What began as a place for kids to play soon became a second home to high schoolers and preschoolers alike. We sat down with the founder of Miss Betty’s Place, Betty Taylor, to chat about her efforts.
“One day, it was like God just said, Hey, look around. You’ve got kids here that need something. We live in a mobile home park in Hamilton, and the kids really had nowhere to play. This was 10 years ago. My husband and I are both retired, and when a trailer came up for sale, we felt like God was telling us to do something. My dad left me some money when he passed away, and I thought, Well, Dad loved kids. I’ll use that money and start a children’s church.
“We started two nights a week doing services on a children’s level. Then it got to where they’d come in and say, “We’re hungry,” and then, “I don’t understand my homework.” Before we knew it we were outgrowing the place. There was a trailer up the road for sale that had one of the biggest yards in the park, so in 2015 I sold the old place, and in our new one we just grew and grew.
“It’s beyond snacks now; it’s regular meals. In the summer, it’s meals five days a week. We have a small library. We do school supplies, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter. We still do Bible study; we haven’t let that fall, but it’s nondenominational and we don’t force it on them. Anything the kids need, if I can put my hands on it—and usually God will show me what direction to go—we get it. We never officially named it. The kids call it Miss Betty’s Place, and we just go with it.” —As told to Jennifer Merritt