Summer Recreation: Adventure Awaits

Our annual Pancake Breakfast raises money for our Summer Recreation Fund. That fund is divided between our homes, and they begin dreaming and planning all the adventures they’ll enjoy over summer break! 

Ken Combs Pier at Gulfport, MS |

The majority of our families’ recreational choices involve doing things the children have never been able to do. “Many of the children tell me ‘I’ve never done this before!’ when we do an outing, even simple things like going to the zoo,” Merri Heberlein, Home Parent Mom in The Wright Home, explained after one fun-filled summer. “Children often move away before school starts, so I appreciate this opportunity to let them know how much they are loved and valued before they move on. I’m extremely grateful for our Summer Recreation Fund!” 

Some Home Parents decide that several smaller outings are the best plan for their home. Others decide that the age and abilities of their children will allow them to tackle a bigger adventure; a once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity. 

Boys enjoy being boys at the beach in Gulfport |

For instance, in the summer of 2018 while Cody and Amanda Cox served as Home Parents in The Zimmer Home, they decided to take their family to Gulfport, Mississippi. They wanted to give the children their first experience at the ocean.  

“We spent the majority of our funds that summer to take our kids to see the ocean for the first time,” Amanda said. “They had fun at the beach collecting shells, catching hermit crabs, wading in the water, and building sand castles.  We also splurged on a fancy seafood restaurant while we were there and all our kids got to try oysters for the first time.  It was a 12-hour trip, so we split up the drive by stopping in Memphis, where we camped overnight on our way to and from Gulfport.  When we stopped in Memphis on the way home, we enjoyed Memphis barbecue and toured this unique crystal grotto with scenes of Jesus’ life. That was really special.  We also stopped at the Science Center in St. Louis to break up our trip a bit more. Even after a large trip like that, we still had funds left over that we used to go to fun places in Columbia!” 

Children with Home Parent Dad at beach |

“Loading up all the kids and heading out on an adventure are some of our coolest memories with the kids. Those trips are great because it really breaks up the summer. A change of scenery is always good. Seeing the kids experiencing lots of new things is awesome. Last year we took the kids to Tennessee and Georgia, to Lookout Mountain, where they saw mountains for the first time, swam in a creek, ate Georgia peaches, road an incline railway one mile up the mountain backwards, saw a huge waterfall, and rode a zip line! When we get to visit with children from our home who have now moved on, they always bring up memories of those summer outings. The rec fund provides great memory making opportunities and is an amazing blessing that becomes a tool for creative fun in the hands of our Home Parents.”

–Cody Cox, Program Director and former Home Parent
children near Lookout Mountain |

“I love summer and the opportunities that come with it,” Merri concludes. The Summer Rec Fund creates memories, adventures and connections. It’s my favorite time of the year!” 

Thanks to your support of our Pancake Breakfast, our children have many summer adventures awaiting them!

Planning to stay home this weekend? You can still donate to our Summer Recreation Fund!

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