Southeast Produce Council members traveled to Columbus, MS July 26 to participate in the 6th Annual Radiothon benefiting Palmer Home for Children presented by the statewide and online radio network SuperTalk Mississippi.
Radiothon is Palmer Home’s largest fundraiser of the year, and SEPC members were eager to join in the mission to raise funds. The only question was, could last year’s record total of $230,000 be topped?
SEPC President and CEO David Sherrod went on the air that morning to challenge others to help, and his plea was almost instantly answered as a benefactor made a $10,000 donation which was matched by the Southeast Produce Council.
SEPC Secretary Brandon Parker of Shuman Produce, Inc. jumped on the airwaves as well to aid in the cause. After an extraordinary day full of amazing performances, inspiring testimonies, and all-around good fun and fellowship, the old record was history — by a long shot. This year’s Radiothon raised over $315,000 for Palmer Home.
“It is difficult to put into words the impact visiting the Palmer Home had on our group.” said SEPC Chairman Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh. “It is very humbling to be able to be a part of their success. Reading about it on their website was very informative, but visiting and seeing what they are accomplishing, seeing the children and how they care and provide for them was heartwarming.
“What a blessing to listen and watch the Radiothon bring money in all day long and surpass their expectations! I am sure the council will continue to find additional ways to assist in this outreach program.”
Barbara Sayles of the Society of St. Andrew, another of the SEPC’s benefiting charities, had this to say of her experience in Mississippi: “‘Let the little children come to me and do not stop them’… This scripture came to me today as I met the beautiful children who are loved and cared for at the Palmer Home.
“Children are important to Jesus and He commands us to care for and nurture them. Today I witnessed children who were well cared-for, nurtured, loved, self-confident and free to just be kids. I can almost hear Jesus whispering ‘Good work, faithful servants’.”
The mission of Palmer Home for Children is “to provide superior residential care for children that introduces the love of God through service. Palmer Home seeks to play a part in the global symphony of efforts to embody peace, justice, and the hope of God.”
Palmer Home currently serves over 110 children from birth through college age and serves individual children as well as sibling groups. These services are provided without charge to children or their families regardless of background and beliefs.
Parker noted, “This organization aligns very well with SEPC in so many ways. They have a tremendous agriculture program in place on campus from greenhouses to organic raised garden beds to conventional field gardens. They are educating the boys and girls of the home on so many sectors of agriculture.
“One of the aspects of (Palmer Home’s Whole Child Initiative) focuses on the demeanor and behavior of children who have a well-balanced diet. As you can imagine, fruits and vegetables play a huge role in this diet. The SEPC is very excited about utilizing its resources to support this great initiative.”
After searching for another ministry as a recipient for charitable donations, the SEPC Community Outreach Committee decided upon the Palmer Home for Children earlier this year.
Committee member Tim Edmondson of Edmondson Farm shared, “The Palmer Home’s ‘Whole Child’ approach to caring for the children placed in their care seems to fit perfectly with SEPC’s community outreach goals. The process of taking displaced, broken children and making their lives whole again is something wonderful to witness. Through the use of love, spiritual guidance, counseling, and the introduction of a healthy diet, the staff of Palmer Home can truly change the lives of the children they care for.
“I can’t thank the SEPC enough for choosing the Palmer Home for Children as a benefactor of their community outreach mission. To accomplish a mission, I believe you must possess a passion for God, a passion for the mission, and a passion for those around them in need. The SEPC Community Outreach Committee possesses all of these traits.”