Officials with the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home (SMCH), have announced that in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, a major renovation project has taken place on the campus. The announcement comes jointly from Dr. Walt Mauldin, executive director of SMCH, and his wife, Tammie, who serves as Public Relations and Development Director.

Thanks to Bishop Stan Holder and First Lady Dr. Teresa Holder for raising $125,000 to renovate Cottage 8 which is sponsored by the DelMarVa-DC region. Stan Holder serves as the Administrative Bishop for DelMarVa-DC, while Dr. Teresa Holder is a member of the SMCH Board of Directors.

Teresa Holder visited the cottage along with some of her board members and immediately challenged the Women’s Ministries of DelMarVa-DC to raise the funds. The cottage’s renovations have included expansion of the layout from four to eight bedrooms. Each youth will now have their own bedroom. Instead of two bathrooms, the residents will enjoy four full bathrooms. Another priority was to replace the existing walls with a concrete-based drywall system, as well as install large fire-coded windows, an updated security system, a totally renovated kitchen, and a commercial washer and dryer. In addition, a new roof was installed, and an interior window was placed in the caregiver’s office.

Tammie Mauldin stated, “We were so excited to hear that Teresa Holder and the DelMarVa-DC Women’s Ministries had set a generous fundraising goal for their cottage. This is the largest one-time gift by any state in several years! The Holders and her women’s team really have a heart for The Home.” Tammie and Teresa Holder first talked about the region’s desire to do something significant for SMCH when Tammie spoke at their women’s conference two years ago, but the region’s plans were delayed due to Covid-19. Their fundraising goal has now been reached, and SMCH is so appreciative of this wonderful gesture.

Sevierville residents Ron and Betty Ogle oversaw the renovations and graciously committed to pay for any construction overages. In total, the project costs exceeded $200,000.

“What a tremendous blessing the Ogles have been to SMCH,” the Mauldins said.

Dr. Teresa Holder said, “We want to challenge other states to follow our lead. Every cottage on the campus needs to be updated. Our plan should serve as a model for other cottages to follow. We want our children and young people to live in a place that is just as nice as the home in which many of us live.” She alluded to the fact that any state can participate. To be involved, it is not necessary for a particular state or region to be officially recognized as a “cottage sponsor.” The future goal is for every cottage on the SMCH campus to be remodeled in the coming months, so SMCH welcomes everyone to join our fundraising efforts.