Children's Homes of Cleveland County publicly announced the 2016 Right of Passage campaign on September 22.  The funds raised will build a new facility to enlarge and enhance current programs and implement one new program. 

  •  Beginning October 24, 2016 the CHCC Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavior Therapists will join the Partnering  for Excellence pilot project by accepting referrals for even more children for assessment and treatment of traumatic events.  More children, more therapists, more space. 
  • Supervised visitation has been in place since 2000 but there is not enough space for much needed privacy when the social workers meet with the parents concerning the "teaching moment" which takes place in each visit.
  • There simply is no more space to grow into at the current administrative offices.
  • It has been a dream for about eight years that CHCC would have an independent living program for youth that are aging out of the foster care program.  Now that a new facility is on the horizon, a residential component can be added to that dream.  There will be transitional living apartments for young people to try out their independent living skills while they still have a safety net.  

It is for all of the above listed reasons that a new facility is needed to provide services in the best possible way. 

Working with Sam Avery, Consultant, for about eight months, a plan is in place to reach the citizens of Cleveland County to ask for support in this campaign.   We have in hand about $373,000 with a goal of $1.9M.  There is a lot of work to be done.  Please join us as we strive to grow opportunities for young people in foster care. 

​The Fifth Annual CHCC golf tournament was held on April 26 at River Bend Golf Course.  It was a beautiful, warm and breezy day.  Members of the winning team are:  Steve Sherman, Drew Eaker, Chris Jones and Russell Spangler.    Second place team members are Tracy Walker, Chris Fox, Jonathan Salazar and Tom Kinman.  Our thanks to Phil Wallace for his help at River Bend and to Timothy Sparks at Patriot Jack's and all of our sponsors for making this such a fun day to raise money.  

Are you interested in applying for the position of Executive Director of Children's Homes of Cleveland County?

Follow this link for instructions:

This link includes background information about the agency, position profile and the application.  


Don and Carla Beam of Cherryville recently made a $100,000 pledge to the Right of Passage Campaign.  In making this pledge Mr. and Mrs. Beam talked about how important it is to have this new Independent Living program for young people so they will have the opportunity to live on their own with a safety net in the transitional living apartments and the opportunity to expand their potential through education.  Mr. Beam expressed his hope that the young people in the Independent Living program would take advantage of enrolling in Cleveland Community College.  

There are many benefits to the new facility CHCC is planning to build: the Out patient therapy department will increase in staff and space to accommodate the work being done in trauma, especially the work in the new Partnering for Excellence program; the enhancement of the Supervised Visitation program and, of course, the new Independent Living program which includes the transitional apartments for those young people aging out of foster care.  

This gift is a big boost to the Double the Money Challenge established by The Dover Foundation and brings the campaign total for the first week of December to over $813,000.  We are very grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Beam and hope that this gift will inspire others to make donations for the Double the Money Challenge before December 16.   

Donations can be completed on the Home page of this website by using PayPal or can be sent to Right of Passage Campaign,  P O Box 2053, Shelby, NC  28151.

                                   Right of Passage Campaign Update

Children's Homes was notified on December 6, 2017 that the Cannon Foundation has awarded the agency a grant of $50,000 for the Right of Passage campaign toward the new building construction..  This brings the campaign total to more than $1.5M.  A construction contract has been signed with T.C. Strickland Construction Company of Shelby and groundbreaking should occur just after the beginning of January.  


Building Update.

​Work continues on the new facility with a completion date of November 2018.   The weather gave some challenges during the early summer but now that the building is in the dry there is progress every day.  

We are  close to reaching our campaign of $1.9M with events and fundraising efforts continuing until the end of the year.  

Thursday, July 20, 2017

 Children’s Homes of Cleveland County Benefits from State Funding, Reforms

Raleigh, N.C. - The Executive Director of the Children’s Homes of Cleveland County (CHCC) says local youth will benefit from state funding and reforms passed by the North Carolina General Assembly this year. 

Margie Christopher, who has led CHCC for 29 years, says a $250,000 state appropriation and new child welfare laws will benefit children who depend on her organization.

“We are grateful that state funding will benefit our Right of Passage Campaign, a brand new transitional living opportunity at the Children’s Homes of Cleveland County,” Christopher said.  “State funding will also help double our capacity for outpatient therapy and strengthen the supervised visitation program at the Children’s Homes of Cleveland County.”

The North Carolina General Assembly passed major reforms to the state’s child welfare system this year in the Child Protection and Accountability Act, changes Christopher says will also improve her organization’s services.

 “The Child Protection and Accountability Act strengthens oversight of child services and will benefit youth that depend on the Children’s Homes of Cleveland County,” Christopher said.  “The Child Protection and Accountability Act will help ensure our youth are safe and receiving quality access to services while providing our organization with the information we need to benefit local families.”  

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said the state General Assembly is committed to improving services and providing assistance to organizations like the Children’s Homes of Cleveland County.

“I’m grateful for the Children’s Homes of Cleveland County and the critical services they provide to our local youth,” Moore said.  “I look forward to seeing the benefits that state funds and important reforms will have for this organization that improves the lives of so many children and families in Cleveland County.”

