator and volunteer coordinator in Smyrna, Angkor Resource Center’s corporate office in Riverdale assisting in voter education for Cambodian citizens in Atlanta Metro Area; and Liberty Point Elementary School as a guest reader.

In fact, I was introduced to Christian City through the Senior Usher Ministry of Zion Hill Baptist Church, Campbellton Road, as we volunteered by engaging with assisted living residents with guidance from nursing staff. For some years, my knowledge of Christian City’s many facilities, services, and amenities remained limited because I was only familiar with the assisted living and skilled nursing and rehab center. That view would be altered, of course, as life changes ushered (pardon the pun) me into being involved with Christian City as a resident.

I was, as I often like to say, a few doors down from 60 when my youngest daughter completed college, married, and started a family. I was employed as an office administrator at the time and started thinking about what I’d do upon retiring in 10 years or so. Knowing full well I couldn’t be (here’s that word again) idleand stay home in retirement, I decided to go to college. Yes, college! I would work toward getting that “piece of paper” which was my mother’s term for diploma.

A two-year course of study earned me a certificate in General Business from a technical school in my hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi, when I was in my early 20s. It served me well in earning a living, but I wanted to do more in retirement.

You can imagine comments I got from people when I told them of my intention. Some asked why I should bother since I was approaching the end of my career and had succeeded in getting my children through school with them obtaining advanced degrees. My perspective was that it was my children’s success, not mine. Others reminded me it had been years since I’d been in a classroom and I wouldn’t be able to keep up with younger people straight out of high school.

A Bible verse countered that reasoning: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV).” I enrolled at KSU because it was a good fit for this non-traditional student; though I must admit most people my age were graduate students not undergrad. I started out by taking a class or two each semester while I continued full time employment.

Little did I know a health issue would impact my plan to remain in the workforce until full retirement age. I received comfort from the Bible and support from my family during that season. I held to the following verse from the New Testament: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth (3 John 1:2 KJV).”

I kept the following verse from the Old Testament at the forefront of my mind: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil to give you an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11-13 KJV).”I lived in my son’s home for the duration of my health issue. He and my daughters saw to my immediate physical needs while out-of-state family, friends, and church family fervently prayed for me.

After about two years, I regained enough strength to move out of my son’s home with renewed enthusiasm to earn a degree. I searched unsuccessfully for active senior communities in Cobb County near KSU. My daughter suggested I look for a place closer to her home in Fairburn and my son’s home in the City of South Fulton. When she called one day and suggested I consider Christian City as a place to live, I told her I didn’t need assisted living! Again, that was my limited view of Christian City at the time.

She asked me to look at the website because Christian City had an active senior living community of patio homes and affordable apartments. I was totally surprised and wasted no time in calling to make an appointment. After a visit and contemplation, an apartment proved to be the better option for me. I now live in an apartment at Christian City.

I never imagined living in a community with so many activities and a host of caring people.  Even if I had nothing to do away from home, I am afforded access to an activities center, pool, events on-site (something is going on at Christian City every day), off-site trips and transportation to stores, banks, pharmacies. I never knew active senior living could be so ideal.  My son visited shortly after I moved in to be sure I was “safe and happy” (as he put it). He left with the assurance that I am indeed.

My university studies continued despite the long commute and I declared a major. I graduated magna cum laude on May 9, 2018, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in African and African Diaspora Studies from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at KSU. It only took me eight yearsto earn a four-year degree! My only question upon graduation: what would I do now to remain active? Volunteer at Christian City, of course! With perfect timing, a volunteer opportunity for a freelance writer appeared in Christian City’s monthly Partyline newsletter. I inquired. After completing volunteer orientation, I was directed to the Marketing and Communications department to assist in that area.

But there’s more! Professors at KSU encouraged me to apply for grad school. I did and was accepted into the Master of Arts in Professional Writing program in the English Department. My concentration is Creative Writing and support area is Rhetoric and Composition.

Who knew?  God knew! I’m convinced all of this was orchestrated by God as part of His plan for me. KSU didn’t know about my volunteer status with Christian City; Christian City wasn’t aware of my entering grad school at KSU. But God knew, and I’m grateful to Him for ordering my steps.

The testimony I have at this juncture in my life may be uttered in lyrics of a song from my childhood rendered by the senior choir at Greater Mount Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church in Vicksburg: “I’ve learned how to lean and depend on Jesus; He’s my Strength and He is my Guide. I’ve learned how to lean and depend on Jesus; I found out that if I trust Him, He will provide.”

