Why I Give: Mary Orr

Why I Give: Mary Orr

Mary Orr

Q: How did you/your church originally learn about PCHAS?

A: As a child growing up, my parents regularly supported Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services, but it was just a name to me at the time. Then, about seven years ago, I met PCHAS Development Officer Signe Frederickson at a Presbytery meeting and I got more involved.

Q: How do you serve this ministry and in what capacity?

A: I serve as a PCHAS Ambassador to my church, Island Presbyterian in Corpus Christi. I also help run our church’s week-long Vacation Bible School (VBS) program. We bring children living in PCHAS group homes – about twelve of them, mostly teenagers – to Corpus Christi every summer to lead the assembly time, music, and Bible study for the younger children. The teens stay at my next door neighbor’s home for the week, and they have dinner in our home, or the homes of other church members, each night. Church members also provide lunches for them after VBS each day – it’s a group effort! Getting to know the children, to know them personally, means a lot to me. It’s also important to my husband, Bob. He loves the children – especially this age group (teenagers)

Q: What makes you/your church passionate about this organization?

A: VBS (and interacting with the children from PCHAS) is the best thing that ever happened to our church. There are about 25 people at the church are actively involved with the children during the week of VBS. Interacting with the children brings some of the older people in our congregation out of their shells. It is very fulfilling to see the children change and grow during their time with us. I’ve developed a close relationship with several of the girls. They came to Corpus when they were shy, skinny 13-year olds, and now they are high school graduates! When I visited the PCHAS campus in Waxahachie, they ran up to me to give me their high school graduation announcements. They were so excited, and the announcements were personally addressed to me. I was really touched by that. It makes me very happy to see that they’ve got hope, faith and positive attitudes. When they came to Corpus that summer for VBS, I gave them graduation presents and we had a long talk. We are close – after all, I’ve known them for six years – and we have stayed in touch.

Q: Of other charities/organizations that you/your church is associated with, is there anything about Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services that is sets it apart or holds a special place in your heart?

A: The PCHAS Home Parents are so wonderful. They show the children that they are part of their family. That’s what makes a difference – that the children feel part of a close-knit family. The entire PCHAS staff is compassionate and very enthusiastic. PCHAS is like a big family, and everybody loves everybody.

Q: Any additional comments you’d like to share?

A: Bob and I feel that supporting PCHAS is a very worthwhile investment!