John Tolsch, a Boys Home of Virginia alumnus, goes the extra mile to spread the word about a place he used to call home. On Sunday, October 2, the Boys Home logo was proudly displayed on the #47 Xfinity racecar. The logo was trimmed in pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month. John has worked with Nascar for ten years, adding the Boys Home logo when there is an open spot on a racecar. He uses his own money to pay for the advertisement spot, which often comes with a hefty price.
John was a resident from 1979-1981, arriving when he was thirteen years old. He states, “I saw a positive change almost immediately: my grades improved, I was more disciplined and I grew spiritually. I also enjoyed being in the Boys Home Singers.” Two former houseparents, Ms. Huffman and Ms. Rice, stood out as impactful to him. John shares, “They treated me like a second son. I am grateful to have had them in my life.” When asked what motivates him to continuously give back, he explains, “Boys Home was a blessing to me and my brother. They gave us so much. Now, I want to give back and spread the word about such a great organization.” Boys Home is grateful for John’s support of the program, helping to provide a new path toward success for many young men.
Boys Home was excited to welcome alumnus Derrick Cash back to campus. He offered an incredible testimony of redemption to current students and staff. In the early 2000s, Derrick enrolled and then departed from the Boys Home program three times. Although he was unable to succeed while at Boys Home, a seed was planted. After several years of difficulties, he reached a turning point and committed his life to Christ. During his testimony, Derrick stated, “I am not a speaker, pastor or a counselor. I am you. I sat in that very same seat. Be open to the Boys Home program. Everyone is here to help you. You can choose the harder path or listen to what I’m saying now. The choice is yours. Put your faith first. Christ will take you where you are now. He is not asking for a cleaned-up version.”
Derrick’s visit was prompted by a social media post by Donnie Costigan, Boys Home’s director of athletics and recreation who was requesting new bikes for the current students. After seeing the post, Derrick sprung into action. He stated, “My philosophy is go big or go home.” He raised $10,000 and purchased bikes, hygiene products, athletic equipment, school supplies, tools, an Amazon Fire TV, laptops and more for Boys Home. He received support from his wife Heather, children Bryson and Josie, Terry Martin from the Buena Vista Sheriff’s Office, the Rockbridge community and residents in Rockingham County! Derrick said, “All of the items in the gym are waiting for you. Enjoy! What happened is a gift from God. I am merely the vessel. God can, God does and God will.”
Derrick currently lives in Broadway, Virginia. He is married to Heather Cash and has three children. Boys Home is grateful for Derrick sharing his story and for the generous donations. The vision at Boys Home is simple: create a community that inspires young men to positively impact those around them. Derrick Cash has a wonderful testimony that embodies the Boys Home vision.