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Dreambuilder Award Presented to Christian City CEO, Len Romano

The Fayette Chamber of Commerce has presented the 2018 Carolyn Cary Dreambuilder Award to Christian City President & CEO, Len Romano. The award was renamed in 2017 for Fayette Chamber founder, Carolyn Cary, the first recipient of the Dreambuilder award in 2002.

“The award is given to an individual or company that has had a significant vision for our community,” said Fayette Chamber CEO, Colin Martin. “Like Carolyn Cary, award recipients have selflessly given of their time and talents to make a difference in Fayette County; and their community spirit and dedication are shown both in word and deed,” Martin added.

The award recipient is selected by the outgoing board chair and announced at the chamber’s annual meeting. “Len’s dedicated service on the board of the Fayette Chamber for the past few years has been invaluable. Combine that with his amazing leadership of an organization that brings hope to the abused and the neglected, we see a dedication to this community that will have a lasting impact for generations to come which led to his selection for this well-deserved award,” said Stephen Childs, 2018 Fayette Chamber Board Chairman and an executive with Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America.

About Christian City
Christian City was established 54 years ago when the first cottage for abused and abandoned children opened on Valentine’s Day, 1965. Today, there are more than 1,000 residents, both children and older adults, living at Christian City in south metro Atlanta. The 500-acre campus includes the Children’s Village Residential Program, Crossroads Foster Care & Adoption Program, Safe Place Runaway & Homeless Youth Program, Thrive Graduate Transition Program, 500 homes for active seniors, a thrift store, 200-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, 150-bed assisted living center, and two memory care units. For more information, call 770-703-2636 or visit www.christiancity.org.

PHOTO (by Larry Regier): Lee Whetstone (left), 2019 Chairman of the Fayette Chamber of Commerce and Regional Business Manager with MAU Workforce Solutions, presents the 2018 Carolyn Cary Dreambuilder Award to Christian City President & CEO, Len Romano. Pictured at right is Colin Martin, Fayette Chamber President & CEO.

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Little Free Libraries Installed at Christian City

Union City, Ga – January 14, 2019 – Cooper Roman, a Boy Scout and Peachtree City resident, recently built and installed four Little Free Libraries on the campus of Christian City. The libraries are located outside each of Christian City’s three Active Senior Living patio home clubhouses and next to the Dog Park.

Christian City’s senior residents are excited about the libraries. They provide meeting places for neighbors to connect and share their favorite books as they take one and leave one.

Tyler Wright, Director of Campus Recreation, says, “We’re grateful to Cooper for initiating and completing this project for us. The Little Free Libraries are more than just another campus amenity; they are a way for our seniors to engage with their community in a positive way. We’re excited to read and share the joy with others!”

Cooper first learned about Christian City during his family’s search for housing for his grandfather. “My mom has also volunteered at Christian City and given presentations there,” Cooper said. His work on the project at Christian City contributed to earning his Presidential Service Award. Cooper has been in Scouting since third grade. He is a sophomore at McIntosh High and a member of the school’s lacrosse team.

About Little Free Library

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. A Little Free Library is a small, freestanding box with two shelves that hold books, providing 24/7 access to encourage reading. Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds. More info at www.littlefreelibrary.org.

About Christian City

Christian City was established more than five decades ago when the first cottage for abused and abandoned children opened on Valentine’s Day, 1965. Today, there are more than 1,000 residents, both children and older adults, living at Christian City, a nonprofit organization that depends on the generosity of donors for financial support. The 500-acre campus, located 15 minutes south of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, includes the Children’s Village Residential Program, Safe Place Program for Runaway & Homeless Youth, Thrive Graduate Transition Program, Crossroads Foster Care & Adoption Program, patio homes and apartments for active seniors, a thrift store, skilled nursing center, assisted living center, memory care, home health and hospice care. Individual and group volunteer opportunities available. More info at www.christiancity.org or call 770-703-2636.

(PHOTO by Larry Regier)

Cooper Roman, a Boy Scout and Peachtree City resident, recently built and installed four Little Free Libraries on the campus of Christian City. Cooper is pictured with several active senior residents and staff at the library located next to the Dog Park. From left: Cooper Roman, Danny O’Neal, Tyler Wright (Director of Campus Recreation), Arlene White, Gloria Kerns (with her dog Zippy), and Renee Trice.

