11 Jun Laura: A visit from the women of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children
West central Oklahoma—“Wow, this is really cool!” That was just one of the exclamations made by the young women of the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, of Madill, Oklahoma. When the comment was made, she was watching the combine unload, piling a mound of golden grain into the cart.
Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children has been one of the All Aboard Wheat Harvest sponsors the past several seasons. The relationship between the two entities has afforded us the opportunity to host field visits for multiple groups of young people over the years. It is something I have started to anticipate and look forward to and now my own children ask about them as well.
On this occasion, a nice hot day greeted them, which gave the full effect of the summer harvest season. A steady breeze saved us and I didn’t hear our guests complain once! While visiting, the ladies and their host family were able to learn about camper life and the machines required to complete the harvest. With so many misconceptions floating around about agriculture, sharing the true story of our industry is something I’m passionate about. This group warmed up to us almost instantly and wasn’t afraid to ask some really great questions. These conversations opened the door to others, and just as I’m passionate about sharing agriculture, I also enjoy learning more about these young ladies. They shared where they were from, what its like living in the home, their school involvement and some even shared their hopes for the future. They have some really great things going for them and I hope they all see their goals and dreams come to fruition.
For new readers who aren’t familiar with Oklahoma Baptist Home for Children, they are the largest not-for-profit residential childcare organization in the state of Oklahoma. They are affiliated with Southern Baptist Church but, according to their website, do not discriminate on race, color, national origin, or religious affiliation. The establishment was started in 1903 and now has three different campuses for youth. They also have other programs for families and young adults that you can learn about by clicking the hyperlinks I’ve provided.
Children are eligible to join a home from age 6 to 18. The properties are set up with cottage style housing. There may be up to eight children in the home in addition to a married couple that serves as house parents. Students participate in normal school activities, faith-based programing, 4-H, FFA and some may also have the opportunity to be involved on their home campus with things like caring for and showing animals. All of which will help develop them into responsible, caring adults. Because it is an independently operated organization, support is always needed. Assistance for these young people is appreciated in the form of prayers, volunteerism, and financial support and you can learn more by clicking the links.
Each of these visits end way too soon. As an educator, it’s hard for me to mentally break the connection and I wish there was a way to keep in touch after our visits end. It was a whirlwind of a day when running hard in the field, but I hope they had an enjoyable visit and made as many positive memories as I did!
If you read this ladies, as I said in the field, I wish you all the best and hope you keep striving to reach your goals! Best of luck!
All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc., Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, Agri-Pro, Gleaner, BASF, and High Plains Journal. Laura can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.