Bryson Morrow of Owensboro feels he was called to serve at St. Joseph Peace Mission.
“I grew up down here in this community,” he said.
While working on his Recreation Administration degree at Western Kentucky University, the Apollo High School graduate began working with the local Boys and Girls Club. When he returned to Owensboro, he continued working with children and youth.
According to Morrow, he connected with St. Joseph Peace Mission through a friend and that connection led to him joining their staff as development director during the last week of August.
“I have a passion for kids in sports,” he said. “[My friend] brought attention to another need for kids that I didn’t even know was there and that took me on a new path.”
St. Joseph Peace Mission provides a safe haven for vulnerable, at-risk children.
Morrow was on hand at the open house for the Hayden Home for Girls on the campus of St. Joseph Peace Mission at 1320 West 3rd Street in Owensboro.
“This place is special,” he said of both the Hayden Home for Girls and the Yewell Home for Boys. “There is a real home environment that creates a sense of family for the children.”
The home is warm and inviting with comfortable furniture in the spacious common area. Each bedroom sleeps two girls and is decorated in soft pastel colors, and includes handmade quilts donated by the Bellevue Baptist Church Quilters Ministry.
The home is named in honor of the late Nicky Hayden of Owensboro who gained international acclaim in motorcycle racing. Hayden died in 2017 when he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle in Italy. The home includes photos of Hayden and other touches honoring him and his parents.
According to St. Joseph Peace Mission executive director Paula Yevincy, the Hayden Home can house up to eight girls, ages 12 to 18. The Yewell Home can accommodate eight boys, ages 12 to 18. The third home on the campus can provide emergency shelter for up to 12 children from birth to age 18.
Now that the Hayden Home is open, Yevincy says they are “looking at acquiring more properties on the block to continue expanding the campus.”
Meanwhile, Yevincy and Morrow said there are many ongoing needs for the campus today.
“We feed kids here every day,” said Yevincy. “These are homes, so kids do their laundry and clean regularly.”
Ongoing needs include snack items, cleaning and laundry supplies, toilet paper and personal items like shampoo and body wash. The Hayden Home also needs items like feminine hygiene products.
They are also seeking donations of gift cards to take the children to the movies, ice skating or bowling during the upcoming fall break week.
Gift cards to provide occasional fast food meals are also a special treat for the children.
To donate household or personal items, snacks, gift cards or to sponsor entertainment for the children during fall break, contact Bryson Morrow at [email protected].
If you would like to provide a meal or food supplies for the children, contact food service director Linda Ivey at 270-683-9441 to confirm current needs.
To learn more about the Hayden Home for Girls or the St. Joseph Peace Mission campus, visit their website.