Answering the call to serve as UMCH’s new board chair was easy for Charlie Adair. He believes in the mission, he’s in awe of the staff, and he’s amazed at the resiliency of the children and youth in the ministry’s care.

“Every time I come home from a board meeting, I can’t stop talking about the good things they’re doing,” said Adair, a board member since 2014. “Organizations like ours are desperately needed. There are a lot of children who are hurting through no fault of their own.”

Adair, who lives in Tuscaloosa and is director of business development for Promus Holdings, is grateful for the groundwork set by Glenda Allred, immediate past chair. “Glenda has done and will continue to do so much for UMCH,” he said. “She has always put the children first and foremost. That’s what I admire about her.”

Allred, Deputy Finance Director for the State of Alabama, served as board chair for two years and as a board member for six. She continues to chair the Strategic Planning Committee, which has recently focused on the ministry’s infrastructure. In addition to divesting long-held real estate properties and using the proceeds to directly benefit programs, UMCH leadership is working to make improvements at its many group homes, including the construction of the new Babies First home, she said.

“My hope is that the last few years of improving our infrastructure and building new programs will position us to provide children and youth more opportunities for a better life for another 130 years,” she said.

UMCH is blessed with generous donors and partner churches, and Adair wants to continue to ensure the strong financial foundation of the ministry.

The love demonstrated by UMCH staff, leadership and supporters makes that task easier. “The passion they have for helping children is just tremendous. They never waver from that.” Adair said.