Found at Big Oak: A Place to Belong

Miracle Moments Found a big oak a place to belong family around the time August 2022 BCF

Miracle Moments

Brought to you by: Molly Maid of Birmingham, www.mollymaid.com/birmingham

At Big Oak Ranch we say often, “A small thing repeated is not a small thing.” The reward for the daily, committed work in nurturing the hurting places in our children is frequently found in the glances, in the smiles, in the subtle comments that bring us to our knees.

Not too long ago, a 6-year-old girl joined our family. A little girl who, despite past hardship, is always smiling, loving and friendly. She’s a typical child who enjoys coloring and has a fascination with frogs. The day she arrived at Big Oak happened to be the day her new Ranch family had plans to leave for a beach trip. So, she joined right in and they talked, laughed and connected during that 5-hour drive. She then stepped onto the beach for the very first time.

Big Oak Ranch LogoMost of our kids don’t come to Big Oak, only to leave for a beach trip with their new family that day. But that circumstance was specially appointed by God. Since that trip, her houseparents have watched her grow and weave into her new family. Even the chores around the house she does with a sweet spirit, including making her bed every morning with no reminder. Well, except for one day – her first day of school.

After all of the children were off to school on the first day, her housemom walked past the little girl’s room and noticed her bed wasn’t made. Realizing this was unusual, her housemom lightheartedly asked the little girl about it when she got home. She said, “Were you just so excited about your first day that you forgot to make your bed?” The little girl replied, “Well, no ma’am. When I woke up, I thought I was late and didn’t want to miss breakfast.” She recalled how, before she came to Big Oak, she used to rely on breakfast at school but because she was always late to school, she often had to do without breakfast. Brought to her knees, the little girl’s housemom assured her that she would never go without breakfast and that she would always make it to school.

Each morning, this young girl enjoys breakfast and a devotion time with her family before school. She is learning to trust and growing in confidence. And, as a bonus on that first day of school, she found a special connection with her school teacher around a great love of frogs.

At Big Oak Ranch, one of the greatest gifts we give our children is a private, Christian education through Westbrook Christian School. They receive the opportunity to dream and strive toward the plans God has for them, and it changes generations. 

-Big Oak Ranch

www.bigoak.org

Lincoln Dorrough enjoying a snow day at Big Oak

Miracle Moments

Brought to you by: Molly Maid of Birmingham, www.mollymaid.com/birmingham

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11

Growing up without a biological mother and father really hurt, but looking back, it was a season when God was working for my good.

Lincoln Dorrough enjoying a snow day at Big Oak
Lincoln Dorrough credits his time at Big Oak Ranch into making him the man he is today.

I was born into a difficult situation, with a biological mother struggling with drug and alcohol addiction and an absent biological father. But my grandparents were quick to adopt me, providing a loving Christian environment. In their home, I was loved and couldn’t have asked for a better life. But I was confused. I didn’t understand the reality of my situation and why it was different. Many honest and difficult conversations helped me accept the life I lived, and I chose to focus on the love I was receiving. As life went on, like many young boys, I was curious and adventurous, but for me, it was leading down the wrong path. During this season, my grandfather unexpectedly passed from an aneurysm and, one week later, my grandmother was diagnosed with colon cancer. It was then that my life took a turn.

Thinking of my future, my grandmother and a wonderful long-time friend of the Ranch, Larry Fuhrman, explored Big Oak Ranch. I arrived at Big Oak a fragile, angry, and uncertain 12-year-old boy, only to lose my grandmother to her disease six months later. Despite the seemingly infinite acreage of the Ranch and so many people around me, I felt alone. But that didn’t last long. Little did I know, receiving Rickey and Donna Duke as my houseparents would be one of my greatest blessings. From them, I learned the importance of remaining humble and loving God, always putting Him first. I learned that family is not always connected by blood, but often relationships from God made up of people who choose one another. Mom and Pop Duke, and the entire Big Oak staff, molded me into who I am today.

Lincoln Dorrough and his family
Lincoln Dorrough and his wife Silvia have two daughters, Aiyana (9) and Eva (3), and live in Pensacola, Fla. Dorrough says of his family, “I consider myself rich, not with money, but with family…something I had searched for throughout my life.”

