Monday, July 22, 2019

UPDATE Week of July 22


John, Marty, Ned, and Jake
On Thursday, I had the chance to eat at one of my favorite eating establishments in Winston-Salem: the Samaritan Inn. Not only that but they put me up for the night!



Look at these faces!

Hannah Blaine is from Lexington, SC and is a graduate of Clemson University. She has an amazing heart for special needs children and plans to attend Occupational Therapy School post Fellows

Reiley Burris is from the Charlotte Area and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Health and Exercise Science. She loves Volleyball and Coaching

Jessica Baker is from Mechanicsville, VA and graduated just down the road at Wake Forest University. She is a bookworm and recently went on a William Faulkner pilgrimage. She was a Young Life Capernaum Leader. 

Jackson Wood is from King, NC. He graduated from Davidson College as a history major. He actually went to Calvary Day School prior to going to college. 

Greg McClinton is from Winston-Salem. After graduating from WS Prep, he went to Wake where he played basketball. 

Mattie Weldon is from Florence, SC and attended Wofford College. She was also a Young Life Capernaum Leader and is spending the summer at St. Christopher's Camp on Seabrook Island

Haley Westervelt is from Lexington, NC and went to Wake Forest University. She has a love of medicine and plans to go to medical school post Fellows (she has already been taken - sorry y'all)

Jacob Pardue might look familiar to some of you. His brother, Bryan did the program last year! Jacob graduated from Western Carolina and true to this picture - he loves his mom. He also loves to fly fish

Sophie-Earle McCraw is from Charleston, SC and graduated from Clemson University. She is a creative at heart and is loads of fun. 

Joseph Dixon is from Mount Airy, NC and graduated from Wake Forest University. He was a philosophy major and has a huge heart for service. He will be working with Love Out Loud this year. 

Each one of these amazing young men and women need a family to welcome them into their home. What's needed is a bed, access to a bathroom, and a meal a week. In return, you'll get someone who will take out the trash and wash the dishes and be a role model for children or a good person to have a conversation with.

If you are open and interested (even half-interested) - contact Ned Erickson (336) 413-4918
or Virginia Perry (336) 403-9218

If you'd like to talk to a former host, let us know and we will connect you!


The Fellows are looking for an Assistant Director!

This is about the most exciting news ever for the Director! 

We are looking for a dual threat organizational/relational machine who can help coordinate all program aspects of the Winston-Salem Fellows Program plus spend time caring for and walking alongside the female Fellows.

This is a Part-Time, Hourly Position (roughly 15-20 hours per week) with a lot of flexibility built into it.

For the full Job Description, please contact or call (336) 413-4918


One of the big highlights this week is that Lia had the chance to share with the youth from a couple of our parter churches during their Mission Trip called Seek the City. 

Lia shares with youth at Seek the City
What a treat to be in the audience
I'm trying to upload the video of her talk but it hasn't published yet. I'll keep you posted.

I stopped in to see the new office at Big Brothers Big Sisters - and Julia. 

Moji continues to light up Winston-Salem

On Saturday, I got to be a Run Buddy at Beat the Heat. Me and Jordan slaughtered the Fun Run. 
MEANWHILE: Last years Fellows got together to celebrate Garrett Briggs' birthday!

Sunday Night I had the chance to speak to the counselors and staff at Camp Timberlake. (I also used the occasion to expose David to this awesome camp. (He told me he wants to go next year! Yay!)
Future Camper

We had to wake up at 5:45 to make it back home

David jumped right in

Meanwhile, Anna Rose got two blue ribbons at a horse show!

Ethan Smith wants you to give to the Fellows
As you can imagine, bringing on a part time staff is going to increase our need for community support. Please consider how you would like to contribute.

Send checks to
Winston-Salem Fellows
PO Box 20514
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

or give online at

Thanks. We love our donors!


a few tidbits for the week to come

Monday: Meeting with John, Todd and Tim with Leadership Edge as we plan a partnership to take our mentoring to the next level. 

