Methodist Fam­ily Health cel­e­brates 120 years of ded­i­cated care

The Saline Courier - - COMICS - By Kris­ten Fite [email protected]­ton­courier.com

Af­ter start­ing out as an or­phan­age in 1899, Methodist Fam­ily Health is cel­e­brat­ing its 120th an­niver­sary this year. The or­phan­age helped place hun­dreds of chil­dren into per­ma­nent homes be­fore be­com­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion it is to­day.

Since its es­tab­lish­ment more than a decade ago, Methodist Fam­ily Health has grown to man­age a chil­dren’s home, be­hav­ioral hos­pi­tal, and coun­sel­ing clin­ics around Arkansas. It has also cre­ated the Methodist Fam­ily Health Foundation, a non­profit en­tity to fur­ther help its cause.

Its pri­or­ity is help­ing to strengthen fam­i­lies, of­fer­ing a com­plete con­tin­uum of care, in­clud­ing ser­vices such as emer­gency shel­ter­ing, group homes, coun­sel­ing clin­ics, out­pa­tient coun­sel­ing, school and com­mu­nity coun­sel­ing, and Arkansas CARES.

Arkansas CARES is a cen­ter for ad­dic­tion re­search, ed­u­ca­tion and ser­vices for mothers who strug­gle with sub­stance abuse or men­tal health is­sues that al­lows these mothers to keep their chil­dren while they work on them­selves, sub­se­quently help­ing their fam­ily as a whole.

There is a day treat­ment cen­ter in Ben­ton, lo­cated on River Street, that of­fers stu­dents a per­son­al­ized learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, through which a teacher can spend more qual­ity time with a child and of­fer as­sis­tance bet­ter suited for them.

This cen­ter also comes equipped with ex­pe­ri­enced be­hav­ioral and ed­u­ca­tional staff, so that each child gets the care they need.

Kelli Reep, the di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Methodist Fam­ily Health, said that the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s top pri­or­ity is “to let peo­ple know that they are val­ued and their trauma can be healed. They can re­build their lives and be happy.”

She went on to ex­plain how pas­sion­ate she is about their cause, say­ing “A lot of things that they have gone through, I have too, so I want to do what I can to help.”

The busi­ness has a di­rec­tor of pas­toral care, Amy Shores, who is in charge of the spir­i­tual guid­ance the fam­i­lies might need dur­ing the time spent fac­ing their chal­lenges. How­ever, while its roots are Methodist, and it of­fers re­li­gious ser­vices, Methodist Fam­ily Health wel­comes any­one of any re­li­gion or back­ground.

The pri­or­ity at Methodist Fam­ily Health is help­ing fam­i­lies and “giv­ing the best pos­si­ble care to those who need it.”

The or­ga­ni­za­tion will be hav­ing an event called Bright Night from from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 2. It will be held at the Big Rock Mini-golf and Fun Park, lo­cated at 11411 Base­line Rd. in Lit­tle Rock, where fam­i­lies can play mini-golf, bumper carts, ar­cade games, go-karts, and laser tag, or use bat­ting cages and try their hand at an in­cred­i­ble maze. Tick­ets can be pur­chased at www.methodis­t­fam­ily.org.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion wel­comes vol­un­teers and do­na­tions, as foster chil­dren of­ten do not have ev­ery­thing they need. School sup­plies and hy­giene items for the chil­dren are the most re­quested items for do­na­tions.

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