Caring for Children in Appalachia
Mended Reeds is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) childcare agency dedicated to serving the needs of children that have been abused, neglected, or are otherwise dependent. Mended Reeds is licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to provide residential shelter, foster care, adoption, and treatment services. Mended Reeds is also certified to provide on-site public education.
Mended Reeds was formed in 1999 as a faith-based ministry and has grown since that time to further meet the needs of rural children. The founders, David and Rebecca Lambert, resigned from their professional careers, researched the childcare industry in southern Ohio, and developed the agency. David, formerly an electrical engineer and Vice-President of an energy company, is now the executive director. Rebecca is now a licensed social worker (MSW).
The organization was formed in 1999 and licensed to provide foster care in 2001. The initial years of development was dedicated to learning more about the childcare industry, considering best practices, and raising the necessary funds to start operations. The first office was a borrowed area on the second floor of the Lambert, McWhorter & Bowling law firm. In 2002, Mended Reeds renovated and opened the former Shadybrook Restaurant as a new Boys Shelter Home. The first resident was placed in September.
Funding for Mended Reeds comes from two sources, public agency reimbursements and community/church support. Public custodial agencies reimburse Mended Reeds for approved costs associated with direct care. These fees pay for Mended Reeds’ operating costs. Contributions from the community and grants are used to acquire and renovate facilities for youth. Contributions are used solely for construction and renovation costs, there are no administrative fees taken out of contributions. All facilities are dedicated to providing homes and services to troubled youth.
Mended Reeds is community-based and locally supported. Local contributions to the agency range from $30,000 to $50,000 per year in the form of cash contributions, donated supplies & materials, and donated labor. The Ironton shelter home was purchased and renovated over a 12-month period without the need of commercial bank financing. A portion of the development cost was secured through a grant from the Huntington-Ironton Empowerment Zone ($69,500), the balance of the cost was provided through local fund-raising, and support from area churches.
Present operations include the Ironton shelter home for 12 boys, a specialized school, treatment foster homes, and adoptive homes. Mended Reeds has eighteen (18) foster homes, providing shelter for as many as thirty six (36) foster children. Of the children presently in care, twelve (12) have been adopted, or are in the process of adoption. Children served by Mended Reeds are from rural southeastern Ohio counties and West Virginia.
While Mended Reeds is a faith-based organization, Mended Reeds is not sponsored by any particular church or religious association. Employment and services to youth are offered in a manner that does not discriminate regarding, religion, race, color, sex, age, disability, or ethnicity. Youth are encouraged, but in no way coerced or required, to participate in religious activities.
Our program is fully accredited by Council of Accreditation