1999 – Vision
Sonrise Children's Home, Inc. was formed in September 1999 as a non-profit organization, driven by the vision of providing nurturing, Christ-centered care for children in state custody. The founders came to understand the need the nurturing placements for abused and neglected children is great in North Missouri! At any given time there are 45 to 55 rural children in need of care in the 3rd circuit alone. Due to a lack of homes in this area, these rural children are sometimes placed in city settings, adding further stress and anxiety to an already difficult situation.
2000 – Funding
We as founders formed a board and acquired a 501(c)(3) in February of 2000 and began to work to raise funds to build a home. We applied for and received a $5,000 grant for Orscheln Industries Foundation to help with establishing an endowment fund.
2002 - Building
We acquired the old Mercer County Hospital, a 1921 brick building and five acres for just $1. This building is located near Princeton, Missouri.
2003 - Renovations
Renovations of the building began. We implemented a program called "adopt a room" in which donations were given towards specific rooms. With the help of 60 of the area youth from a Christian Youth Camp and weekend warriors we were able to get a good start on the remodel of the top floor of the building.
2004 - Renovations
We posted the project on the North American Mission Board’s “The Bridge.” We had success in receiving help from church mission groups out of Waco, Texas and Willow Springs, Missouri. By the time the year ended, the top floor was almost complete.
2005 – Renovations Completed
Eighteen different work crews from churches all over the U.S came to help. These crews came from Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and Florida. Some spent three days, some a week, but all brought time and talent and treasure to work on the home. We were able to complete the home, fully furnished, by the end of 2005.
2006 - License
We acquired our license as a 12-bed foster home in 2006. We have since trained house parents for the home twice and have had up to three children in the home at one time. In both cases the house parents moved on.
2010 – House Parents
In May we discontinued fundraising so that we could pray and search for God’s direction. By midsummer, we came to the decision that God still had plans for the home and that He has already provided half a million dollars in work, materials and labor to prepare for the children in this area.
As was made the decision that God intended for us to continue the search for a committed family to be house parents, the Wilmes Family called and inquired about the home. They had been foster parents for 16 years and had often had to turn The Children's Division down for lack of room in their home. Since 2001 they had prayed about finding a home large enough to start a group home.
2011 - Opening
After meeting with the Wilmes and seeing their commitment to God and working with children in foster care, we believe they shared our values and beliefs about helping children and their families heal and grow. They accepted the position and moved into the home when Mrs. Wilmes completed her employment contract as a licensed therapist at the end of June 2011. The home opened July 1, 2011 with Leonard and Jean Wilmes as the house parents. They have foster children that moved in with them, as well as two of the three teens they adopted three years ago.
2012-2013-Home is very active and has had many placements, specialized in teen placement.
2014-2015- Sonrise Visionary Meetings Spring/Summer 2014
Revised Mission Statement:
"Sonrise - Shaping a Brighter
Future for Children in Need."
Revised Vision Statement:
“We want to become servants useable to God in whatever areas He wants us involved in. We believe our Lord is guiding us into providing a children’s home where children will have a loving home environment in a farm setting, and be encouraged to have a close relationship with God. We trust that God will provide the necessary resources to fulfill the Sonrise Children’s Home Mission.”
Sonrise Core Values
Gospel Centered: We the board and the Sonrise ministry team believe that lasting healing and hope can only come from Jesus Christ who reigns over heaven and earth. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
Orphan Focused: We believe God has a special place in His heart for the orphan therefore we do also. James 1:27, Psalm 10:18, Psalm 82:3
Morally Based Ministry: helping children modify their behaviors, make good decisions, have strong moral compass. Proverbs 3:21-26
Family Oriented:We believe each child should be given the opportunity to grow up in a family. That’s why all of our programs are family centered. We also affirm our responsibility to build upon and facilitate the strengths of each family we serve. 2 Timothy 1:5
Relationship Driven:Our children are the most precious gift within the community. With a servant-leadership perspective, every member of the Sonrise team safeguards the fragile nature of those we serve. Recognizing their often-challenging circumstances, our desire is to help them reach their full potential. Deuteronomy 16:11
Spiritually Nurtured: We are committed as a ministry for the children to be taught the love of Christ through the Scriptures. As a family the children will be involved in a local church along with numerous intentional spiritual activities (prayer, devotions, bible reading & teaching, worship music) inside the home. Ephesians 6:4; Proverbs 22:6
Mission Driven Employees, volunteers, and Board Members: constant learners, striving to improve as workers of Christ walking by the Spirit. Romans 12:1,2; 2 Cor. 5:14-21
Healthy Physical Development: chores, school activities, recreational activities. 3 John 1:2; Psalm 103:2
2016-Opened Sonrise Transitional Center in Trenton.
“Sonrise Transitional Center – Shaping a Brighter Future for the Next Generation”
Sonrise Transitional Center (STC)’s Mission is designed to help youth ages 18 to 25 who formerly resided at Sonrise Children's Home to make a successful transition to self-sufficient living. Preference will be given for former Sonrise youth; however, other suitable candidates will also be considered by approval of the Sonrise Children’s Home Board. The model is designed to give safe living accommodation options and services that help them develop the skills necessary to become independent. The program design allows for reduced rate living expenses to allow the individual to obtain stable employment, time to build financial resources for purpose of preparing for exit to a more permanent living arrangement, and to promote and support post-secondary education needs.