Solar farm proposal could help Thomasville nonprofit

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THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- The Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina sits just outside downtown Thomasville. Blake Ragsdale is the communications director for the nonprofit. He believes the peaceful campus is the perfect place for children and families to restart their lives.

"The goal is to provide healing and hope to a lot of children that don't have a lot of hope," Ragsdale said.

The people living on campus are dealing with serious concerns like abuse and neglect. With the community's assistance, the nonprofit provides a stable home and counselors.

"We are so thankful for others who have a heart, for helping children and families," Ragsdale said. "Their giving goes a long way so we can provide the cottage homes they need and the services they need."

The Baptist Children's Homes has a multimillion dollar budget and survives on community contributions. So the woods near the campus could be the key to keeping things going.

"We are excited that Duke Energy came to us about installing a solar farm," Ragsdale said.

Duke Energy will lease the land from the nonprofit and build a solar farm. Payments from Duke Energy will give the Baptist Children's Homes another revenue source.

Kelvin Thorne grew up with people that lived at the Children's Homes. He knows first hand the positive impact the organization carries.

"I grew up with the Mills Homes kids, I am from Thomasville, it helps them to be able to have an extra resource because it's not funded like it use to be," Thorne said.

The partnership isn't a done deal. There are a few zoning issues. But everyone involved believes the problems will be solved. The Thomasville City Council will hold a public hearing at 7 West Guilford St. on Monday, Aug. 20, at 7 pm. After the public hearing, city council could vote to approve the solar farm.

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