LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The excitement on Layla’s face was obvious as she posed from the driver seat of her new car. It’s a major milestone in the teen mom’s life that would not have been possible without Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes.

“Our mission is to build, strengthen and restore Arkansas families for God’s glory,” Chris Larmoyeux, Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes director of mission advancement, said.

The organization has been serving Arkansas children and families since 1894. It serves the community through a number of ministries, including statewide counseling, family stability and advocacy, adoption and foster care.

Layla was placed with a foster family through Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes. After being with the family for about a year, the pandemic happened.

“It presented a lot of challenges for Layla, especially with school because so much of her school was all online, but her foster parents had to work during the day,” Larmoyeux said.

Another foster family who goes to church with Layla’s foster family allowed her to come over and do school work.

“She actually completed two years of school in the one year and was able to finish school. She did driver’s education, got her driver’s license,” Larmoyeux said.

With the help of both foster families, her church and Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes, Layla was able to get a car, which provided her with transportation to work and to the daycare for her child.

Layla’s story was just one example of why Rainwater, Holt & Sexton awarded Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes with the Difference Maker award and a $1,000 donation.

“It is encouraging that Rainwater, Holt & Sexton recognized that and that they wanted to encourage us to continue doing what we’re doing and we just really appreciate the great honor to be recognized by them,” Larmoyeux said.