• By Elaine Brelsford
  • Posted:
  • Activities, Events, News

Boys Home Celebrates Giving Tuesday!

You’ve heard of Black Friday, and possibly Cyber Monday. But have you heard of Giving Tuesday? Celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday provides a platform that inspires the donation of time, resources, and talents to address local challenges. Giving Tuesday engages nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses, corporations, families, and individuals to start the holiday season in the spirit of generosity. In its seventh year, Giving Tuesday is popular and growing in more than 150 countries. 

Our community is invited to start the holiday season off right by giving to Boys Home! All Giving Tuesday donations will support our Accelerated Reading program, which encourages students to read using individualized goals, reading comprehension quizzes, and a variety of prizes. This year, the Accelerated Reading program has been expanded to include all Boys Home students.  

On November 26th and 27th, Boys Home is celebrating Giving Tuesday in a special way! Students and staff will kick off the holiday season with two days of emphasis on kindness and generosity. You are invited to join us by sharing how you are spreading kindness and generosity in your own lives. 

For more details, take a look at our Facebook page on 11/26 and 11/27. 

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” (Aesop)

Highest achievers in Accelerated Reading and their prizes!
Make your Giving Tuesday donation here!


  • By Lauren Hanna
  • Posted:
  • Alumni, News

Boys Home Hall of Fame 2018


On Saturday, September 29, 2018, Boys Home of Virginia hosted its 21st annual Hall of Fame Banquet in the Ben Parrott Dining Hall, located on the campus of Boys Home in Covington, Virginia. This honor is given to those who have either made a difference in their communities because of Boys Home or who have made a difference at Boys Home. Following a dinner attended by students, members of the staff, and invited guests, three individuals were inducted into the Hall of Fame. The inductees were Wayland F. Grubbs, Thomas “T.J.” Jones, Jr. and Bernard “Bud” Syme. Boys Home Executive Director Donnie E. Wheatley served as master of ceremonies.


Wayland F. Grubbs was the first inductee. The presentation was made by daughter Anita Harris who spoke about her father as her hero. Wayland was a resident of Boys Home from 1957 to 1960 where he was active as a basketball player and was a member of Boy Scout Troop 66. He returned to his home community of Lynchburg prior to high school graduation. He married at eighteen and his wife, Linda, was present to see her husband accept the award. When Mr. Grubbs spoke, he talked about the importance of faith and family and how both have impacted his life, especially when he got married and he and his wife created a home together. Mr. Grubbs addressed the current Boys Home students and urged them to not be discouraged during times of difficulty. He offered them a message of hope as he described his efforts to get an education and how he pursued various certifications in the trades field. Mr. Grubbs became a certified contractor, received a license to preach and serves as an ordained deacon at Living Word Baptist Church in Forest, Virginia. Mr. Grubbs ended his acceptance of the award by encouraging the students at Boys Home, urging them to not become discouraged, but to persevere and pursue their dreams.


Thomas “T. J.” Jones, Jr. was the second inductee. T. J. was a resident of Boys Home from 1983-1991. He played varsity basketball, football, and was on the track team at Covington High School where he graduated in 1991. He also played on the Boys Home varsity basketball team. Pastor Scott Reece, senior pastor at Goshen Baptist Church (VA) talked about his relationship with T. J.  and how he considers him a brother at heart. He used each letter in the word “brother” to paint a picture of T. J.’s characteristics as a husband, father, and friend. Pastor Claudette Wilcher of Bell’s Valley Worship Center spoke about how T. J.’s experience at Boys Home has led the congregation of Bell’s Valley to choose Boys Home as a mission of their church, benefitting not only the students at Boys Home, but blessing the congregation of Bell’s Valley as well. Then, Mr. Wheatley read a stirring letter from Mr. Mike Vogel, vice president of operations of Van Wyk, Inc. T. J. drives a transport truck for Van Wyk and Mr. Vogel wrote of T. J.’s dedication to his job, his strong work ethic, and his value to Van Wyk, Inc. as an employee. In honor of T. J.’s induction into the Hall of Fame, Van Wyk, Inc. made a donation to Boys Home which will include a bronze plaque in honor of T.J. Boys Home Support Services Director Bobby Trice introduced T. J. When T. J. addressed the crowd, he talked about Boys Home as a place that provided security for him as a boy, giving him a clean bed to sleep in and three meals a day. He reminisced about playing football for Covington High School and being impacted by the leadership of Boys Home, including being tutored by Mary Wheatley, who taught him not just how to read better, but how to understand what he read and how that has positively impacted his life. T. J. accepted his award with his wife, Tammy, and was also accompanied by daughters Maddy and Hannah.