Tuesday: Home Inspection on Old House - PRAY!!!

Wednesday: Exec Lunch

Thursday: Interview Lunch

Friday: Lunch with Old Young Life Friend...

Thanks All!

The Fellows will be here before you know it!

Monday, July 15, 2019

UPDATE Week of July 15

Alex and Camille join me for a little Moji this week
It was great to see some of our inaugural class members this week. Alex was in town for work (she is still with her Fellows employer (Sunshine Beverages) but has expanded her territory to all of Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. 

Camille has finished nursing school and had seven job offers. She is starting in August in the Stroke Unit at Baptist Hospital. 

So proud of these gals. 



One of the best parts of the Fellows Program is Host Families. 

Grace with her Host Family
Host Families come in all shapes and sizes. 

Empty nesters? YES!

Families with young children? YES!

Families with teenagers? YES!

Julia with her family

Aly with her host mom
 Katie Moretz another Host Mom has this to say.

The relationship we developed with our fellow (Tim) was really special.  Our boys often cheered when he walked through the door.  Though he wasn't around very often, we looked forward to the Tuesday evening dinners that we shared together most weeks.  We aren't the most tech-savy, and Tim was a big help when we needed to learn to navigate new tech, and we got to teach him a few things about living life around the house as well.  It was a blessing to us to have the opportunity to share the home God has given us, and Tim will always be an honorary member of the family.  

The Ask:
- a bedroom
- access to a bathroom (can be shared)
- one family meal a week

The Benefit:
- you get to make a difference in a young adult's life
- you get a helping hand with the dishes
- you get the blessing of a life long friendship
- you get an invitation to a wedding someday

Fellows are NOT exchange students. They are NOT air b&b-ers. They are USER-FRIENDLY, ACTIVE PARTICIPANT ADULTS who will join in the life of the family. 

CONTACT Ned Erickson, Virginia Perry, or Shannon Rainey today! Or email

Sarah Wilkins with her host dad baking cookies


It was another full week in the life of the Fellows. The Board is in full swing, getting the budget approved, strategizing jobs, host families, mentors, and other program items.

I am so thankful to have such an engaged, talented, positive and committed board! It's one of the secret sauce ingredients that make the WS Fellows so special.

Other Highlights.

Nigel Alston presented 40 free tickets to Big Brothers Big Sisters for the National Black Theater Festival thanks to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. Fellows Julia and Abby were there to receive it!


Hope VBS was all rainbows and sunshines

Lia and Jen, friends til the end

Anna Rose turns 13!

How did this happen!


We Celebrated Dakota!

Praying for Dakota

Dakota Lee, member of the inaugural class this year will join the staff of RUF at Wake Forest University!

Couldn't be more excited for Wake or Dakota!


Remember: the Fellows needs financial support to be able to run. If you have the means to be part of the support team give to 

or send checks to 

PO BOX 20514
Winston-Salem, NC 27120



We have the space to take on a couple more Fellows. If you know of a recent college graduate who is still trying to figure out his or her future (ok that's like all of them) please put them in contact with us today!


We need to nail down JOBS!
We need to nail down HOST FAMILIES!
We need to nail down PROGRAM ITEMS!
We need NAILS!

Seriously - it's time to step up. Please reach out and volunteer to fill a need this week!

Bill McClain and Nigel Alston have volunteered. 
Other Stuff:
Lia is speaking at Seek the City on Monday
Samaritan Inn on Thursday
Beat the Heat on Saturday
Night of Destruction after that
Ned is speaking at Camp Timberlake on Sunday

More Photos

We are settling into our new home

The rocking chairs have finally been moved

Anna Rose and David almost hug

That's more realistic

Will and David - lifelong friends
What's with David and headlocks

letter David wrote to local firefighters

Celebrating friendship with some of our lifer friends

Monday, July 08, 2019

UPDATE Week of July 8


We picked up Anna Rose from Camp Cheerio on Saturday

A Plug for Christian McConnon. 