I am Petty Officer First Class Christopher L. Dorrough, and I have served in the United States Navy for the past 15 years. I joined the Navy in 2006 and have traveled the world. Upon graduating boot camp and focused Navy training, I was stationed for four years in Whidbey Island in Washington, during which I deployed twice. My first deployment was to Misawa, Japan for six months and the second was to Camp Tallil in Iraq, close to the Euphrates River and the House of Abraham. From there, I transferred back to Misawa, Japan where I spent another four years and met my wonderful and loving wife Silvia.

As my journey continued, I transferred to Atsugi, Japan close to Tokyo, and was attached to the USS George Washington and the USS Ronald Reagan. I did four deployments in the 7th Fleet onboard those aircraft carriers. Since 2018, I have served as an instructor in Pensacola, Fla. teaching Aircrew Survival Equipment Technician School. My job requires incredible attention to detail as I inspect and repair life-saving equipment. This is a characteristic Mom and Pop Duke instilled in me, and now I use it to serve my country. To read more of Dorrough’s story, visit www.bigoak.org

 

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Miracle Moments

Brought to you by: Molly Maid of Birmingham, www.mollymaid.com/birmingham 

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Grey Darrah, one of the first boys to live at Big Oak Boys’ Ranch, is a certified professional photographer specializing in timeless portraiture. As an overall skilled craftsman, he also makes beautiful wooden vessels. Darrah said of his craft, “You can take a piece of wood and turn it into a bowl or a vase but it’s the ones that as you start digging deeper and deeper in the wood, you find these crevices and occlusions running through them – imperfections. But it’s what makes them so special and so particularly beautiful.”

Grey Darrah and his family
Grey Darrah is seen here with his family. Darrah is a Marine veteran and has passed on his love for his country to his children.

As a husband, father of three grown children and grandfather of four grandsons, he understands this illustration in a personal way. Darrah was 14 when he arrived at Big Oak Ranch, a Christian home for children needing a chance. Big Oak was just beginning and so was God’s rebuilding work in Darrah’s life.

At Big Oak, Darrah found family. He found safety and a place to belong. He found consistent examples, stability and loving discipline. He found a relationship with Jesus and lasting purpose. God took the imperfections of Darrah’s life and crafted something extraordinary.

Early days at Big Oak
Pictured above is a snapshot of the early days of Big Oak Ranch. The ranch opened in 1974 and has impacted the lives of more than 2,000 children.

Darrah has been married to his wife Kaysi for 37 years. As a Marine veteran, he passed on to his children a love for our country and for serving something greater than oneself. Of their three grown children, one son is a dentist, their daughter a speech therapist, and their second son, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. But, more than that, their children didn’t know the same cycle of pain that Darrah did. They have also found a relationship with Jesus and are raising children of their own in Christian homes.

The art that Darrah makes today will be handed down from generation to generation. Much like the work that was done in his life at Big Oak Ranch. To hear more of Darrah’s story, click here.

Big Oak Ranch Logo

 

 

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Miracle Moments

Brought to you by: Molly Maid of Birmingham, www.mollymaid.com/birmingham

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart…” Jeremiah 1:5

Sav-a-Life Shelby’s Mission is to develop a culture of life where abortion is unnecessary and undesirable in Shelby County while offering the hope of the Gospel. Here are two miracle stories of lives saved.

1. When Almir found herself pregnant, she thought she had no other choice than abortion. After a visit to the abortion clinic, Almir was given a choice of procedures. “It was very cold, like when you go to the dentist and they tell you about what happens when they pull a tooth,” she remembers. Almir’s cousin had visited the Pregnancy Resource Center before, and already knew what services were provided. She urged Almir to come in for an ultrasound to see how far along she was. When she came into the center, one of Sav-a-Life Shelby’s peer counselors spent a long time with Almir, talking through all of her options and listening to Almir’s concerns. “She told me, ‘It’s going to be okay,’ and she told me that God loved me,” Almir recalled. After seeing the ultrasound of her son, Almir said she felt such a relief and peace, and she made the decision to choose life for her son. 

2. It was her third pregnancy, and with two other children to take care of, Rae remembers thinking, “I don’t need another baby.” She had an abortion appointment set for that morning, but because her ride was late, Rae missed the appointment. “I felt like I had no other choice…I really was thinking about having an abortion,” she said.
Rae began searching online for help and came across the Sav-a-Life Shelby’s center. She decided to come in to see how far along she was to determine whether or not she could be comfortable with having an abortion. Still undecided, Rae talked with a peer counselor about her concerns and agreed to have an ultrasound. Seeing her baby on the ultrasound screen, she admitted, “It made me want to keep the baby. It was a baby, you know, not just a thing in there,” she said. “They assured me that God would make a way. They offered services that would help me provide for my child” Today, Rae has a beautiful baby boy named Andrew. “Now, I see my son and I’m like, ‘What was I thinking?’ Not only did Sav-a-Life Shelby save my son’s life, I feel like in a way they also saved my life.”