Children's Homes of Cleveland County, Inc. is an independent, not for profit agency serving children and families for more than 25 years that are in crisis due to abuse and neglect.  These funds are a big step toward meeting our goal of $1,900,000.  We are very grateful for the support that is being given for the work that is already being done and for the dream to assistance young people aging out of foster care.

Executive Director of Children's Homes Announces Retirement

Margie Christopher, the only Executive Director the Children's Homes of Cleveland County has ever had, has announced her retirement. Christopher plans to retire sometime after the completion of CHCC's new facility, currently under construction.
A Cleveland County native, Christopher began working with the Children's Homes in December of 1987, before the "Children's Homes" even existed. At that time, she worked with one houseparent operating an Emergency Shelter, first opened in 1969. She played an integral part in the construction of the James Home in 1989 and Aaron's House in 1990. In 1991, James Home and Aaron House merged to form Children's Homes of Cleveland County with Christopher as its Executive Director.
In the late 1990s, Christopher helped CHCC diversify by expanding services beyond residential with the addition of Social Services to Families and Supervised Visitation. The agency has continued to grow by adding more services for the benefit of children. In 2005, adoption services were added and outpatient therapy was added in 2007.
In 2003, the agency sought accreditation by the Council on Accreditation. Accreditation is proof of quality and CHCC was the smallest agency in the country to be accredited at that time.
A dream of Christopher's for many years has been the addition of an Independent Living Program, which will include transitional living apartments for youth that are aging out of the foster care system. The CHCC Board approved the concept and embarked on a capital campaign in 2016. The facility, which includes CHCC offices, is expected to be complete in November of this year.
Kathy Wilson, who has served more than 20 years on the CHCC Board and completed three terms as Board President cannot say enough about Christopher's contribution. She says, "Margie's compassion for children, her insistence on excellence, and her vision for what is possible has changed Children's Homes from a struggling foster care home to a multi-dimensional, nationally-recognized model of caring for children. It is a unique privilege to be associated with her in this work."
Reflecting on her time at CHCC, Christopher says, "In 1987 I was hired to do a job which quickly became my passion. I am very grateful for a supportive board of directors, a generous community, and dedicated co-workers; however, my real inspiration comes from the resiliency of the young people that we serve every day. They have suffered in ways we will never understand and I believe they deserve every opportunity we can provide for them to be successful."
Christopher is involved in the national childcare community of as well as the local community. She is a peer reviewer for the Council on Accreditation, a member of Shelby Rotary Club, Child Protection Team, Child Fatality Team, Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, Alliance for Health, and Double Shoals Baptist Church, and is a Paul Harris Fellow. She is married to Stephen, and has one grown daughter, Elizabeth Sibley.
CHCC, now with 24 employees, is currently searching for Christopher's replacement.
According to Justin Merritt, current Board Chair and Co-Chair of the CHCC Right of Passage capital campaign, "Margie Christopher has done a remarkable job building CHCC into a highly respected, financially stable, quality agency. While she cannot be replaced, she will be leaving CHCC in excellent shape for the next Executive Director. I feel truly privileged to have had the opportunity to serve this agency with Margie and wish her all the best in her retirement."
About CHCC
Children's Homes for Cleveland County, Inc. is an independent, not for profit agency serving children and families for more than 25 years that are in crisis due to abuse and neglect. CHCC's mission is to provide services to children and families in which they have the opportunity to come together to learn, to grow and to develop in a safe, stable environment - because we care. An array of supportive services have been developed including supervised visitation, social services to families, limited adoption services, outpatient mental health services, parenting education services, and community education and awareness. 

Groundbreaking took place.January 24 on a brisk but sunny day.  Many of our community partners and donors, as well as staff and board members, were present to witness this event.  The trees were coming down even as the first shovels of soil were turned over to begin the building process.  We are pleased to be partnering with T C Strickland Construction and Fidelity Bank to bring our dream to reality.  Assuming the weather improves and there are no major delays construction should be completed by the end of November.  Thank you Cleveland County for making it possible for us to expand our services to young people in the foster care system.  

​It is and a deep sense of gratitude that we announce the gift of $300,000 from The Dover Foundation to The Right of Passage Campaign.  In addition to the gift the Foundation has challenged the community to match this amount before December 16 so that Children's Homes will become eligible for additional statewide grants.  Kathy Wilson, Dover Foundation President, said, "We believe in the mission of Children's Homes and support its longstanding, superior leadership.  CHCC has a proud history of generating innovative programs and being a constant, active and strong voice for the well being of children and families in in our county."

Every gift is appreciated and helps us move toward our goal.   Right of Passage Campaign Co-Chair Jay Gragg says, "We thank the Dover Foundation for this generous gift and motivating challenge opportunity which is a game changer to this Campaign.  More importantly, we thank them on behalf of the deserving kids and families that will benefit because of the Dover Foundation's generosity."  

YOU too can invest in a child's future by making a contribution to the campaign.  Use PayPal which is located on the Home Page of this secure website or send a check to :  Right of Passage Campaign,

​P O Box 2053, Shelby, NC  28151.  The young people are counting on your support!