This year members of the nonprofit are reaching out for support through a fundraising campaign they are calling “Mercy’s Miracles.”
“This is another way to just get our name out there so people will know who we are (and) ... what we are trying to do here,” Paula Malone of Mercy’s Door said.
Starting Nov. 1, Regions banks in Cleveland, Athens, Chattanooga and Northwest Georgia will assist Mercy’s Door in fundraising efforts by letting people donate to the program. Malone explained that the bank will have an account in the organization’s name. This is the first year the organization has planned for donations from such a large area. The campaign will help the children served by Mercy’s Door during the holidays and throughout the coming year.
Malone said she could not give a dollar amount she hopes to raise since this is the first year. However, she did say that it would be amazing to see $30,000 donated.
“There’s just no way that the Malone family has the finances to move further unless we have donors,” Malone said.
Plans for moving forward include bringing a Mercy’s Door home to Cleveland. The organization is in the very beginning stages of these plans. Malone, who has lived in Cleveland since she was a child, said she wants to establish a home here because there are not a lot of places for children to go when they are hurting and need a home.
For the Cleveland home, the organization is looking for a home large enough for six children and house parents, with land for expansion and new opportunities.
One new opportunity may include horse riding.
“I’ve always wanted to get into equestrian therapy with horses. It’s awesome the things horses can teach a hurting child,” Malone said.
Malone said there is not enough room for such a resource at the Dalton, Ga., location.
People who have a heart for what Mercy’s Door is doing and those who can contribute financially are needed to make the Cleveland home a reality, Malone said.
According to Malone, the organization has begun researching requirements for becoming licensed in Tennessee, but will not pursue the option until it has purchased a building or land.
Malone said the most important thing in the homes is the love that the house parents show the children. Each house has six children and two house parents.
“Seeing the children come in one way, angry at the world, and seeing them start to open up and with our help, God changing them and softening their heart (has been the best part),” Malone said.
Children are connected with Mercy’s Door through juvenile judges, the Department of Children’s Services and sometimes a grandparent who can no longer take care of the child. When possible, if the situation changes, a child is returned to their parents. Sometimes the children are adopted, and such is the case for at least three who lived at a Mercy’s Door home. The process is under way for another adoption.
In the homes, Mercy’s Door focuses on building character, with the children studying one character trait a month.
Established in 2004, Mercy’s Door has three children’s homes in Dalton, Ga., near where Malone’s father-in-law, Carl, lives. The Carl Malone Foundation was established to help provide funding for Mercy’s Door, according to the Mercy’s Door website.