A Taste of Milk & Honey

It hurts, But I understand when someone turns down our request for financial support with the response, “We give to the poor but to programs that meet their real needs.” Meaning, of course, food and clothing, especially at Christmas.

Blessing on those programs; who could deny food and clothing to a child?  We [The Craddock Center] are about the business of enriching lives, of lifting self-esteem, of instilling a sense of self-worth, of effecting socialization so that each child can play and study and grow as an equal to other children.  We do this through songs, art, and stories.  Studies show that participating in such programs increases a child’s success in school and in life in the community.

The records of some charities indicate that they give to children just as they gave to their parents and to their grandparents.  Generation after generation the story continues the same.

Our goal is to break the cycle, to change the story.  There are 13 million children living in depressing poverty in this country.  But we get up each morning believing our small effort is making and will continue to make a difference.  And every dollar we receive is an investment in that difference, and, on behalf of the children, we thank you.

Written by Dr. Craddock November 2004

From the Executive Director

November and December are fun times at The Craddock Center each year. It feels like Santa’s workshop around here and we are his busy elves! Our rooms are stacked full of knitted caps, books, gloves, and wooden toys. The spirit of the holidays is alive and well in this place!

In this issue of Milk & Honey you will see articles thanking people from all of the country who make it possible for The Craddock Center to serve the children in Southern Appalachia.

They send us homemade knitted caps and wooden toys, gloves, and books to make sure our children feel loved and stay warm. We also have financial supporters that enable us to buy the gloves and books that are not donated.

There are indeed 1,130 children in our area that do feel loved and special. I wish you could see their smiling and excited faces as I have. I wish you could feel their hugs and hear their “thank yous” as I have.

Know that you are making a difference. See their smiling faces in the pictures in the newsletter! Thank you!


Giving Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Without you, we could not enrich the lives of the children and families we have reached out to the last 21 years and particularly the 18 months during this pandemic.  I keep going back to part of our mission  statement…”We serve by Sharing.”  Our donors exemplify this!

Sincere thanks to the donors who responded on November 29, 2022, on Giving Tuesday. Your generosity ensures the work of The Craddock Center is sustained and the children and families we serve continue to reap the benefits of our programs.

Mineral Springs Supports The Craddock Center

The Craddock Center is excited about its new relationship with the Mineral Springs Center in Blue Ridge, GA. Volunteers from Mineral Springs are now coming to The Craddock Center to help us prepare books for our children. They also helped pack hundreds of gloves for our delivery on 11/09/22.

Mineral Springs Center, Inc. is a non-profit agency that provides services to adults with developmental disabilities.  They provide community access at both the group and individual levels, and specialized medical supplies/equipment. They have provided services to adults with developmental disabilities for 49 years. They currently serve individuals in the Fannin County, Gilmer County, and Union County areas. Go to mineralspringscenter.org to learn more about this wonderful organization.

They have many individuals who love to volunteer and serve the community.  A support staff resource provides transportation to The Craddock Center and supports the individual in the volunteer activities.  These volunteers bring so much enthusiasm and a desire to help the community. The Craddock Center is grateful for this new relationship and looks forward to having more of their volunteers in the future!

Thank You Blue Jeans Pizza and Pasta

Thank you Ken Brenneman and Blue Jeans Pizza and Pasta for hosting our second Craddock Center night. We had a great evening and raised LOTS of money for the purchase of books for our children. Kirk Cameron, the Executive Director of The Craddock Center and a volunteer, Michael Kilpatrick, served as waiters, bartenders, bus boys, and fundraisers for the evening. Ken was a gracious host and ensured that Michael and Kirk were successful in serving our guests.

Thank you to everyone that came out to support The Craddock Center during this fun-filled evening!


Songs & Stories 2023

The Craddock Center is excited to announce Songs & Stories on February 4, 2023, at 3:00 pm. It will be held at The Craddock Center at 186 Fred Craddock Drive, Cherry, Log GA 30522. As always, admission is free, and donations are appreciated. The money raised will go towards the purchase of new books for the little ones we serve. The Craddock Center offers Songs & Stories in honor of Helen Lewis. This annual performance includes musicians and storytellers who share the best of Appalachia’s unique culture and traditions.

The Craddock Center is especially excited and honored that John McCutcheon will be returning as the performer for this event.

The Washington Post describes John as folk music’s “Rustic Renaissance Man,” a moniker flawed only by its understatement. “Calling John McCutcheon a ‘folksinger’ is like saying Deion Sanders is just a football player…” (Dallas Morning News). Besides his usual circuit of major concert halls and theaters, John is equally at home in an elementary school auditorium, a festival stage or at a farm rally. He is a whirlwind of energy packing five lifetimes into one.

But it is in live performance, like our Songs & Stories event, that John feels most at home. It is what has brought his music into the lives and homes of one of the broadest audiences any folk musician has ever enjoyed. People of every generation and background seem to feel at home in a concert hall when John McCutcheon takes the stage, with what critics describe as “little feats of magic,” “breathtaking in their ease and grace…,” and “like a conversation with an illuminating old friend.”

Please mark your calendars now for this exciting event and join us on February 4, 2023, at 3:00 pm.

New Books, Knitted Hats and Gloves!! 

An Annual Tradition

On 11/09/2022, volunteers from The Craddock Center delivered new children’s books, hand-made, knitted hats and gloves to the 1,130 little ones we serve. The area we serve consists of nine (9) counties including Dawson, Gilmer, Fannin, Lumpkin, Pickens, Towns, and Union Counties in Georgia, Polk County in Tennessee, and Cherokee County in North Carolina.

Our volunteers deliver messages of hope and happiness through the children’s joy-filled experiences of new books, a warm hat, and a pair of gloves. Our mission of “Happy & Hope. We Deliver” is a mission in action that comes alive each day through the work of The Craddock Center.

Thanks to the Clipper Petroleum Foundation for their financial support to purchase books.

Thank you also to Lisa’s Libraries, South State Bank, and United Community Bank for their financial support to purchase gloves for this year’s event. Thanks also to the following volunteers for making this wonderful annual event a success:  Maureen Hicks, Melba Gandy, Marcia Congdon, Marcia Lehman, Bev Cook, Debbie Martin, Beth Roberts, Joe Cantwell & Patti O’Dell and United Community Bank.

Hats off!!!

Winters in the mountains can be cold, and many of the children we serve do not have adequate clothing for the cold, winter months. A warm, knitted hat, helps tremendously in preventing loss of critical body heat in the very young. During our visit from our volunteers on 11/09/22, the children we serve received these cozy, hand-made, knitted hats. What would we do without these talented supporters who knit these wonderfully colorful hats with lots of love and care?

Thanks to the following for donating over 1600 hats:  Ann Grant, Marcia Congdon, Janet Elder, Cindy Minick, Lynn Starr, Lisa’s Libraries, Peachtree Christian Church, the Encouragement Project from Alpharetta, GA, and the Fiber Arts Group of the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association. You can donate your handmade knitted hats to The Craddock Center all year. Please call 706-632-1772 for more information.

What’s New with the Cub Scouts

Our Cub Scout Pack has been giving back. They helped raise 350 pounds of canned for a local food pantry. They also received donations for managing parking at a recent Festival. As a result, they gave $714 to the Gilmer Food Pantry and earned $3,000 for the Pack.

The Pack recently hosted a NOVA event at The Craddock Center that focused on earth sciences such as weather, geology, volcanoes, and oceanography. They built volcanoes as a part of this fun afternoon.