Rescuing The Perishing

BY STEPHEN JUDD PRESIDENT, TUPELO CHILDREN'S MANSION The weather outside was frightening. Cold temperatures—with heavy rain turning to snow and sleet by late afternoon—resulted in hazardous driving conditions in Tupelo. A man driving down Hillsdale lost control of his pick-up and careened off of the road, ending up in the pond on the campus of Tupelo Children's Mansion. Several who witnessed the accident dove into the frigid and murky water in an attempt to rescue the desperate man from his vehicle, which was beginning to sink. By the time they got him to shore, he was unconscious. As CPR was being administered, emergency personnel arrived and rushed him to the hospital. Thankfully, the man survived. A day earlier, another rescue took place as well on our campus as four new residents arrived. All four of these children were the result of “emergency placements.” In other words, their dire circumstances required swift action on our part in order to rescue them. Tupelo Children's Mansion is actually a rescue mission—saving lives and giving children and families hope for a better tomorrow. While it took a trio of courageous heroes to save the drowning man in the pond, it likewise takes a team effort to reach out to those who find themselves in our “pond,” sometimes by accident and through no fault of their own. The horrible and “frightening” conditions result in lives skidding out of control and ending up in the depths of despair. We may never know the driver's name, but that really doesn't matter. He may never come back to thank the heroes that saved his life, and that's okay. It's sometimes that way at Tupelo Children’s Mansion, as it may take several years, or even decades, for the “rescued” to return to say thanks or write a nice letter expressing appreciation for how the Mansion impacted their lives. Our fulfillment is knowing that we are truly making a difference, and that the dividends of our investment may not be realized until we get to the “other side.” The names of those involved in the rescue had their names listed in the local newspaper; however, there are several dozen unsung heroes at TCM who work day in and day out, pulling children to the shore, performing CPR, and breathing hope into their futures. Their names are never in the news, but they are an integral part of a team that has already reached out to over 1,500 children over the years. They are dedicated, passionate, and self-giving. They are TCM!   For information on how you can support Tupelo Children's Mansion, go to You can follow us on Twitter: @stephenjudd @ermajudd @mansionkids