In spirit of the holiday season, co-founders Cole and Heidi Hamels are no strangers to giving. This morning, December 15th, 2017, Cole and Heidi are recognized for gifting their 32,000 square foot home on Table Rock Lake to Camp Barnabas – the largest gift in the history of Barnabas.
Located in Southwest Missouri, Camp Barnabas is a non-profit organization making dreams come true for individuals with special needs and chronic illnesses. Over the past 24 years, Barnabas has provided life-changing experiences to more than 75,000 campers and missionaries. “Seeing the faces, hearing the laughter, reading the stories of the kids they serve; there is truly nothing like it,” says Cole. “Barnabas makes dreams come true, and we felt called to help them in a big way.”
Barnabas also includes Barnabas Prep, a two-year faith-based collegiate program based in Branson, MO designed specifically to help students with special needs recognize their strengths and potential, while challenging them to grow into their best selves. It is important to recognize the power of education for every individual regardless of their circumstances.
“Our mission is to change lives through disability ministry, and we’ve been strategically looking for ways to expand our ministry outside of a summer camp,” says Jason Brawner, CEO. “We have no doubt that this gift will allow us to do just that.”
“Heidi and I are beyond thrilled to gift this home to Camp Barnabas and Barnabas Prep. This home started out as our dream, and now we get to share that dream with an incredible organization.
There are tons of amazing charities in Southwest Missouri. Out of all of these, Barnabas really pulled on our heartstrings. Seeing the faces, hearing the laughter, reading the stories of the kids they serve; there is truly nothing like it. Barnabas makes dreams come true, and we felt called to help them in a big way.
When we began to build our forever home, we were excited to put roots down in the Ozarks. We love all that Southwest Missouri represents: Family, values and making memories in the great outdoors. However, my professional career took another path, and I soon joined the Texas Rangers. After careful consideration, Heidi and I made the difficult decision to relocate our family to our current home in Dallas.
A piece of us will always be in the area, but with a new legacy and vision. Barnabas is doing great things, and we cannot wait to see how they grow their ministry. Heidi and I are extremely blessed, and this home is our opportunity to give back and make a significant impact for generations to come.”