At EmberHope Youthville, we always love hearing stories of how our partners discover our mission. For one donor, Karen Buhler, her mother’s connection with EmberHope Youthville (then known as Youthville) inspired Karen to become involved.
“My parents were married in 1937, and my mother, Wynona Turner Grizzell, went from a small town with electricity and running water to a farm with neither,” Karen explains. Farm life proved difficult and finances unpredictable, but Wynona still contributed to Claflin United Methodist Church and Youthville as frequently as possible. Wynona’s faithful support inspired Karen. “Because of my mother’s respect for and trust in Youthville, I became interested in it,” she says.
Karen was soon asked to become an EmberHope Youthville Ambassador, and she quickly agreed. “It was a chance for me to learn more about EmberHope Youthville, and a trip with a church group to the Newton campus made it all come alive,” she says. “We visited the school that was in session that day and heard from some of the older students about their experiences, hopes, and dreams.”
Seeing the campus for the first time changed Karen’s life. “I think we all came back with admiration and respect for the personnel who were leading and guiding the children,” she says. “One member of our group got home and started making lap robes from jeans. She and I took a group of them to the campus when she had several completed.”
Karen’s legacy of faithful giving has benefited not only the children and families of EmberHope Youthville but she’s reaped the rewards as well. “Probably the gift I give with the most pride is when I send honorariums in the name of somebody I think will appreciate it,” she says. “Even more exciting for me is when I hear that somebody I know has given an honorarium in my name!”
Our team at EmberHope Youthville is so grateful for Wynona’s and Karen’s faithful support, and we are honored by their legacy that will have ripple effects for generations to come.