Kim Frodge of West Melbourne, Florida, dreams big. Ten years ago, she frequently dreamt of working with building contractors at a job site on God's Way.
Today, Frodge is putting the finishing touches on the Nana's House community building – the physical and emotional centerpiece of an eight-home gated community designed to provide safe family environments for neglected, abused, needy and abandoned children. Coincidentally, the street where Nana's House is located today is called God's Way.
Creating homes for at-risk kids
Her motivation to help at-risk kids was "God inspired." Frodge started by volunteering at a state-funded children's home. The 18-month experience helped her envision the environment she wanted for children in need.
Instead of a dormitory-style institution, she wanted to provide displaced youth with a traditional family setting headed by a mother and father.
Each of the eight, 2,400-square-foot homes has four bedrooms, 2½ bathrooms, and space for five children. Volunteer house parents oversee the households. Nana's House provides each home with a minivan and pays living expenses for the children – everything from food and diapers to insurance costs.
The organization assumes legal guardianship of children for one year. If their biological or adoptive parents need more time to establish a safe, stable environment for their kids, the contract for care automatically renews. Children typically spend two years or less at Nana's House.
"Whatever their situation is before coming here, they all need a safe, loving family home."
Nana's House has cared for nearly 40 children since its inception in 2007. The organization serves youngsters ranging from infants to 11 years. "Whatever their situation is before coming here, they all need a safe, loving family home."
Thrivent member Chuck Pierce and his wife, Sarah, believe in the mission and mode of operation of Nana's House. In fact, they donated their wedding gifts to the organization. "As the father of five children, two of whom are adopted from Ukraine, I have firsthand knowledge of how important it is for young children to have caregivers who will provide the soul-nourishing love that all little children need," Pierce says.
The community responds to children in need
The first home opened in 2009 in a fully renovated formerly run-down foreclosure. "It was like Grand Central Station," Frodge recalls of the collection of builders, contractors, businesses and individuals that responded to her call for help. A second family home opened nearby shortly thereafter.
By the end of 2017, there will be 40 new beds available in the Nana's House community. The roughly $7 million dollar development was built solely with volunteer might and donated money. "It's just old-fashioned charity, where the community truly came together to help those in need," says Frodge.
Help Nana's House
It's a hefty ongoing financial responsibility for an all-volunteer operation that relies solely on donated funds. Frodge, as executive director of the organization, continues to seek new funding avenues, including Thrivent Choice®, a program that enables eligible members to direct Choice Dollars® to 501(c)(3) nonprofits, like Nana's House.
Eligible Thrivent members can also apply to lead a Thrivent Action Team to raise funds for Nana's Children's Home.
Not a member or don't have Choice Dollars® to direct? You can support Nana's Children's Home by making a personal donation. Learn more about Thrivent and what makes us different.