Spending a Day at Palmer Home

My First Day on the Job

When it comes to organizations that care for orphans and foster children, the majority often focus on what these children live without. Palmer Home for Children in Hernando, Mississippi, may be the first organization I have seen that focuses on what orphans get to live for instead.

It was my second day as an intern at Mabus Agency, and I was invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Palmer Home’s Hernando campus. It was hard to know what to expect from what could be described as an “orphanage,” but I soon found out my expectations were very far off.

Just to be clear, this is not “Annie,” and the word “orphanage” doesn’t begin to paint an accurate picture of what Palmer Home has to offer. Palmer Home is all about creating a home for underprivileged children where they can receive personal care that would be out of reach to them otherwise. It’s taken a lot of dedication from the staff at Palmer Home, but it’s growing rapidly throughout the state. Mabus Agency has had the privilege of helping tell their story.

As seems to be the case with almost any Mabus trip, it involved me getting up very, very early — five-o-clock in the morning to be precise. And as the intern, I was more than likely going to be getting the coffee rather than drinking it.

The blistering heat and long car rides made for an exhausting day. After a quick two-hour trip, we finally arrived on campus, and I was immediately blown away. The children that grow up on this campus have the opportunity to live almost any child’s dream. Large pastures, a lake for swimming, and un-paralleled facilities make for the perfect, near storybook setting for children who have most likely only dreamed of sleeping in their own bed.

The event we were covering was a ribbon-cutting ceremony and an open house for Palmer Home’s Hernando Campus as they opened up three new cottages to children desperately in need of a safe home and who would otherwise go directly into state-run foster care programs.

Given the cottages were opening for the first time — the kids hadn’t moved in, and there weren’t any marker drawings on the wall yet. In most circumstances, that would be a blessing, because the day was very peaceful; however, I would have loved to see just how excited each child was when they saw their new home.

The ceremony, which was held in the beautiful chapel on campus, was packed to capacity with staff and supporters alike seeing their long-time dream of expanding the campus become reality.

It was hard to wrap my mind around the fact Palmer Home does not take any government funding, which means each cottage was built solely through the contributions of individual donors and organizations. This is incredible given the high-caliber facilities available to the children, and there are plans to expand even further on the Hernando campus by offering a state-of-the-art health and wellness center in the near future.

After taking some photos to be used in an upcoming issue of their quarterly publication (which we are working on) and filming some short clips for their website, it was time to head back. I was ready for the sweet relief of the car’s air conditioner. The daystar was shining pretty hard compared to what I am used to as a native of northern California. So we hopped in our beautiful, air-conditioned car, got some delicious pizza at Buon Cibo (you should eat there, seriously), and made our way back to Tupelo.

I’m pretty excited about contributing to the newest edition of the Palmer Ledger, the publication we worked on during our trip, and I can’t wait for you all to see it when it’s released at the end of the summer. It features profiles, stories, and all essential information about the ministry. It also shares ways to get involved and be a part of Palmer Home’s mission of rescuing and restoring children in need of loving homes right here in the state of Mississippi.