Written by Emily Mullins
As a child who grew up in the UCC-affiliated Hoyleton Ministries Children's Home, Jamie Bullock has a sentimental connection to the place. Now, as Hoyleton's development assistant, Bullock hopes to reconnect with others like her as she works to preserve and expand the organization's rich history though a homecoming event Sept. 15.
"We have multiple things we hope to accomplish though this event," said Bullock. "First we want to reunite people who have a connection here, second we want to open up our facility to families who have come through the doors over the years, and third we want those who have lived here to see their former home and what it looks like now."
Hoyleton Ministries,located in Hoyleton, Ill., is a member of the Council for Health and Human Service Ministries (CHHSM) of the UCC.
Bullock hopes to build a database of Hoyleton family and supporters, collecting former resident and staff contact information to create an alumni group that she hopes will be active in future events and gift giving programs. Bullock also hopes money raised can be used to develop what she called a "serenity stop," a place where people who pass by the building can take a few moments to reflect on their time spent there.
"Hoyleton is part of me, it's where I grew up," she said. "This place has great significance to many people. We're looking forward to opening up the doors to this big building and letting people in."
Historic memorabilia and photographs will be on display to tell the story of Hoyleton Ministries and the Hoyleton Ministries Children's Home. Founded as an orphanage in 1895, Hoyleton Ministries has since expanded its service offerings to become Hoyleton Youth and Family Services, which provides assistance to children and families at six locations throughout eastern St. Louis and south-central Illinois.
Attendees are encouraged to bring items they've collected as part of Hoyleton Ministries' history to share with the group. Registration is free and includes a picnic lunch.
For more information or to register visit the Hoyleton Ministries website.
CHHSM's 73 corporate members, all affiliated with the UCC, operate 363 communities and programs for children, youth, families, older adults and people with disabilities.