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Christmas Open House 2017

It’s gearing up to be that time of year again. A chill in the air, twinkling lights on trees, garlands adorning mantels, and hot chocolate galore! What are we talking about? Christmas, of course!

For us at Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes (ABCH) it also means that one of our favorite events happens—Christmas Open House! Our annual Open House events are a special time where we open up our homes across the state to the public in hopes of sharing much of what God is doing through our ministry to serve children in need.

At some of our locations, children in our care provide tours of their homes and are oftentimes really excited to share how they’ve decorated their rooms! Guests also find a spread of snacks and treats to enjoy during the event, largely donated or prepared by local friends and volunteers. This year at our Dothan campus, a live nativity was featured, along with a school choir, face painting, a petting zoo, crafts, and much more!

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The Montana Magnet School choir has performed at Dothan's Open House for many years

 

During the Christmas season, while there is much to celebrate in our homes, it can be hard for many of the children in our care to be away from their families, regardless of the circumstances they came from. That’s one reason it’s so important for us to create a place to call home for these children, giving them a space to decorate their rooms and to celebrate Christmas in many ways—and some may even be celebrating for  time.

“The children have an opportunity to take ownership in their home during Open House here (in Decatur) and show others what it means to be a part of the ABCH family,” shared Michael Smith, our Chief Operations Officer for North Alabama, "I love watching the decorations go up and planning with our team for what we will present to our guests. I love that the children get to be tour guides to our guests. It’s just a perfect time of year!”

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One of the bedrooms seen at Mobile's Open House tour

 

Open House also shows the children in our care just how much the community cares for and supports them. “I never knew there were so many people in Alabama!” one child shared with Michael last year, after roughly 1,700 people came to our Open House event in Decatur. Not only are Open House events a fun way to celebrate the holidays, but it’s also an opportunity to share about Jesus Christ and what He has done for us.

A few years ago at our Mobile campus, one of the children pulled out an ornament of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus, as they were decorating. He asked one of our House Parents, “Who are these people?” This provided an amazing opportunity for our House Parents to share about the true reason we celebrate Christmas—the birth of Jesus Christ, and ultimately, what He did for us on the cross.

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Though each event may look slightly different across the state, the sentiment of thankfulness is the same in sharing how thankful we are for supporters like you who are pivotal in equipping ABCH to provide such great care to hurting children across Alabama. Michael says, “Open House is important to the Decatur Campus as a means to thank the community for tremendous support. We always look forward to seeing our friends from churches around the state, as well as local business partners, and great community friends.”

This Year's Open House

On December 1st and 3rd, we held our annual Open House events at our Dothan, Decatur, Oxford, and Mobile campuses, and we are so thankful to all of those who came out to learn more about our ministry and to get an inside look to what we have the opportunity to provide for our children in care.

Below, please enjoy a few photos from the weekend. You can find more on our Facebook page.

 

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Our social workers celebrating at Mobile Open House

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Beautiful decorations at Oxford Open House

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Delicious treats at the Open House in Decatur

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Some of our staff welcomed Santa in Gardendale, as he delivered toys to some of our children in Family Care

 

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