Giving that Began with a Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House   “That was my first introduction to The United Methodist Children’s Home (UMCH),” Roseanne Stutts said, speaking recently to Lisa Simon, UMCH Director of Marketing and Communications. “I was teaching and entered a raffle some of our school students conducted. My name was drawn and I received a beautiful gingerbread house.”   My parents and I enjoyed having the gingerbread house displayed during the holidays and we discussed what we might do to share it with others. It was my father’s idea to gift it to The Children’s Home. I doubted some of the children had ever seen one, or smelled the aroma of gingerbread. We were hopeful it would bring them joy, too,” Roseanne said.   Roseanne has always had an affinity with children, as her chosen career attests. With a BA and Masters in art education, plus a graduate degree as an Educational Specialist, Roseanne spent 40 years as an educator teaching middle school to college-level students.   She knew some of her students had rough childhoods. “In addition to teaching them to have the confidence of creativity through art, I believed you had to nourish the whole person.” Roseanne said. “Growing up is hard enough but some of my students had more stacked against them than others.  I tried to give them sanctuary within their classroom, and to be there for them and lend an ear.”   Roseanne feels similarly about our work at The Children’s Home and her recent gift will benefit many of our children from foster care. “I believe when you do something for the least, you are doing it for God. There are children out there who don’t know love and family, and I want to help them find a foster through The Children’s Home. Planting a seed like this is a start. It’s like putting a blanket around them and giving them security,” Rosanne said.   Roseanne is now retired from full-time teaching but continues to share her love of art. And when not conducting workshops in after-school programs, teaching at the local art institute, or enjoying her own photography and work in clay and watercolors, she keeps in touch with former students through Facebook.  “I enjoy watching their progress,” said Roseanne. “No matter how old they are, they will always be my kids.”   If you are interested in supporting The Children’s Home, visit www.umchildrenshome.org, or call us at (404) 327-5820.