Our House is a ministry of By Our Love, an Alabama non-profit corporation, that was born out of local mission outreach to families who live in Ridgecrest, an Auburn Housing Authority community. Our ministry is housed - quite literally - in two homes that are located in northwest Auburn along North Donahue Drive and Bedell Avenue.
Upon entering Our House, it is easy to see that LOVE LIVES HERE. God has graciously provided a Christian home environment in which the neighborhood children can grow spiritually, academically and socially. Many of our students have grown up coming to Our House after school for help with their school work, to spend time with friends and to participate in extracurricular activities.
We believe that we are called to love, serve and be present to our neighbors. Therefore, we continue to show the love of Jesus in practical ways and foster relationships that demonstrate our genuine care and concern for their spiritual, emotional and social well-being.
OUR HOUSE HISTORY
As we spend time with neighbors, we pray that our loving, serving, and mentoring of men, women, and children will be a partnership with God to draw them into a personal relationship with His Son.
MEET OUR BOARD & STAFF
Executive Director- REne Waldrop
Rene Waldrop is a graduate of Auburn University and Tulane Law School. For more than 20 years, Rene’ practiced corporate law with an emphasis on business entities, mergers, acquisitions and real estate. She is currently an instructor of Business Law at Auburn University and the Director of Our House. Rene’ uses her education and experience in administration, operation and fundraising for this ministry, but credits her Christian upbringing and love for the Lord as her motivation to love and serve the Our House children and their families.
Secretary/Treasurer- James Clemens
James Clemens earned Accounting and MBA degrees from Auburn University and went on to become the president and part owner of SouthWare Innovations. James and his wife, Linda have two daughters and a granddaughter who they enjoy spending time with them. They enjoy leading classes for engaged and married couples, and James is also involved in personal financial planning. Counseling and personal finance are the focus of his ministry efforts where he works to mentor young fathers and husbands along with helping children have the skills they need to break free from the cycle of poverty. He enjoys golf, weight lifting, and traveling.
Board member- Haley Brooks
Haley Brooks is from Birmingham, AL and is a graduate of Auburn University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science. She earned her Masters Degree from Clemson University and practiced athletic training for several years. She returned to school to receive her Teacher’s Certificate and is currently teaching Sixth Grade at Auburn Classical Academy. Haley and her husband, Jermile, have three boys, Caleb, Aiden and Hunter. Their family leads a serve team through the Dream Center that serves at Our House every First Saturday. Haley and her husband are also involved in their church’s pre-marital ministry, where they lead young couples as they prepare for marriage. They both have a passion to see kids reach their full potential and walk in the gifts and talents the Lord has blessed them with.
Board Member- Ellyn Hix
Ellyn Hix earned her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from Auburn University. Ellyn has retired from Auburn University and now serves as a volunteer at Our House. Ellyn and her husband have spent most of their marriage giving back to children in the Auburn community through coaching sports and serving as youth counselors at their church. Ellyn has a passion for building self-esteem in children to provide them with the foundation to be successful and make a difference in this world.
Board Member- Calvin Patrick
Calvin Patrick is a native of Seale, Alabama. He graduated from Chavala High School (currently Russell County High School). He is married to Alesia Patrick and they have three children and five grandchildren. Calvin has always been very family oriented and involved in the community and in ministry. He is Pastor of the Youth Ministry at True Deliverance Holiness Church, where he oversees programs and events that cater to the spiritual and social needs of the youth. He coaches, mentors, and develops leaders to assist him in the Youth Ministry. Calvin is also the Senior Director of the Changing Hearts and Destiny Outreach Ministry in the Education Department. In this role, he oversees the K-12 After school Tutorial Program and the Adult GED Preparation Classes Program. Calvin has been employed in various roles at Briggs and Stratton for over 15 years.
Director of operations- ouida lawrence
Ouida is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and is a dedicated advocate and seasoned educator. She is also a gifted community leader who is one of the four founders of EFEA (Exceptional Foundation of East Alabama), a nonprofit organization serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Ouida has worked in previous roles as a lead teacher, curriculum writer, and a strategist, but her heartbeat is philanthropic service through the lens of the Gospel. From developing an after school program for children to being a statewide data coordinator of a nonprofit, Ouida strives to create environments where people are set up to thrive in a community of engagement. By combining her experiences and unique skill set with the mission of Our House, Ouida continues the call on her life to build relationships and to minister to others in ways that encourage their personal success. During her free time, Ouida enjoys spending time with her husband, John, and their three daughters, Virginia, Ava, and Abby.
volunteer & program coordinator- reagan myers
Reagan will graduate from Auburn University in December of 2023 with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Science and a B.S. in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies. As a Make-A-Wish and SOZO Children volunteer during her high school years in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, Reagan discovered her love for non-profit work, particularly related to children. While at Auburn, she volunteered at Our House, studied innovations in foundation funding models as a research fellow, and served as the vice president of Kappa Omicron Nu, the national honor society for human sciences. Reagan also lived in Nepal over the summer of 2022 where she completed an internship at Higher Ground, an anti-human trafficking organization. These experiences opened her eyes to the impact of poverty on child development. Reagan is a goal-driven problem solver who is committed to growing as an advocate for our youth. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her loved ones, and being outdoors with her dog, Hazel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of frequently asked questions about Our House and our ministry. We hope this gives you the answers you are looking for. Please email email@example.com if you have any other questions.
Who can come to Our House?
School-aged children (K-12th) who live in or around Ridgecrest can come to Our House after school for a snack, tutoring and enrichment activities. We seek to build community with our neighbors and periodically host gatherings for the whole family – this is a fun time when parents, grandparents, younger siblings, and/or cousins of Our Kids join us, as well as others in the neighborhood.
Is Our House affiliated with a particular church?
Our House is a ministry of By Our Love, a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation. While it is a Christian ministry, we are not affiliated with a particular denomination or church – we simply love Jesus and love others. Our Founders and Board Members attend different churches and we receive support from a number of local churches.
What schools do the Our House kids attend?
Woodland Pines: K-2nd
East Samford: 7th
Auburn Jr. High: 8th-9th
Auburn High: 10th-12th
How is Our House different from Boys and Girls Club? Do you compete with Boys and Girls Club?
Our House is similar to Boys and Girls Club in certain ways, yet we operate within a Christian home environment. It is important to us for Our Kids to be loved and discipled, as well as to receive help with homework, etc. Like Boys and Girls Club, we serve students who can benefit from positive role models and a sense of community.
What is Breakfast Club?
A consistent team of volunteers hosts Breakfast Club at Our House on the first Saturday of each month. This is a wonderful time of food and fellowship for the whole family. In addition to serving a big breakfast, there is a Bible message and time to build relationships. Volunteers also help with various projects on an as needed basis.
How do I sign my child up for Our House?
We would love to be able to accommodate all the students who want to come to Our House, but our space is limited. Those who would like to be a part of Our House need to speak with a member of our staff and complete a registration form. We will make a determination based upon the age of the student and how many other students we already have in their grade. Priority is given to families who live in our neighborhood or to relatives of our current students. We do not accept elementary students who are not enrolled at Woodland Pines or Yarbrough.
How is Our House funded?
We have been blessed with the generous financial support of many individuals, local churches and several family foundations. As a result, we own both houses and are debt free. Monthly donors have committed funds to help cover a portion of our operating budget. Our fundraising efforts are focused around sharing our excitement over what God is doing through this ministry. We have not applied for government grants to support our work, as there are often strict guidelines and/or limitations on how those funds can be used.