A great tradition of the United Methodist Children's Home has been the annual Easter Egg Hunt, held each spring on the grounds of the Selma location. Buzz Carter, who grew up in the Children's Home, was one of the children in the first group of residents on the Selma Campus. Carter was adopted at 10 years old and moved in with his new family. As an adult, he started the tradition of Easter egg hunt. Children who find one of the four golden eggs receive a set of luggage to carry their belongings to a new home. To them, this is like a promise they will indeed be going to a new home.
"We have been able to trace the tradition back at least 84 years," said Clyde Cork, who took on the resposbility for the event when Catrter died in the mid-1980s. Cork and his wife Brenda, members of Gardendale-Mt. Vernon UMC in Gardendale, have made it a family affair. They work alongside son and daughter-in-law Bryan and Tammy Cork, who attend The Beacon, and daugher and son-in-law Juanita and Scott Sanderford of Christ Harbor UMC. The Sanderfords' church is also involved, sending their Cooks for Christ group to prepare lunch for the group each year.
With the closing of the Selma Campus, the Easter Egg Hunt will be moved this spring to Camp Sumatanga. "Rev. Bob Murray and the Sumatanga staff have graciously worked with us to make it possible for the tradition to go on," said Cork. Other traditions that will continue include giving four sets of luggage to the children who find the golden eggs, a backpack stuffed with toiletries for every child, and Pizza Hut gift cards. Cork says that the youth group from Alabaster First UMC helps hide the eggs, some stuffed with money, and assist with lunch and games.
Expanded plans may be possible this year with the move to Sumatanga. Organizers are working with DHR to arrange an overnight stay for some of the group home children, and volunteers plan to hold a concert Friday night preceding the big event on the Saturday before Easter. Church groups and individuals who wish to be involved can contact Clyde or Brenda Cork at 205-631-0177.