Elon Homes for Children was founded in Elon, North Carolina, as an orphanage in 1907. The original seeds were planted with 65 cents and a dream.
In 1892, a young lady deposited the sixty-five cents into an offering plate at a church meeting and made the statement that she would like the gift to grow and become an orphanage. It took several years for the money to grow to the point that the young lady’s dream could become a reality.
The Christian Orphanage opened its doors on January 28, 1907. It was operated by the Southern Convention of Christian Churches until 1931. At that time, the Congregational and Christian Churches merged, whereupon Elon Homes became an institution of the Southern Convention of these churches.
In February 1964, the name was changed from the Congregational Christian Homes for Children to Elon Homes for Children Inc., because the agency had become an institution of the newly formed United Church of Christ and was one of the denomination’s thirteen children’s homes. At one time, the organization was the only childcare institution of the Southern Convention of the Congregational Christian Churches.
Boys Town of North Carolina, which was founded in Charlotte in 1970, merged with Elon Homes for Children in 1985 and soon added services for girls. The agency’s campus was relocated to Charlotte at that time.
Over the years, services have been adjusted to best meet the needs of at-risk and otherwise disadvantaged children in the region. Presently, there is a varied and dynamic group of programs with strong emphasis on education, life skills and employment to prepare children and youth to lead independent and fulfilling lives.