Every day, the team at Sav-a-Life Shelby shines a light on the gift of life and shares the hope of the Gospel. To read more about the Pregnancy Resource Center, visit www.savalifeshelby.org. †

We need you to share your Miracle Moment! Email melissa@christianfamilypublications.com Subject Line: Miracle Moments or call 205-408-7150.

Campers in group outside

Miracle Moments

Brought to you by: Molly Maid of Birmingham, www.mollymaid.com/birmingham

“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ,” Philippians 1:6 ESV

For almost 60 years, Hargis Christian Camp in Chelsea, Ala. has made an impact for the Kingdom of God by sharing the Gospel with thousands of campers. Aaron Knight’s family has loved the property where Hargis sits long before it became a camp. “My great-uncle Bill found 200 acres to build a farm on right next to the Hargis family’s farm property,” Knight shares. He recalls running around the Hargis property as a child before the current buildings were built.

Hargis Scenery Photo with Sunset
Pictured here is the view from the cross on the property of Hargis Christian Camp. Aaron Knight often prays for the camp in this spot.

At about the age of 15, Knight veered away from the faith he was raised in and eventually became addicted to drugs. “I went to jail eight times by the time I was eighteen years old,” Knight shares. He experienced the grace and forgiveness found in Christ when he was 30 years old. “God radically changed my life. I went from selling drugs to going back to church and getting involved in ministry.” Knight started a jail ministry, worked for The Foundry Ministries, and eventually went to Highlands College. Knight recently celebrated six years of pastoring at Redemption Church in Chelsea.

Campers in group outside
Hargis Christian Camp’s mission is “To Make Jesus Known.” After watching teens encounter God and live out their faith while at camp, Aaron Knight knew he had to save Hargis for future generations.

“When I first heard the camp was for sale, I began to pray about building a house on a part of the property that is so special to me,” Knight says. He never expected that the Holy Spirit would speak to him, “Why don’t you save the camp instead of building a house?” Knight initially thought the idea was ridiculous but over time, God showed him that He was in the process. Knight gave the camp to God and promised Him he would follow His lead. Soon after, fundraising for saving Hargis Christian Camp began.

God has performed miracles in placing Knight with the right people at the right time. “There were times before we even got the contract that the providence of God was so evident,” Knight says, adding, “Miraculously, people have come in and helped with buildings and refurbishments that we didn’t expect.” Hargis has received several donations that can only be described as miracles. God has shown Knight and his wife Kellie that He will continue to send people and funds from unexpected places. “I’ve learned to hold Hargis’ future with open hands and keep building.” During this journey, several verses have encouraged Knight. In 2020, Knight buried papers with the verses Philippians 1:6 and Proverbs 21:21 written on them next to a prayer he wrote for the vision of the camp. To learn more about Hargis Christian Camp and stay updated as the miracle continues to unfold, visit www.hargischristiancamp.org.

-Melissa Armstrong

Aaron and Kellie Knight
Aaron Knight and his wife Kellie love the Hargis Christian Camp property. They were married on the property in 2015.

We need you to share your Miracle Moment! Email melissa@christianfamilypublications.com Subject Line: Miracle Moments or call 205-408-7150.

Major McLaughlin

Miracle Moments

Brought to you by: Molly Maid of Birmingham, www.mollymaid.com/birmingham 

“But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5


Major McLaughlin in the hospital
Major McLaughlin reading get well cards with his mom, Malynda, from friends and family during his weeklong hospital stay at Children’s of Alabama.

On October 2, 2021, Brady McLaughlin and his son, Major, geared up for a camping weekend with friends at Oak Mountain State Park. While on a bike ride, Major’s bike tires lost traction and he fell. During the fall, the bike handlebars hit Major which of course was painful but there were no obvious injuries. “I carried him to my truck, and we sat in the air conditioning for a few minutes to cool off,” Brady Mclaughlin says. However, once they returned to the park, a lethargic Major threw up. After he threw up for the second time, Mclaughlin and his wife, Malynda, with the guidance of Major’s doctor, decided to take the almost 7-year-old to Children’s of Alabama Emergency Department. 

