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What are the Benefits of Being a Role Model in a Child's Life?

When you read the stories below, you will see the long term benefits of being a role model in a child's life and how it shapes each child. Before these children came to the Collins Children's Home and met Joe Rackley, they may have ended up with a different fate.



Joe's bonus children describe things like...

"I will be forever grateful for the way he changed my future."


"Joe had a big part in who I am today. In the 4 years, I lived at the Collins Children's Home, Joe taught me many fundamental ethics that I carry to this day."


"Thank you for being my dad, my provider, feeding me wisdom, for your kindness, for your discipline, teaching me independence..."


"He taught me everything from how to greet everyone coming to breakfast, to making a bed, eating peas, cutting grass, building a house, driving a tractor, engineering and critical thinking, and most importantly, loving God with all I have."


What are the benefits of being a role model in a child's life? It's simple...the benefit is you shape the adult they will become.


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"Simple moments become precious memories."


Christmas is bittersweet for us this year as we said our farewells to our co-founder, Mr. Joe Rackley. As we ask you to pray for the children we are currently caring for, we also ask you to say a special prayer for the Collins kids who are mourning the loss of ‘Daddy Joe.”


Below are just a few of the sweet words that describe more eloquently than I ever could how simple moments become priceless memories.




"The most influential father figure in my life went to be with Jesus today. When I was 8 years old, Joe and Anne made room for me and my siblings in their home when we had nowhere else to go. I will be forever grateful for the way he changed my future. I am who I am because of the love of Joe and Anne. Rest In Peace, Joe, you are loved." [Mary]






"One of the greatest men I ever knew went home to be with the Lord yesterday, Papa Joe Rackley. The co-founder of the Collins Children's Home. Joe had a big part in who I am today. In the 4 years I lived at the Collins Children's Home, Joe taught me many fundamental ethics that I carry to this day. He will live on in the many children's lives he changed here on earth. I love you dearly, Papa Joe. My deepest condolences go out to his loving wife, Mama Anne Chesnut Rackley. I love them both so very much." [Robert]


”When we lose someone we love we must learn not to live without them, but to live with the love they left behind.” – Anonymous

"There are no words! I am at a loss for an appropriate response. The depth of love I feel for Joe and Anne is indescribable and immeasurable. Joe allowed me to be myself and still loved me. He taught me everything from how to greet everyone coming to breakfast, to making a bed, eating peas, cutting grass, building a house, driving a tractor, engineering and critical thinking, and most importantly, loving God with all I have.


If you ask me how I know something, I will likely tell you about Joe! I am not the best son, by any means, but he was the best father by every means. To me and so many others! As the memories flood in, I pray thanks be to God for Joe, his life, and his legacy!" [Brian]




"The funny thing about names is that most of the time, our given name doesn't even begin to highlight who we are. It's the names we're given after birth. When we get to hear the name son/daughter, brother/sister, husband/wife, father/mother, aunt/uncle, papa/grandma, etc.


It is amazing how those names specifically tell even more intimate details about who we are in life. Even more than that, it tells stories about fulfillment, love, the faithfulness of God, family, growth, and prosperity. So while you will be remembered by your birth name, Mr. Joe D. Rackley Sr., you will also be remembered for so much more than that.


You will be remembered, especially to me, as Daddy Joe or Dad. One thing I know is that you held high importance to nicknames, giving all the kids at the Collin's Children's Home nicknames. You seem to create such a unique and special bond with each of us and would immediately come up with nicknames for us as soon as you met us.


But I always felt even more special because my nickname wasn't only Taterbug; there was an old song you would sing when you said it. Nothing made me happier.


And with each time you would sing, you helped a little, abandoned, heartbroken little girl start to heal from the heartbreak and not feeling loved by my own father. Then when you and Mama Anne started pouring God into me, you provided me with everything that I needed to be whole again, to heal, to become the person that I am today.


Because I gained another name, Child of God, and the knowledge and wisdom you always poured were tucked away in my heart. I may have lost my way some here and there, but the devotions, the teachings, the love you gave always stayed with me.


To say thank you will never seem like enough. Thank you for being my dad, my provider, feeding me wisdom, for your kindness, for your discipline, teaching me independence, but most importantly, for being a shining example of Kingdom. I will carry on everything you taught me to be the best daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, and Kingdom citizen I can be. I love you, Dad!" Always and Forever, Taterbug


Thankful and blessed on behalf of all Daddy Joe’s bonus kids!


Help Change the Life of a Child Today






Who We Are?


Collins Home is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Christian organization that provides a residential home for children between the ages of birth – 21 who have been abused, abandoned, neglected, or are otherwise unable to live with their families.


Our goal is the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social, and physical development of our children and the eventual reunification with their natural families whenever possible.


“Within a community of Christian values, Collins Children’s Home cares for children and supports families in an atmosphere that instills feelings of acceptance, safety, permanence, dignity, and joy while teaching important life skills and a work ethic that will enable them to be productive members of society.”


Our mission challenges us to serve children based on their needs, not their families' ability to pay. Generous individuals, churches, and organizations provide the financial support necessary to continue serving the children and families in our care.


How Can You Help?


Help us benefit current and future Collins kids as we continue Joe's legacy of impacting children's lives. Your loving support makes it all possible for us to continue guiding future generations.


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