#8: Ward creates Hope for Children
Jan. 1, 2001
Meridian native and award-winning actress Sela Ward teamed up with local citizens and charitable organizations in Sept. 1 to announce plans to create a center for abused children at the Masonic Home property.
Armed with a $1.5 million grant from the Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation, Ward told those in attendance at the announcement that communities were judged by how well "they take care of their own" and that she wanted to help.
Ward's Hope for Children Foundation used a combination of her charisma and the skills of 25 local board members to begin making headway toward purchasing the property that will serve as a long-term care facility for abused and neglected children. The facility will also provide counseling services for those in need.
Early this year, The Peavey House will also relocate to the property in order to provide more space to house children for short-term care.
The Hope for Children foundation got its first major donation in November from The Riley Foundation a $300,000 grant. The money has been earmarked for operating expenses during the facility's first year.
Once up and running, Ward and board members hope to acquire additional government funding to support the facility.
Children are scheduled to begin living on the property by March.