Our mission statement says: Faithful to God and in keeping with the United Methodist tradition, the mission of Bashor Children's Home is to provide Help for Today and Hope for Tomorrow to troubled youth and their families.
We know what this statement says. We see it posted in a variety of places on campus. It is published with our monthly newsletter. It appears on our official correspondence. So, what do we mean?
We begin with "faithful to God." - it is our reason for being. Bashor Children's Home was a faith based agency long before the phrase became a part of modern political culture. John and Emaline Bashor deeded the land to The Methodist Episcopal Church because they believed they were called to serve God by serving His children. The call remains the same for many of our staff members today.
What is the "United Methodist tradition" that guides us? John Wesley, founder of the Wesleyan or Methodist movement, was convinced Christians need to do more than simply gather in worship. They need to put those principals into social action.
"Do all the good you can," Wesley implored, "by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can." It is the very foundation of the Wesleyan tradition.
"Help for Today" is what we offer as soon as a young person comes to one of our programs. There are the immediate needs - food, shelter, clothing, safety and stability. There is evaluation and treatment. Bashor provides therapy, education, recreation and spiritual guidance specific to each child and family.
"Hope for Tomorrow" is the promise Bashor makes to those children God has entrusted in care. Don Phillips, our president and CEO, offers this analogy in every new staff orientation: "We would never think of pushing a child in a wheelchair to the bottom of the stairs and say, 'here - walk up and down!' They are simply not equipped to handle it. It's the same for the young people we see on this campus. We can't expect their behavior to change overnight. They don't have those skills." Our mission is to help children learn those skills.
And what of the "troubled youth" we mention? Notice the word is troubled, not trouble! There is a difference. The Bashor staff is compelled to see each child as the productive person they can be despite their current circumstances. We do not see them as trouble, or a burden, or beyond redemption.
Finally, there is the word "families." This could very well be the most important word in the future of our mission. Watch for more and more emphasis on family in our programming and our treatment focus. We envision a day when we no longer admit just a child to Bashor Children's Home - we welcome a family.
This is Bashor's mission!