Major McLaughlin
During his injury and recovery, Major McLaughlin displayed incredible bravery his parents know was a testament to the strength God gives to His children. Brady McLaughlin says his son and entire family learned the importance of seeing God’s work and faithfulness in every little victory.

Doctors at Children’s realized that Major was lacking oxygen in his blood. A CT scan revealed that the bicycle handlebars hit Major’s kidney “perfectly the wrong way,” McLaughlin remembers. Major had suffered a shattered right kidney and an uncontrolled urine leak. Urologist David Joseph, M.D. discussed the injury with Major’s parents. “There were a lot of questions and unknowns, but Dr. Joseph told us that surgery needed to happen right away,” McLaughlin said, adding, “It is a miracle that Dr. Joseph was there for Major that day since he is a world-renown urologist that has been practicing for 35 years.” There were many unknowns going into emergency surgery and when they asked for a prognosis, the McLaughlins were told “we don’t know if he will make it out of surgery.” Immediately family, church family, and friends surrounded Major in prayer. People from all over- some the McLaughlins didn’t even know thanks to social media- started to pray for Major’s healing. “I have never seen a mobilization of prayer from God’s people like I did for this,” McLaughlin says.

The McLaughlin Family
The McLaughlin family experienced supernatural peace and comfort while at the hospital. L to R: Maxwell (age 5), Brady McLaughlin, Vera Bethlehem (age 2), Malynda McLaughlin, and Major (age 7). The family recently welcomed a baby sister to the family, McKenna.

The surgery lasted nearly five hours and resulted in Major’s right kidney being removed because of multiple fractures. What carried them through the hours of uncertainty? Their faith in God. “We had nowhere else to turn except to God, nor did we want to go anywhere else except for God because we know He is the ultimate healer and provider,” explains McLaughlin. The family clung to God’s promise found in Isaiah 53:5. They also listened to two worship songs during Major’s emergency surgery- “Land of the Living” by Pat Barrett and “Too Good Not to Believe” by Bethel Music. McLaughlin firmly believes that Major’s story is a testament to the fact that “God is still working miracles today- right now.”

As he looks back on Major’s accident, McLaughlin remembers the supernatural peace and comfort God poured over his family. “Major didn’t even cry once while in the hospital,” he says. During the weeklong hospital stay, McLaughlin regularly updated social media with prayer requests and praises. “We had multiple people reach out telling us that they hadn’t connected to God in years but Major’s story stirred them to reconnect with the Lord and pray for the first time in years.” Major is now completely recovered and living an active life. 

-Melissa Armstrong

We need you to share your Miracle Moment! Email melissa@christianfamilypublications.com Subject Line: Miracle Moments or call 205-408-7150.

LotUSA

Miracle Moments

Brought to you by: Molly Maid of Birmingham, www.mollymaid.com/birmingham

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever,” Psalm 73:26

July 30, 2019 started as a normal day for Darryl Fuhrman. It wasn’t until he started his daily workout video that things took an unexpected and frightening turn. “I was about eight minutes into my workout when my heart literally stopped beating and I expired,” Fuhrman shares. By God’s grace, his mother (who has been a nurse since the Korean War), stumbled upon him and immediately called for help and began administering help in the waiting time. 

Darryl Fuhrman playing football at Alabama
Darryl Fuhrman is a former college athlete himself. He played football for the Alabama Crimson Tide under Coach Ray Perkins.

Fuhrman was taken to UAB and after many days full of uncertainty and countless heart monitors, Fuhrman underwent surgery. The doctors planned to crack his chest open and give him an artificial mechanical heart valve. Before the risky surgery, Fuhrman came to terms with the fact that he might not wake up. He wrote letters to family and friends describing the goodness of God no matter the outcome of the surgery and encouraged them to continue strong in their faith- to forgive quickly, love freely and serve the Lord. “I often thought during that time what dreams may come, or will I finish the race,” Fuhrman says. His surgery was successful and he is thankful for his recovery. 

Darryl Fuhrman
Darryl Fuhrman is a native of Southside, Ala. The devastation experienced in Tuscaloosa and surrounding cities on April 27, 2011 spurred Fuhrman to start Lettermen of the USA.

