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R. C. Buckner didn’t come to Texas with plans to start an orphan’s home, but the Baptist preacher did God’s work wherever he landed.
He settled in Paris, Texas in 1860, when the state was still recovering from the Mexican War and settlers were fighting Native Americans, not to mention disease and drought. The country was on the brink of Civil War, and there was a lot of need. One of the biggest needs was that of an orphans’ home.
Buckner had the ability to feel for others, especially children. This drove him to organize a Deacon’s convention in 1877 to discuss the creation of an orphanage. Buckner initiated his first fundraising campaign, dropping a dollar in his hat and passing it among those gathered under a large oak tree. He raised $27, which provided the initial funds for the opening of the Buckner Orphans’ Home, now called Buckner Children’s Home in Dallas, Texas. The home admitted its first three orphans in 1879.
Today, Buckner International operates programs throughout the world, providing services that include residential child care, orphan care, adoption and foster-care services, prevention programs, senior adult services, missionary opportunities and a global humanitarian aid program, Shoes for Orphan Souls, which provides shoes for needy children around the world.