The final inductee was Bernard “Bud” Syme, a longtime friend and supporter of Boys Home. Ever since Bud heard about Boys Home via a presentation made at his church years ago, he has been a tireless advocate for the organization. He has been a board member, treasurer, and fundraiser on behalf of Boys Home, beginning his service in 2005 and continuing to the present.  Mr. Wheatley presented Bud with his award. Bud’s wife, Boolie, and Blair, his daughter, shared the experience with him. Bud graduated from Petersburg High School in Petersburg, Virginia, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Randolph Macon College. He served his country in the United States Army and the National Guard from 1968 to 1976. He was self-employed in the retail tire business from 1983 until 1989 and is currently the owner and manager of Telcom Consulting Group. Bud has been active in both Christ and Grace Episcopal Church in Petersburg and Galilee Church in Virginia Beach. He served on the city of Petersburg’s planning commission and has been active in the Porsche Club of America and the Mercedes-Benz Club of America. He has been a member of the Country Club of Petersburg and Princess Anne Country Club. When he spoke, Bud contended that the Boys Home story convinces others to become involved in the mission, and he has found that telling the Boys Home story is easy. Bud has invested generously in Boys Home with his time and resources and had encouraged many others to do so. Bud has proven to be a steadfast friend and ambassador to this mission over the last thirteen years and his impact will continue as he works to educate and influence others as to the purpose and value of Boys Home of Virginia.


Mr. Wheatley shared some closing remarks prior to dismissal. It was a special evening filled with inductees, families and friends, and students of Boys Home. Thanks to each of these individuals who have lived in such a way to have been inspirational to others and who have made a difference at Boys Home. We are grateful for your investment in the mission of Boys Home of Virginia.



  • By Lauren Hanna
  • Posted:
  • News

Jennifer Holestin Recognized for 25 Years of Service to Boys Home


Jennifer Holestin receives recognition for 25 years of service to Boys Home of Virginia. Jennifer has held other positions at Boys Home throughout her time but now works in the business office as accounts payable clerk. When asked about Jennifer as an employee, Director of Support Services Bobby Trice says, “Jennifer has dedicated 25 years of her life to the mission of Boys Home and the young men we serve. She is meticulous in her duties and is always willing to help a student or fellow coworker. It takes an element of sacrifice and a true belief in the work you do to stay with an organization that long. I’m extremely proud of her and the work she does. Jennifer has been a part of the Boys Home family for a long time, and I look forward to working with her for years to come.” Jennifer says the favorite aspect of her job are the people she gets to work with each day. Congratulations, Jennifer!

Director of Support Services Bobby Trice presents Jennifer with 25 year certificate

  • By Lauren Hanna
  • Posted:
  • News

Boys Home Board of Trustee Member Jim Scott Writes Article for Service Electric Company’s Monthly Newsletter


The Old Rugged Cross

Service Electric Company Donates old American Electric Power’s Power Poles

Good news is something that we all need more of and this sweet story is from Jim Scott who helps Service Electric Company give back to the community.

Boys Home of Virginia houses and educates nearly 60 at-risk boys, ages 6-18, who are impacted poverty or family instability. Boys Home was founded in 1906 and continues to teach boys how to become successful men.

All successful men were once boys. But not all boys become successful men. Sometimes, they’re missing positive role models or a supportive quality of life. We provide both—and successful men are the result. Men who will take care of their families. Men who will contribute their gifts. Men who will be role models for the next generation of men. At Boys Home of Virginia, we show our boys that each day is a step toward that success.

When students come to “the Hill” they have often faced challenges like poverty, failure, or an unstable home life. Given that, many have questions, fears, and reservations. Faith has been part of the Boy’s Home mission since its founding. After all, it takes faith to welcome a boy confidently, and to offer him a better way of life. With their on-campus chapel and chaplain, students have time to develop a unique understanding of their relationship with God.

This heritage is a fundamental part of the Boys Home experience. By showing young men a life model of ethical, caring people with a spiritual mission, Boys Home offers them the chance to gain the wisdom that flows from a spiritual foundation.

Jim Scott saw the chance for Service Electric Company to offer something to Boys Home of Virginia that would really make a difference. Jim contacted Boys Home and offered to donate some old AEP wooden power poles in hopes that they could use them to make crosses for their Mountain Lodge on the mountain behind the Boys Home campus in Covington, Virginia.

Boys Home was as excited to get the poles as Jim was to be able to give them. The first AEP poles were used to make the first cross and stone prayer bench that was completed by hand by Mr. Louis Sarratt, a retired Navy Sea Bee, who is a Boys Home staff member. The material for the cross came from a couple of the old AEP power poles that SEC donated last fall. The stone came right from their mountain. Another cross was made from those old AEP wooden power poles to celebrate the eternal “Good News” of Easter. The entire staff and 61 students had a Sunrise Service and breakfast on Easter morning at the “Old Rugged Cross” on the mountain top above their campus.

Dr. Donnie Wheatley, Executive Director of Boys Home, sent his heartfelt thanks for the donation of the old wooden power poles that AEP would have otherwise thrown away. Truly, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

 To God be the glory,

Jim Scott