Fellows Alum Christian McConnon speaks at NCS about his Fellows experience and his new job!

It was an eventful week for the Fellows Director and his family. 

On MONDAY, we finished moving. (Let me know if you need movers - we now have a guy!)

On TUESDAY, we deep cleaned the old house just in time for four showings. (I sent Lia and David up to Columbus for our annual Fourth of July trip and stayed behind to deal with boxes and contractors.) I then spent a few hours at the New Office!

On WEDNESDAY, I had a great meeting with Truett Williams at Calvary Baptist, visited friends at the New Young Life Office across the street, then headed downtown for a couple hours before driving up to Camp Cheerio to surprise Anna Rose!

Anna Rose and her daddy with a rainbow

Camp Cheerio's big day of the year is the Third of July (they call it TOJ). There is a big community cookout, skits, and fireworks!

Come on Dad. Stop taking pictures!!!


On THURSDAY, I spent a few hours up at the mountains before heading back to town to prep for another showing and for Lia and David to get home. 

It's a long story. But I get tot he house and turns out our washer was dripping the last couple days and I had an hour to dry up a big puddle in our carpet. I call the realtor. She cancels the showing. I send out a desperate plea to a few prayer warriors. I stop the drip. Get towels from the new house. Dry. There is a knock at the door. The folks with the showing come anyway. I explain the situation. They want to see the house anyway. I give them a tour. It's a wonderful family. Just who we've been praying for. They look right past the drip and make an offer on Friday. We signed the contract. PRAISE THE LORD! The one day our house isn't perfect - the perfect people show up. Amen. 

Meanwhile, Lia and David are enjoying Upper Arlington and the 4th!

The Golden Bear of UA

Lia's sister got to be part of a proposal. No. She didn't know the people! Ha!


On FRIDAY, it was a full day of meetings. We have a few potential Fellows coming down the pike. Praying for 3-4!

On SATURDAY, we picked up Anna Rose.

On SUNDAY, I was working on building a carport at the new house and sliced my leg.

I'd show you the picture of the cut but it would make some of you pass out

Eight stitches later, I've been told to take the week off running. Not cool. I'll give it a day or two and reassess. #goodpatient


We have one outstanding offer (double meaning intended). 

We have an interview we are hoping to set up for Tuesday. 

We are awaiting an application from a guy I had coffee with on Friday. 


I'd love a few more applicants. Let's go!


Reiley is one of our new fellows!

Meet Reiley
She just graduated from UNC with a degree in Health and Exercise Science. She is currently interviewing with Novant.

I wanted to share her MAILING LIST if you want to join her prayer and support team.

Reiley needs a host family, a mentor, and a good church home. If you want to be an answer to our prayers - please contact


We are in our last month of the fiscal year and we would love to finish it on a high note.

If you would like to contribute, send checks to

Winston-Salem Fellows
PO BOX 20514
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

And change addresses!!!!!

You can also GIVE ONLINE


MONDAY - meeting with incoming Fellow Jackson Wood, Exec Lunch, Phone call with potential employer, office time and Hope VBS!

TUESDAY - GOYBADS, YMCA Board Mtg., hanging with Mathu G., rotary, interview with Mattie Weldon, Hope VBS, last swim meet of the summer!

WEDNESDAY - Fellows Director Call, office, (lunch is open - any takers?), Prayer at Young Life, Hope VBS, and Fellows Board Meeting!

THURSDAY - Coffee with Jason, office, another open lunch! what is this?, Leadership Winston-Salem Action Team, Fundraising Event for Dakota Lee (Class of 2017!)

FRIDAY - Coffee with Logan, office, a third open lunch in a row. WHAT!!!, and dinner with friends. 



More Cousins

Code Names

You can tell they are Totally on the same page

Rainbow of Cheerio

Good times at Cheerio
Anna Rose can now fit into Mom's shirts!

Bryan swatted a fly