Since that harrowing experience in 2019, Fuhrman hasn’t stopped giving back. He is the Founder of Lettermen of the USA(LotUSA), which is a 501 (c)(3) organization that serves those in local communities that are in need. “LotUSA has teamed up to help serve honorably discharged veterans, wounded veterans, disaster victims, and former college players in need.” Fuhrman adds that since LotUSA was founded in 2012, the organization has been able to help more than 13,000 people. Since waking up after his surgery, Fuhrman feels that every day is vital in the mission of serving others. 

On March 11, LotUSA is hosting the 2022 One Yard at a Time Gala at The Club in Birmingham. Proceeds from the Gala will directly benefit and serve discharged and wounded veterans and former college athletes in need. The Voice of the Crimson Tide, Eli Gold, will be the Athletic Honoree and Lt. Gen. Willie J. Williams, USMC Retired will be the Military Honoree. To learn more, visit www.lotusa.org

-Melissa Armstrong

We need you to share your Miracle Moment! Email melissa@christianfamilypublications.com Subject Line: Miracle Moments or call 205-408-7150.

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Special Feature

Allison Allen has many roles in life- the former Broadway dancer is a wife, mother, speaker, and Bible teacher that is passionate about sharing Jesus with women everywhere. Allen will be in Birmingham on February 10 to speak at Samford University Legacy League’s Scholarship Luncheon. 

Allison Allen Headshot
Allison Allen is the author of two books. Her latest release, Thirsty for More is available now. Learn more about Allen at www.allisonallen.net.

From a young age, Allen remembers having an active imagination. Always a fan of musicals, she went to Carnegie Mellon University to work towards a degree in acting. “The only way I can fully explain my Broadway journey is that God is a better door opener than I could ever be,” Allen says. She originally auditioned for a show that was not a good fit for her. However, during that audition, “one of the producers thought I would be right for the Original Broadway Revival of Grease,” she explains, adding, “Through another round of topsy-turvy vocal, dancing and acting call-backs, against the odds, I found myself cast in the show.” Allen performed on Broadway for almost two years and “performed the hand-jive approximately 650 times.” During her time on Broadway, Allen played many parts- including the roles of Marty, Patty and Miss Lynch. 

During one of her performances on Broadway, one of the executives of Women of Faith was in the audience. “He knew that Women of Faith had a position for one-woman dramas within their conference schedule and asked me to audition,” Allen says. For two years, she performed dramas written by Nicole Johnson and in her final year, she wrote and performed the one-woman piece on her own. “I grew so much by being able to be around such master communicators,” she adds. Soon after her time with Women of Faith, Allen began speaking at conferences and events around the country. “I count it among the great joys of my life to run alongside women as they get a clearer view of who they actually are in Christ.”

On February 10, you can hear from Allen when she speaks at Samford Legacy League’s Scholarship Luncheon. “So many women are crippled by hopelessness and shame all while Jesus is inviting us to step into the Story He is writing,” Allen says. She will share about her time on stage and “how God, in His great mercy, moved me from having to act my way through life, to being able to embrace authentic bravery.” Allen will also explore how to lean into the theme verse for the luncheon,“Be doers of the Word,” (James 1:22). To learn more about the Scholarship Luncheon and make reservations, visit www.samford.edu/legacyleague

-Melissa Armstrong

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Encouraging Word

We’ve all seen the stories of someone coming from behind with the win, the underdog that had odds stacked against them and overnight success stories. Some might say in these moments it’s luck, God’s favor, hard work and resiliency, or a combination of all. No matter what, it is faith put into action.

I know during this pandemic the world is hurting and changing daily. Does that take away the dreams and hopes for what place we still can hold in our community? Absolutely not! We see people invest and cling to what they love and hold dear to their hearts. Sometimes it’s binging shows or cuddling up with a book or listening to the music that helps them escape. Worship can take us on a journey in music and help us process our own experiences and feelings. 

As we’ve all moved game pieces around to meet our current situations, the challenge to still dream is there. In Matthew McConaughey’s new book Greenlights, he talks about how sometimes you hit the green at the right time and the opportunity and opening is yours for the taking. Other times, you create the “greenlights” and I know for many of us that’s where our faith takes over. What’s the promotion you always wanted to receive but it sounded lofty? The person you wanted to hire but felt the price tag would be too high? The relationship or networking that seems unreachable? Do you believe it can happen? Leadership stays visionary. Empowering people with encouragement helps them to believe in themselves and not allow current forecasts to predict the outcome of the weather.

