Donations Play Role in Funding Children's Home of Lubbock
 
Home one of 6 recipients chosen for the annual A-J Media Goodfellows campaign.
 
Posted: November 27, 2015
By ELLYSA GONZALEZ, A-J MEDIA
Reprinted Courtesy of Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

When Ida Collins was approached in 1952 about the possibility of selling 40 acres of her land to build a children’s home, she said no.  She told the organization representatives that if they were going to build a children’s home, she’d give them 200 acres, said Lynn Harms, president of Children’s Home of Lubbock.
 
This year, the Children’s Home of Lubbock is one of six recipients chosen for the annual A-J Media Goodfellows campaign.
 
Donations have been a significant aspect of what’s kept the Children’s Home of Lubbock open for 61 years. “We have never borrowed money to do anything,” Harms said.
 
Tom Spoonts Jr., vice president for development for the Children’s Home of Lubbock, said 40 percent of the organization’s funding is provided through donations. The other 60 percent is collected through state reimbursements.  “We’ve been here almost 62 years,” he said. “It’s a beautiful campus completely paid for. There is no debt on our campus.” It was established as a place for abused, neglected and abandoned children, he said.
 
One year after Collins pledged 200 acres, Children’s Home of Lubbock administrators and board members broke ground on the first cottage. The doors of the first cottage were opened to the community during an open house in April 1954.
 
“In the middle of that, these people brought a 6-year-old boy,” Harms said.  The child was living with his aunt and uncle because his parents were alcoholics, he said.  “So he was the first little boy at the children’s home,” Harms said.
 
Most of the children brought to the campus are placed through Children’s Protective Services, Spoonts said.  The now-230-acre campus averages about 150 kids per day and about 400 per year, he said. Its annual budget is just over $6 million. Funding goes toward operation costs such as food, clothes, electricity and salaries, Spoonts said. It also goes toward helping the kids at off-campus locations in residential care. With the rising number of children, the campus has grown to accommodate them.
 
During its first 10 years, Children’s Home of Lubbock opened five cottages, a youth center and an administration building — according to a historical timeline on the organization’s website.
 
Harms has been involved with the organization since the 1970s and is now the third president since it was established. He started his involvement in college in 1976, he said. The organization was well established and continued to add to its campus during his first seven years there. He left in 1983 and returned six years later.
 
Harms became the third president of the Children’s Home of Lubbock on Oct. 1, 1995. Under his leadership, the organization has added a few buildings and has been working to incorporate more therapeutic programs.
 
Services provided include adoption, foster care, counseling and a few therapy programs for kids.
 
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