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Champions of Hope

Champions of Hope Appeal image

One of the best parts of my job is the opportunity to visit many of the 212 churches that support the work here at Mount Dora Children’s Home. During these visits, many members often ask me how they can help make a better world for their children and grandchildren. I share with them stories such as the one I will share with you now.

Thanks to you, our families at the Children’s Home are provided a safe Christian home, a church home, childcare, healthcare, and the tools to break the cycle of poverty and create a brighter future. Moreover, these children are allowed to attend Mount Dora Christian Academy, supplementing what they are learning at the Home with a Christian environment at school. For many of our families, they are being exposed to the message of
Jesus Christ and attending church for the very first time.

Mount Dora Children’s Home has a history of helping families and children even after they leave our institution. Each year, donors like you have helped fund college scholarships for children through the Champions of Hope Scholarship Fund. By transforming the lives of these children, we indirectly help make this a better world for our children and grandchildren as well.

Claudia moving into her dorm at Faulkner University.

Consider Claudia Velazquez, a 2023 graduate of MDCA and a resident of the Children’s Home. Claudia came to the Children’s Home as a 10th grader after having had a rough time at home.

“My parents got divorced when I was two, and there was a three-year custody battle,” she said. “My biological mom could not provide a stable home due to problems with drugs.”

Things became more difficult after her father remarried.

“I was considered the black sheep in the family,” she said. “My family was dysfunctional. They viewed the ordinary challenges I faced as an adolescent as a direct reflection of them. I was made to feel like there was
something wrong with me.”

Her parents had already placed her in several respite homes by the time they considered Mount Dora Children’s Home. Claudia says her last resort was either here or at the Job Corp in Kentucky. At that point in her life, she was just hoping to obtain a GED.

“ It’s a beautiful thing to finally be loved.”

Claudia Velazquez

“It was a miracle from God that allowed me to come to Mount Dora Children’s Home,” she said. “From the
moment I walked on campus, I felt safe and welcomed. I saw how the houseparents treated their own family
and the other girls. They loved me for who I was. They helped me see the world differently.”

With the help of her houseparents, her therapist (provided by MDCH), her teachers, her church family, and her coaches, she graduated from Mount Dora Christian Academy and is attending Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. Because of your gracious support, Claudia’s tuition, fees, and housing not covered by the university are covered by the Mount Dora Children’s Home Scholarship. Claudia earned all As and Bs in her first semester and ran on the Faulkner University women’s cross-country team.

“I was scared to leave Mount Dora Children’s Home, but everyone was encouraging me to go to college,” said Claudia. “After being at the Home, I knew I could do it.”

“Without the help of the Children’s Home, I would never have become a Christian, finished high school, and certainly would not have attended college,” she said. “My parents tried to help me, but it was the relationships with other Christians that helped answer life’s questions.”

Claudia intends to major in counseling and attends the University Church of Christ in Montgomery.

Scholarships such as the one for Claudia, magnified over time, create a legacy of compassion, hope, and progress that will benefit not only the current generation but also those to come. Please consider a generous donation to the Champions of Hope Scholarship fund.

May you now and forever be blessed, 

Dr. Tony Kinkel, Vice President of Development

P.S. Our children and grandchildren are growing up in challenging times. Your generosity supports the next generation and helps to create faith-driven world changers. The future is bright.

Donate to Champions of Hope

Have questions?

Dr. Tony Kinkel

Vice President of Development