A Taste of Milk & Honey

A Scotch Against The Cold…that’s what my father called the little pile of firewood gathered in the fall in anticipation of winter.

Actually, gathering firewood was a year-round chore because the cookstove was wood burning. The only other heating in the house was from a fireplace in the living room. And did it burn the wood! We dragged, chopped, sawed, and split, but it was never enough. We called on Lee Grant Graves, a neighbor, and he would lay in a back log that would not only burn for days but would also hold the fire overnight, making easier an early morning start. Once in a while the back log did not hold the fire, so Momma or one of us kids went to the Graves’ home to borrow a few coals.

Our scotch against the cold was really much more than warmth; it was our family gathering place; it was fun, games, light, popcorn, and hot chocolate; it was a place to say, “Good night.”

Today, from my study window, I can see our scotch against the cold. It is two rows of wood, tall and wide and waiting for the chill. Nettie and I did not drag, saw, chop, or split; all that was done by good friends, Wendell and Jennifer Fox. That makes it all the more a comforting sight. We almost welcome winter. I say this knowing we have another source of heat, but sometimes that fails, and we lay in a fire, and remember.

Not too far from here live children with no such scotch against the cold. When the temperature dropped recently, I thought of them and knew that soon the telephone at the Center will bring call for warmth. We have a small fund for responding to such calls, but it is by no means an adequate scotch against the cold.

If you want to help, write on your check “A Scotch Against the Cold.”

Stay warm.

From Dr. Fred Craddock, Milk & Honey, October 2010

From the Executive Director

We Need Gloves for the Children! On November 9th, we will give all of our 1,200 children a brand-new pair of gloves along with a handmade knitted cap and a new children’s book.

The winters are harsh in the mountains of southern Appalachia and The Craddock Center wants to help provide warmth to our children. YOU CAN HELP!

We need 1,200 pairs of gloves. For as little as $13.99 you can purchase a dozen pairs of gloves. Go to the following ‘wish list’ link https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2EKPBPJGEDZ6J?ref_=wl_share on Amazon to order gloves. You can also send a donation to 300 Cherry Log St, #69, Cherry Log, GA 30522 and make a note of ‘gloves’ in the lower left corner of the check.

Since making the initial appeal in the last issue of Milk & Honey, we have received six dozen pairs of gloves and a donation of $70 to purchase gloves…THANK YOU!!

Let’s help our children focus on learning and not on how to find ways to stay warm.

Thank you for your generosity!

Cub Scouts – NOVA Event

A small brave group of Cub Scouts gathered for the first District NOVA event. On Saturday, April 23rd the Cub Scouts of Pack 440 arrived at The Craddock Center for an overnight, action-packed weekend.

They started the day building bird feeders. Without instructions, the Scouts were provided just a box of recycled wood planks from a pallet, hickory sticks, and some fishing line. The Scouts showed their creativity by designing their own bird feeders. Every single bird feeder was different including one bird feeder with a basket style. Using glue and some well-placed nails the feeders are on their way back home to be filled with birdseed. Let the bird watching begin!

After building the bird feeders, a short one-half-mile hike on the slopes of Cherry Log revealed an incredible variety of blooming plants. How many you can name?

Back at The Craddock Center, it was presentation time. Scouts paired up and created slide shows to document their favorite and endangered animals. That was followed by a couple of short movies and discussion. In the evening they watched Yogi bear and fell fast asleep at The Craddock Center.


On May 22, 2022, Sandy Springs Christian Church (SSCC) celebrated three special high school graduates from the Mulberry Apartments in Ellijay, Georgia! (a fourth was unable to attend) SSCC volunteers met these students many years ago through Camp Craddock. At that time, the students were just finishing sixth grade.  Through the subsequent years, they successfully completed high school and now look forward to bright futures. The honored students are Jimmy, who has earned a full ride to Young Harris College with plans to become a music teacher; Ashlee, who has been accepted to Kennesaw State University to study nursing; and Bernardino, who has a full-time job offer.  

While volunteers from Sandy Springs Christian Church originally approached the Executive Director of the Craddock Center hoping to find a build or rehab project, they were directed to the community of Guatemalan immigrants at the Mulberry Apartments. The SSCC volunteers fell in love with the community and returned each Christmas and summer to offer camp activities and emphasize literacy. Over the 6 years, they have returned fifteen times, sometimes for a week of summer camp, sometimes for a day of Christmas camp celebration. The consistency of families that are there every year allowed them to build deep, caring relationships. 

