Enriching lives through service.
“My vision for the Craddock Center is clear and firm: that we keep our pledge, in some way, every day, to enrich lives through service.”
“This means that all who work in and through the Center, paid and volunteer, infuse every act and word with the grace of God. This is achieved not by an abundance of religious talk but by being gracious as God is. To be gracious is to welcome all without distinction. Some have and some do not; we make no distinction. Some give and some receive; we make no distinction. Some have been here for generations and some arrived yesterday; we make no distinction. Some are young and some are old; we make no distinction. And every one of us has been, is, or will be a minority person, so who would presume to make distinctions?”
“To build such a community is difficult but not impossible. It takes time and effort to build trust so that those who have known only isolation or rejection will accept hospitality. Some are so needy that they have not realized what or how much they have to give to others. A few come running but many must be sought, and none are to be forgotten.”
“The program of the Center is determined by need. In some cases it may begin with food, clothing, or housing but that is only the beginning. There is no commandment, ” Thou shall barely get by.” Every life needs enrichment and that means classes in health care, job training, family economics, child-rearing. It means music and art and storytelling. It means getting together to listen to each other’s stories and to enjoy one another. It means to include the confined by visits, cards, calls, and gifts. It is to say, “This is a good place to live, to raise a family, to build friendships, to grow old, and to die.”
“This is my vision and to it I give my life.”
Dr. Fred Craddock
The Craddock Center delivers educational and cultural programs to children, families, and communities primarily in southern Appalachia.