Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Favorite - Children's Harbor

One of my favorite places in the Alexander City/Lake Martin areas is Children's Harbor. So you are all probably asking yourselves...just what is a Chidren's Harbor?  Well, Children's Harbor is a non-profit organization that provides free and confidential counseling and support services to children with long-term serious illnesses as well as to their families. They  provide camping and retreat facilities for these children and families as well as for other children with special needs. The Harbor was officially dedicated in 1990 to the memory of Adelia M. Russell, the mother of Ben Russell. Their mission has always been simple: strengthening children and families and believe me that is exactly what they do.  This place is amazing and I love it. It is also used for other the Sarah Towery Art Colony....artists come and paint for several days.  There are marriage retreats there, work related trust building seminars, church picnics, even...this year....the BRHS prom!  Now that is a first, but there is a new conference center so Mrs. Tate and her prom parents arranged for the Junior/Senior prom to be there.  How cool is that?  Definitely a far cry from the gym.  Anyways, I am digressing here. The icon of Children's Harbor is a replica of the Plymouth Lighthouse which is located on Providence Point at the Lake Martin campus.  I think that is probably one of my favorite reasons to love this place...I love that lighthouse.  For them it symbolizes their goal of helping children and families find their way through the treacherous waters in which they sometimes find themselves....and it pretty much symbolizes that same thing for me.  I love it during the day, I love it during storms, I love it at night.  Sometimes when I am restless or searching I will drive down there and just sit and stare out at the water and it gives me peace realizing how big God truly is. Once you see Children's Harbor you will understand why I am crazy about this place.  The campus near me is 15 miles south of Alexander City, Alabama, on Highway 63.  When you cross the Kawliga bridge and look to the left you will see the most picturesque New England seaside village motif and the Plymouth Lighthouse.  Right there in the middle of all that charm and simplicity sits the most precious little early American church.  It is called Children's Chapel. It is a favorite place for weddings I can assure you.  It is the most charming place on earth, in my opinion.  This lake area is also the setting for Church in the Pines, Harbor House, Mariners' Adventure Camp, Mariners' Adventure Course, Mariners' Retreat Center (Concord and Salem Cottages), Time Capsule Park and the administrative headquarters. The primary effort is centered around the Children's Harbor Family Center at Children's Hospital. The Family Center, located at 1600 6th Avenue South, Suite 200.  It is a collaborative effort with Children's Hospital of Alabama and provides free counseling to children with long-term serious illnesses and their families. This counseling is provided by caring and dedicated masters-level counselors, social workers and educators. Each year, with the kickoff of summer, my friend Karen Kison puts on a series of camps the last week in May and first couple of weeks in June.  These camps are for burn victims and their siblings.  They have almost a whole week of complete camp.  For one solid week they get to act like kids.  Oh, the medical staff is there....doctors, nurses, therapists (who all give up a week of their jobs to do this for free)...but they dress like camp counselors for this week.....not medical personnel.  One week is the cancer camp....I usually try and volunteer for one or both of these camps.  I have cooked and served for them many times, sung for them, danced the Mexican hat dance for them, hugged them...and you know I came away a little better person than I was going in.  I can't tell you enough how much I love this place and if you ever find yourself riding down Hwy 63 from Alexander City...when you cross the bridge...look to the left.  You will never be the same.  Happy Friday!


Tracy said...

Great Post!
With my daughter Molly being a CF patient at Children's we are fimiliar with Children's Harbor.

Have a great Friday

Mary said...

How wonderful! Next time I'm in LA (Lower Alabama!) I'll have to take the time to go by. My husband is from LA; unfortunately we don't get down there enough.

Queenie Jeannie said...

How lovely!!

Big hugs and enjoy your weekend!