Written by: Kalee Bernard
March 2023

Amber arrived at the Tupelo Children’s Mansion campus angry, and with good reason. Her life had been bombarded with one unfortunate circumstance after another. A fifteen-year-old girl should not have had to deal with the miseries that she was dealing with, but here she was,  facing them still. Her first step onto the TCM campus was not met with an overwhelming sense of hope and peace, as it is for many children that walk through our doors. Her first steps felt heavy with hurt, trudging through tragedy, and painfully aware of the past she endured. Amber was desperate for a change in her life. Who wouldn’t be when your childhood had been filled with abandonment, molestation, and family separation? Amber was desperate for a change, but she thought TCM and the God they talked about was the last place she would find it. 

She was often heard saying, “If God is so loving, why would He have let so many terrible things happen to me?” 

Amber resisted help, comfort, education, and healing at first, but that did not stop the staff at TCM from opening their hearts and arms to her. It took several months, but Amber finally accepted that there were people who genuinely cared for her current well-being and future success. 

She arrived struggling in school because she received very little education throughout her life, but TCM Academy was patient with her and worked with her. She went on to do well in high school and even enrolled in college. She arrived having had no vision or dental exams performed previously, and the TCM staff made it a priority to make sure she received all the medical exams necessary for her physical health. As a child that went through so much tragedy and hurt, Amber needed professional counseling to heal mentally, which TCM provided to her whenever she felt she needed to talk to someone. Since she stayed with TCM for a few years, the staff around her taught her to drive and helped her get her driver’s license, helped her buy her first cell phone and sign up for a cell phone plan, showed her how to apply for FAFSA and tuition help for college, assisted in her college applications, taught her how to balance a bank account, walked her through furnishing her first apartment, and assisted in her health insurance application. 

Most notably, Amber finally opened her heart to believe in her loving Savior, and she received the gift of the Holy Spirit and was baptized in Jesus name on the TCM campus. 

We felt it was important to share Amber’s story with you because we are passionate about spreading the word about ALL that TCM does to care for the children that come through our doors. Tupelo Children’s Mansion is not foster care, placement housing, or an orphanage. Tupelo Children’s Mansion is an entity with a mission – a mission of bringing hope to the children that need it most through attentive care, a solid support structure, quality education, and most importantly, the love of Jesus Christ. 

Since 1953, we have seen nearly 4,000 children come through our doors, many desperate for a change and often overwhelmed by a life a child should never endure. If you are not a monthly sponsor (who we refer to as our Mansion Champions), we encourage you to pray about how you might get involved with our mission, because at TCM, we believe that every child deserves hope. 

*Names and signifying details were changed to protect the child’s identity*