Many needy and neglected Arkansas children and teens were given an opportunity last weekend to one day have a new, safe and loving home, thanks, in part, to hundreds of generous Arkansans.
The first-ever Modeling for a Miracle Fashion show lit up Immanuel Baptist Church of Little Rock March 7 and Park Hill Park Hill Baptist Church of North Little Rock March 8, raising nearly $39,000 that will help in the construction of a new Family Home for boys at the Baptist Home for Children’s in Monticello. The Baptist Home is a ministry of the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries (ABCHomes).
ABCHomes is a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization, which has been caring for children and families in crisis since 1894. Last year, ABCHomes impacted the lives of about 300 children and teens that lived at the six ABCHomes locations. Many of these residents come to ABCHomes from situations of severe abuse, abandonment or neglect. In addition, more than 2,200 counseling sessions were provided to individuals, couples and families around the state by three licensed ABCHomes counselors.
During the charity galas, smiles, cheers and waves were abundant as 23 models strutted down the catwalk. The show featured 15 preteen and teenage models from the Monticello Home wearing spring fashions donated by Belk of Little Rock. In all, Belk donated 30 spring outfits that the Baptist Home children will keep. The Mike Akin Family of Monticello donated shoes for each Baptist Home model.
Another six volunteer models with ties to ABCHomes and a former resident and her daughter also took part in the event.
The Fashion Show was put on by the ABCHomes Women’s’ Volunteer Board and was sponsored by many generous donors, including the Steve Landers Family of Little Rock, The Crain Auto Group and First Baptist Church of Bentonville. More than 100 volunteers helped in hair and make up, decorating, serving the meals and clean-up.
"Both evenings were extraordinary," said Sarah Cook, WVB chairman. "We are very thankful for the many, many people who made these events a success."
Serving as masters of ceremonies were Scott Inman, local Little Rock television personality, and Kristen Glover, Miss Arkansas 2011. The duo charmed the crowd with their wit and lightheartedness with the ABCHomes models, all of whom wooed the crowds.
Addressing attendees, Inman said, "These kids could not choose the families in which they were born any more than our children could choose their families. But, they deserve the same excellence as our own children. The current Senior Boys and Intermediate Boys Family Homes are over 50 years old and have housed hundreds of children. They are in dire condition and need to be replaced. They have been remodeled numerous times and the time is now to have a "Miracle in Monticello" and build a new, state of the art family home."
The event also featured music by Jane and Sarah Beth Overcash and a live auction.
Event supporters said both events helped bring awareness of ABCHomes to many people in Central Arkansas.