Canton News

PRST STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID CANTON, MS PERMIT NO. 3 Canton News P.O. Box 1163, Canton, MS 39046 Good News You Can Use • December 5, 2019 • Vol. 5, No. 12 • Canton, Mississippi 8:30-6:00 M-F 8:30-12:30 Sat Stace Cauthe Sander & Bil M b 1301 East Peace Street, Canton 39046 601-859-4212 its not to late get your flu shot! Hope Hollow Ministries is a Christian camp, located just west of town off Highway 22, that was established solely to give individ- uals with special needs a place of fun, recreation and respite. The camp was begun in 2008 by three families who had children with special needs. They felt they didn’t really have the resources or a space their children could call their own. They began searching for land to purchase and found an area consisting of over twenty acres of sprawling countryside for sale. While the families were initially looking at the property, they saw a dragonfly. The realtor told them that the dragonfly is a symbol of hope, and they felt that was a sign that their journey to help other families should begin right there. The dragon- fly is a symbol on their logo to this day. Executive Direc- tor Owen Mullen and Program Di- rector Mary Dade Ford currently work side-by-side to keep this initial dream of a very special place for very special peo- ple going. Mullen and Ford said they accept children with special needs to a degree, such as autism, down syndrome, mus- cular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, who range from age five to twen- ty-one, but they have programs for young adults, as well. By Lori Lycette “We’d really like to eventual- ly build more areas, so each age group can have their own space,” said Mullen. Hope Hollow welcomes volun- teers. Each camper is assigned a “buddy,” a volunteer who spends time and establishes a good rela- tionship with their camper. The children typically love their buddy and often ask when he or she will be back to see them. “We always try to figure out how to say yes to anyone,” said Ford. “The camp is handicap acce s s i b l e ; wheelchairs and walk- ers are wel- come.” Mul- len and Ford say they try to create a safe space for kids to be kids and have fun, while also being stimulated creatively. They have a Sensory Trail, which occu- pational therapy assistant (OTA) students from Holmes Commu- nity College recently revamped for the campers. The camp currently consists of a large main building which houses a TV/playroom, sensory room and an area for making crafts, as well as the kitchen, dining room and office. It also contains bunk rooms for out-of-town volunteers to stay overnight. “Our big dream is to build an indoor sports building, so we’d have that option when the weather prevents us from playing out- side,” said Ford. The ministry hosts camp every summer, which takes place Mon- day through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as Spring Break camp. Afterschool Arts Alive is once a week where paint- ing, ceramics, dance, music and gardening are offered. Special events include “Friday Night Fun” from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., which generally includes eating pizza, watching a movie and mak- ing crafts. Thanksgiving camp was on the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving, where the camp- ers participate in games, crafts and many other senso- ry activities. “Our Christmas party will take place on Decem- ber 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. We’ll eat, play games, and each camper will make a special Christmas keep- sake to take home. Santa will even be here for photos,” said Mullen. The Hope Hol- low Ladies’ Aux- illary is a group of ladies that was formed to help support the minis- try through volunteering and fund- raising efforts. They hold two an- nual fundraisers, which help fund scholarships to the camp and also to purchase supplies. Hope Hollow Ministries is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. They wel- come vol- unteer help, as well as monetary do- nations and supplies such as new toys, baby dolls, art supplies, snacks, in- dividual wa- ters and juice. For more information, visit them at 910A Catlett Road in Canton, call 601-859-5290, email info@hope- or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Hope Hollow Ministries fills a niche in Canton, MS Special to The Canton News Ribbon cutting for Sensory Trail Special to The Canton News Sarah Huff playing with a bunny. Special to The Canton News (above) Esther Williams watching the bubbles Special to The Canton News Evan Rhodus, sitting in pool; Andrew Thorne, standing in front; Sarah Huff, behind Andrew; Executive Director Owen Mullen, in the back; and Dean Different, in front of pool.