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Soiree in Senoia Raises Funds for Crossroads Foster Care & Adoption Program

Union City – November 15, 2018 – More than 100 people came out to Bistro Hilary on November 12 for Soiree in Senoia benefiting Christian City’s Crossroads Foster Care & Adoption Program. Guests were treated to a warm, inviting atmosphere, delicious food, an online silent auction, and an informative and inspiring message about fostering and adopting children. Visit the event photo gallery here.

Len Romano, President & CEO of Christian City, opened the program by welcoming guests. LaVann Landrum, Chief Development Officer, explained the need for foster care and adoptive families, stating that more than 15,000 children are in the foster care system in Georgia. A video presentation highlighted a recent placement by the Crossroads Program of a six-child sibling group. Jennifer and Peter Barnett, a Peachtree City couple, are in the process of adopting the children. Peter says, “These children have changed our lives tremendously. They’ve been such a blessing to our family.”

Guests watched a trailer for the movie “Instant Family” (releasing Nov. 16), which provides a realistic portrayal of fostering and adopting. Michaela Guthrie, Crossroads Program Executive, spoke about growing up in foster care along with her twin sister. “Our goal at Crossroads is to find loving homes for children who are victims of abuse or neglect, especially the hard-to-place children in the foster care system: large sibling groups, teenagers and medically fragile children,” said Guthrie.

Chairman of the Christian City Board of Trustees, Delores Epps (an adoptive mother herself), closed the program by encouraging guests to share information about the Crossroads Foster Care & Adoption Program, consider becoming a foster parent, and donate to support the program financially.

Christian City’s Crossroads program was launched in 2018 with a mission to find and equip loving families for children in need of a home. Each family is given specialized care and attention to ensure adequate training and support. For more information about the program, visit our Crossroads page or contact Michaela Guthrie.

About Christian City
Christian City was established 53 years ago when the first cottage for abused and abandoned children opened on Valentine’s Day, 1965. Today, there are more than 1,000 residents, both children and older adults, living at Christian City, a nonprofit organization that depends on the generosity of donors for financial support. The 500-acre campus, located 15 minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, includes the Children’s Village Residential Program, Safe Place Program, Transitional Living Program, Crossroads Foster Care & Adoption Program, patio homes and apartments for active seniors, a thrift store, skilled nursing center, assisted living center, memory care, home health and hospice care. For more information, visit www.christiancity.org or call 770-703-2636.

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Celebrities Attend Bob Crutchfield Memorial Golf For Kids Tournament

Atlanta, Ga. – October 30, 2018 – Christian City hosted celebrities and players at the sixth annual Bob Crutchfield Memorial Golf For Kids Tournament in support of the Christian City Children’s Village. The tournament was held Monday, October 8, at the Chateau Elan Golf Club.

Among the players were celebrity athletes including College Football Hall of Fame Kicker and former Chicago Bears player Kevin Butler, former Atlanta Braves players Alejandro Peña and Luis Gomez, and former standout Georgia Bulldogs DJ Jones and Fred Gibson.

The tournament was followed by a dinner, award ceremony and a panel of celebrity athletes who engaged with the crowd and discussed their professional careers and why they chose to participate in the tournament. Additionally, the Program Executive of the Children’s Village, Sarah Booth, shared a powerful story of her own childhood at the Children’s Village and how she came to work for Christian City later in life.

“We are so grateful for the sponsors and players of this tournament.  It is because of their support that Christian City is able to break the chains of generational poverty, frustrate human traffickers and provide hope and healing for abused and neglected children,” says Christian City President and CEO, Len Romano.

All proceeds from the Bob Crutchfield Memorial Golf For Kids tournament benefited Christian City’s Children’s Village, an organization that provides care for homeless and runaway children. For over fifty years, Christian City Children’s Village has acted as a safe haven for these children through residential programs, adoption programs and independent living programs. Additionally, they are partnered with twenty-six QuikTrip gas stations in Atlanta in support of the Safe Place Program.

