Making Brighter Days for Arkansas’s Abandoned, Abused, Neglected Children

contributed by Kelli Reep, Director of Communications, Methodist Family Health

For 120 years, Methodist Family Health has been ministering to the state’s abandoned, abused, and neglected children and their families. Our genesis was at the Arkansas Methodist Orphanage, which was established in a two-story framed house on three lots in downtown Little Rock. Its purpose was to seek homeless orphans, find loving homes for them, and make it possible for families to adopt a child who would be a blessing to their home.

As the orphanage system progressed, so did Methodist Family Health. We established the Methodist Children’s Home in the 1940s, which remains today. Instead of one large home with boys and girls of all ages living together, this campus was comprised of smaller cottages for a more family-like atmosphere. As we moved into the 21st century and had a better understanding of the roles trauma and psychiatric, behavioral, emotional and spiritual issues play in children, Methodist Family Health expanded our programming into a complete continuum of care to serve children and their families throughout Arkansas.

Today, Methodist Family Health has the state’s only nonprofit behavioral hospital for children, Methodist Behavioral Hospital, in Maumelle. Our continuum also includes two residential treatment centers, eight therapeutic group homes, an emergency shelter, a day treatment program, eight counseling clinics, nine school- and community-based counseling clinics, the state’s only grief center for children and their families, and the Arkansas Center for Addictions Research, Education and Services (Arkansas CARES).

In addition, Methodist Family Health has a 501 © 3 nonprofit foundation to serve as its fundraising program. The donations raised through the Methodist Family Health Foundation help the children in our care realize their own worth, recognize their potential, and provide them a firm foundation for the rest of their lives. You and the children at your church or in your neighborhood can help build this foundation – and have a ball before going back to school.

Bright Night, an event for Arkansas’s United Methodist youth groups and their families, will be from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2 at Big Rock Mini-Golf and Fun Park. Kids and families can play mini golf, bumper boats, arcade games, go-karts, lazer frenzy, batting cages, an amazing aerial maze and much more. Proceeds from Bright Night help rebuild the lives of Arkansas children and families we serve at Methodist Family Health.

Tickets are $25 each until July 28 and include the ticket holder’s choice of three activities at Big Rock Mini Golf and Fun Park and a light supper. Beginning July 29, tickets are $30. Additional concessions and activities are available for purchase from Big Rock Mini Golf and Fun Park. To purchase tickets, visit You also can complete and return the Big Rock activity waiver at For more information, contact Jamie Griffith at 501-906-4209, email or visit

By shining your light on the abandoned, abused, and neglected children in our care, you are helping them focus their light on healing and hope. We hope to see you at Bright Night in August.

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