On that Sunday evening of celebration, the families of the graduates were invited to The Craddock Center for photos, appetizers, a dinner, and special gifts. The families arrived early, with the graduates wearing their caps and gowns and their families dressed up in school colors!  SSCC volunteers drove the two hours to The Craddock Center with brisket dinner and cake, serving the families and documenting the occasion with pictures.  One of SSCC’s most dedicated volunteers could not attend due to medical reasons but sent the following message, “These young people don’t have to wonder if they have superpowers. Their achievements are tremendous.  When they face future challenges, they can remember all it took to succeed in high school and then be sure they can do it again.”  SSCC is honored to have played a part in the success of these students’ education.

The mission of Camp Craddock, as established by the revered DOC minister Dr. Fred Craddock, has been to “enrich the lives of the people of Southern Appalachia through service…seeking to break cycles of poverty, isolation, and low self-esteem”. Dr. Craddock dreamed of making a difference by offering programs to meet individuals’ needs for “physical health, social and cultural enrichment, and the desire for greater educational and growth opportunities”. What magically happened, though, is that through SSCC’s commitment to enrich the lives of these families, God’s love was shared, and the campers enriched The Craddock Center volunteers’ lives! Dr. Craddock, who died in 2015 before this relationship began, would be so proud of our volunteers’ commitment and especially of “our” graduates!

Arts in the Park – Blue Ridge, Georgia

On Saturday 5/28 and Sunday 5/29, the two yellow tents for The Craddock Center were visible from the hillsides around downtown Blue Ridge. The Craddock Center was excited to be a part of the Spring Arts in the Park to celebrate our work and the children we serve.

Thanks to our volunteers we raised a lot of money for new books, created more awareness about the work of The Craddock Center, and most importantly…we gave away 325 books to children attending the festival.

For something new this year, we also provided storytelling for the children and their parents on both Saturday and Sunday. Thanks to our Arts Specialists, Tracy Walker, Kathy Thompson, and Claudia Bradford for bringing joy to the children. Also, thanks to Beth Roberts, Sue Hriljac, and Kirk Cameron for stepping in as volunteer storytellers on Sunday to ignite the children’s imaginations.

Come visit us at the Arts in the Park this Fall on Saturday 10/08 and Sunday 10/09.

Gilmer County Family Literacy Night

On April 29, 2022, The Craddock Center attended the Gilmer County Family Literacy Night. During the event, The Craddock Center gave away 200 nearly new books to children of all ages.

The event, hosted by the Gilmer County School System, drew 1,029 children and parents. 43 local organizations and businesses participated in the event to promote literacy and provide a fun evening of games and activities for the local children.

The Craddock Center Hosts Civic Dinner

On May 19, 2022, The Craddock Center was honored to host the Civic Dinner for the Gilmer County Family Connection (GCFC). The GCFC has partnered with Building a Region of Resilience to bring the Civic Dinner to our local community. The Civic Dinner is meant to provide inclusive conversation on preventing child abuse and neglect. The Dinner is a place to learn, share ideas and find ones role in supporting children and families in Gilmer County. Concerned parents, community leaders, professionals, volunteers, and those concerned about keeping children safe and helping families thrive joined the dinner on May 19th.  We broke up into small groups and discussed several questions pertaining to the needs of children and families in our community. The goal of the Civic Dinner is to identify specific action items and input for the annual plan for the GCFC as it continues to work in the community. The Civic Dinner will be a yearly event to help prepare the annual plan for the Gilmer County Family Connection.

Thank You Anonymous!!

During the year we receive many monetary donations, books, and hats from many anonymous donors. Thank you for your generous gifts!

We wish we knew whom you were so that we could thank you. Please know that your anonymous gifts are valued and appreciated, and they help us bring joy to the many children that we serve. Thank you!

Summer Send Off 2022

On May 12th, The Craddock Center conducted ’Summer Send Off 2022’

Each of our 1,100 children received a bag of goodies as their pre-K and Head Start programs ended for the Summer.  The goal of this program to provide our children an opportunity to continue learning even as their formal learning programs suspend for the Summer.  The Summer reading achievement gap can be closed by a child reading 4-5 books during the Summer.

Each child received a brand-new ‘Golden Classic’ book, a book reading log to record the books they read during the Summer, stickers, and arts & crafts supplies needed to make a couple of hand puppets.

Thanks to United Community Bank in Ellijay for their monetary support of this program.

Also, thanks to the following volunteers for their work on making this program a success:  Sue Hriljac, Bev Cook, Lynn Higginbotham, Cheryl Lawson, Maureen Hicks, Marcia Lehman, Debbie Martin, Beth Roberts, Milly Hastings & Steve Stevens, Joe Cantwell & Patti O’Dell.