At the suggestion of Chick-fil-A Founder Truett Cathy, the Golf For Kids tournament was started by Dale Cardwell of TrustDale. The first Golf For Kids Tournament focused on raising money to build a cottage for housing children and subsequent tournaments have provided support for the Children’s Village. This year, Christian City’s Golf For Kids tournament hosted more than 100 golfers, 42 sponsors, and raised $47,000 which was used to help abused and abandoned children who now live safely at Christian City Children’s Village. This year the tournament was named in memory of Christian City CEO Bob Crutchfield who passed away from ALS to honor his legacy of service and his love of golf.

More information on the Christian City Children’s Village is available here.

About Christian City
Christian City was established 53 years ago when the first cottage for abused and abandoned children opened on Valentine’s Day, 1965. Today, there are more than 1,000 residents, both children and older adults, living at Christian City, a nonprofit organization that depends on the generosity of donors for financial support. The 500-acre campus, located 15 minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, includes the Children’s Village Residential Program, Safe Place Program, Independent Living Program, Crossroads Foster Care & Adoption Program, patio homes and apartments for active seniors, a skilled nursing center, assisted living center, memory care, home health and hospice care. For more information, visit www.christiancity.org or call 770-703-2636.

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Christian City Hires Director of Major Gifts

Union City – September 11, 2018 – Newnan resident Anne Josey has joined Christian City Inc. as the director of major gifts. Reporting directly to the chief development officer, Josey will develop and implement strategies to raise funds through private foundations, corporations/businesses, government entities, and individuals.

With three decades of fundraising experience, Josey has raised funds for a variety of nonprofit organizations including United Way of Greater Atlanta, Piedmont Hospital Foundation, Emory University, and the Atlanta Ballet.

“We are thrilled to have Anne join the Christian City team,” said LaVann Landrum, chief development officer at Christian City.  “Along with having decades of wonderful experience and expertise that she can bring to the team; she and her husband were phenomenal chairs of our Drive & Dine event this year.  We know she will do great work for Christian City.”

Len Romano, CEO of Christian City, says, “We continue to work toward solving problems in society and we continue to answer the call to serve – to extend Christ’s call to love our neighbor.  Anne’s role will directly affect our efforts by gaining more support from our community.”

As director of major gifts, Josey will be responsible for maximizing grant funding and sponsorships as well as maintaining relationships with current and potential donors.

Josey is a graduate of Mary Baldwin College where she received her bachelor’s degree in French and political science. She and her husband Taylor live in Newnan Pines.

About Christian City

Christian City was established 53 years ago when the first cottage for abused and abandoned children opened on Valentine’s Day, 1965. Today, there are more than 1,000 residents, both children and older adults, living at Christian City, a nonprofit organization that depends on the generosity of donors for financial support. The 500-acre campus, located 15 minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, includes the Children’s Village Residential Program, Safe Place Program, Transitional Living Program, Crossroads Foster Care & Adoption Program, patio homes and apartments for active seniors, a skilled nursing center, assisted living center, memory care, home health and hospice care. For more information, visit www.christiancity.org or call 770-703-2636.

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Christian City to Showcase Patio Homes for Active Seniors

(Union City, Ga – August 2, 2018) Active seniors considering moving to a retirement community are invited to tour available patio homes during an open house event at Christian City on Saturday, August 18, 9 am – 1 pm. “We have a number of one and two-bedroom patio homes that are move-in-ready and available for lease now,” said Jane Finch, Executive Director of Active Senior Living at Christian City.

There are four neighborhoods of patio homes on the 500-acre Christian City campus, located in south Fulton County between Fairburn and Fayetteville. Active seniors over the age of 60 can lease a home for life.

“Our program allows the resident to pay a one-time amount to lease a home for the remainder of his or her life,” says Finch. Utilities are included for select communities. And a monthly maintenance fee covers trash removal, recycling, pest control, and general maintenance service.

Amenities available to residents include a strengthening center, indoor swimming pool, walking paths, planned activities, events and classes at the recreation center. Arts Alliance member and volunteer chaplain Jan Gwaltney has enjoyed living in her patio home at Christian City for eight years. “Christian City is not just affordable. It’s a special, neighborly place to live,” she says. “From live concerts and resident art shows to recreational activities and classes, there is always something to do. We look out for our neighbors, and I feel safe here,” Gwaltney says.

The open house event will be held on Saturday, August 18, from 9 am to 1 pm, in the clubhouse at Christian City’s Hilltop Acres Active Senior Living neighborhood, located at 7500 Lester Road in Union City. For more information, visit www.christiancity.org or call 770-703-2683.

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