The true meaning of Christmas is alive and well at Strong. We are so blessed to have been able to continue our tradition of sharing with others this year…
Each year Strong takes all of the food we receive from our media vendors and donates it to one of our local homeless shelters, the Jimmie Hale Mission.
The Jimmie Hale Mission, opened in 1944 and has been a shelter for the homeless, a rest stop for the weary, a feeding station for the hungry, and a sanctuary for the hurting. For many, the Mission has not been their last stop but the first step toward a changed life.
We also give an annual donation to a local orphanage, the Big Oak Ranch.
The Big Oak ministry grew out of John Croyle’s desire to give hurting children a chance. John successfully played football at the University of Alabama under the legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Faced with one of the most important decisions of his life — whether to play professional football or to start a children’s home — John followed the Lord’s leadership and established Big Oak Boys’ Ranch in 1974. John and his wife, Tee, have seen their dream of building the best children’s home in America grow into three separate facilities in Northeast Alabama: Big Oak Boys’ Ranch in Gadsden, Big Oak Girls’ Ranch in Springville, and Westbrook Christian School, Inc. in Rainbow City.
This year we were also fortunate to have been able to provide Christmas gifts and fill the needs of 17 children in the Hematology & Oncology Unit at Children’s Hospital here in Birmingham, through Children’s Harbor. It was such a special treat to be able to shop for them. There are so many folks who are struggling to provide for their children this holiday season and we were humbled and blessed to be able provide gifts for these children.
Children’s Hospital of Alabama is the 10th busiest pediatric medical center in the United States. Located in Birmingham, Children’s is one of only about 45 freestanding acute care hospitals of its kind in the nation and the only hospital in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children. It is licensed for 275 beds.
Children’s is home to the state’s only Level I pediatric trauma center, the only pediatric renal care center, the largest pediatric burn center in the Southeast and is one of the largest pediatric outpatient centers in the nation. The UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Children’s Hospital is Alabama’s single largest provider of specialized pediatric services for all forms of cancer, leukemia, brain and spinal cord tumors, hemophilia and other blood disorders and sickle cell diseases. Children’s treats 95-percent of the children in Alabama diagnosed with childhood cancers and other blood disorders, and offers the only pediatric bone marrow transplant program in the state.
Children’s Harbor, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, provides free and confidential counseling and support services to children with long-term serious illnesses as well as to their families, and we provide camping and retreat facilities for these children and families as well as for other children with special needs. Children’s Harbor was officially dedicated in 1990 to the memory of Adelia M. Russell. From the beginning the mission has been simple: strengthening children and families.