Collins Home Equals To The Start of a Beautiful Life
Hello, my name is Charlotte. I’m 18 years old and have been living at Collins Children’s Home for roughly a year and a half. Collins Home has been a huge help throughout my life due to some family issues. I have been in and out of DSS care for 5 years.
Foundation of Support Leads to Self Confidence
When I came back into care in 2018, I was brought to Collins Home where I met two of the most amazing Houseparents ever, Crystal and Jamie Crawford. They are the most supportive people I have ever met. Crystal and Jamie feel like real mother and father figures to me.
Crystal has helped me make some very hard choices and taught me that nobody can be the change for me, only I can be the change for my family. And Jamie has taken me fishing, helped me learn about different types of tools and how/when to use them. They feel like real skills he’s given me. He is a very fun, goofy, and loving Houseparent.
Since being at Collins Home, I’ve received so much that I needed but wouldn’t have had at home...
Yet my care does not end with just my houseparents, my Case Manager, Tina Justice has been incredibly supportive of me through my decision on staying on campus. She also encourages me to focus on school and helps me think through my plans and options for the future. Of course, Crystal does this too but Tina explains a lot to me and tells me to do better for myself in life which I have since I came to Collins Children’s Home.
Practical Things to New Opportunities
There’s Ms. Alena, our Executive Director, she always has an open door for me, being extremely helpful to me with advice on being professional while I look for my first job. And there’s our Office Manager, Ms. Christina who is my BESTFRIEND and is always there for me when I’m stressed or aggravated with things. She takes me out with her which is great because I love spending time with her. She is like a big sister I never had. She also loves food just like I do.
Since being at Collins Home, I’ve received so much that I needed but wouldn’t have had at home from practical things like braces and help with getting my driver’s permit to opportunities to go to the beach and a trip to Dollywood for the first time to a new peace knowing that there are people I can trust and lean on in times of joy and sadness.
"Wow! Look at How Far I Have Gotten in Life!"
I’ve been blessed with a very special opportunity to spend time with all the younger kids in my home, I love being a part of Collins home and such a very big crazy family.
Some people think of being in care as a bad thing but trust me, coming from a place where drugs were being used, Collins Home is so much better. I’ve received the care and love that a normal child deserves. Sometimes I look back and think, “Wow! Look at how far I have gotten in life!” I’m not sure where I would be if I hadn’t come to Collins Home but I’m so grateful and glad I did!
If you are interested in learning the ways, you can impact a child's life check out our Get Involved page for ideas on how to support a Collins Home child.