Mose Mock and the rest of the Treutlen House board of directors likely could have kept making chili dogs and ice cream floats all day long Saturday — and they wouldn’t have minded one bit.
Facing the possible closing of the doors — and an uncertain future for the boys who call the Treutlen House home — the board rang the alarm bell. And the community answered, responding in a fashion that took them by surprise.
The Treutlen House hoped to raise $100,000, with half of it coming from a benefactor who, to this day, has opted not to reveal his or her identity. Because of the board’s efforts — and that of civic groups, social organizations, businesses, churches and many Effingham residents — they surpassed that mark by a margin they couldn’t imagine.
The home is a refuge for boys who, for one reason or another, need a place. They attend school in Effingham County.
The board of directors is pursuing an agreement with either the Georgia Baptist or Georgia Methodist youth homes to continue the operation of the home. In the meantime, they’re about to start another fundraising campaign with a target of $100,000.
It’s a tribute to the work of the board that the home continues to remain open. In the past few years, 166 such homes have closed across the state. And it’s a tribute to the community that the welcome mat continues to be ready for boys who have either fallen through the cracks or have caught a bad break in life.
As state Sen. Jack Hill said, “This community, when it gets behind anything, can’t be stopped.”
How right he is.