What “greenlights” have you hit at the right time that you can capitalize on? What “greenlights” do you want to create? God’s kingdom is not rocked by what’s happening in the world and we don’t have to be rocked either. Dreaming gives us something to look forward to, whether its tomorrow or five years from now. Our faith is the green light to believe that the impossible is finally possible.

Ace McKay–Ace McKay 

“Roxanne & Ace” Mornings on 93.7 WDJC

Special Feature CASA Mr. Larry IMG 4030

Special Feature

While Lisa Ledbetter was a foster parent for 11 years, she didn’t know she would end up adopting four abused and neglected children and would also perform life-changing work for other such children and families by becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer.

When Ledbetter’s seven-year-old foster son, Kamden was involved in the court process, Judge Jim Kramer assigned a CASA Volunteer to his case. The CASA Volunteer was Larry Beaury, known by Kamden as “Mr. Larry.” Beaury observed Kamden and his biological family and supervised visitation with them. He wrote court reports to the judge regarding Kamden’s well-being and his interactions with his family and other such important investigative tasks. According to Ledbetter, Beaury was meticulous in his work, was a positive role model for Kamden and truly cared for him. “He helped change his life,” said Ledbetter.

Mr. Larry with Lisa and Kamden
Lisa and Kamden Ledbetter with “Mr. Larry” who became a volunteer for CASA of Shelby County after reading about the organization in Birmingham Christian Family.

“Larry made such a difference in our case, not just for Kamden, but for me and the birth mother as well. He went above and beyond to do what he could to help him and to ensure that he had a safe and permanent home,” said Ledbetter. Through the process, that safe and permanent home became Ledbetter’s, thanks to her adoption of Kamden. Ledbetter says that Kamden was once very sensitive and uncertain of his future. Because of CASA, “Mr. Larry’s” work and through adoption, he has found a sense of peace and permanency.”

Beaury, who became a CASA Volunteer upon his retirement said humbly, “I am an advocate for children, and I want to do whatever I can for the benefit of the children we serve.” He did admit though that he was blown away when he once asked Kamden during a supervised visitation who he loved and he said, I love my mother, Lisa (his foster mother) and I love you.” That was all the proof he needed to know he had done a good job. Inspired by her and Kamden’s positive experience and “Mr. Larry’s” work, Ledbetter applied to become a CASA Volunteer herself. She went through their 5-week training course and is now a CASA Volunteer. Since that time, she has been assigned a case with an abused and neglected teenage boy. She reports that he has opened up to her and they have made a good connection. She feels she has earned his trust and that is important in the life of a child that has been abused or neglected.

Ledbetter says she has found CASA to be extremely rewarding. “It fulfills that deep need in me to serve children and families and it has given me the outlet to do that. It has also given me a sense of community and pride -a sense of accomplishment. It feels good to know I’ve really helped make a difference in my little part of the world,” said Ledbetter. Thanks to CASA, Ledbetter is now trained and equipped to help other abused and neglected children in the way “Mr. Larry” helped Kamden. While Kamden’s court case is over and has a happy ending, “’Mr. Larry’ still calls and checks on Kamden and his face lights up when I tell him he has,” said Ledbetter. Judge Jim Kramer recently said, “I have seen cases closed and end on a happy note because of the work of CASA Volunteers. They are an extra set of eyes and ears for me, and I would like to have one in every case I have.”

Sadly, there are not enough CASA Volunteers to serve the abused and neglected children in Shelby County. To find out how you can become a CASA Volunteer and make a difference in the life of a child like Kamden, please visit www.casaofshelbycounty.org. You do not have to have a degree or be “qualified” to serve. CASA provides all the training you will need to serve abused and neglected children in our community. CASA is funded in part by the Children’s Trust Fund and a Shelby County Community Grant. They also raise money through fundraising events such as the one they will hold on Sunday, October 24 in Columbiana when cooking celebrity Brenda Gannt will host a “Barbecue with Brenda” to benefit their program. For more information on the Brenda Gantt event in Columbiana, visit www.casaofshelbycounty.org/bbq/.

-Beth Chapman

Exec. Dir., CASA of Shelby County, www.casaofshelbycounty.org

Chapman shares that Larry Beaury, “Mr. Larry,” first learned about CASA while reading Birmingham Christian Family(BCF) magazine!

 

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