It is the mission of Promises Kept:
1. to provide college scholarships to area youth who exemplify sound Christian principles and strong academic work ethic while participating in athletic endeavors.
2. to provide needy children living in East Tennessee with games and toys at Christmas.
3. to provide scholarships to area youth golfers who meet the criterion of need and skill as assessed through formal application procedures.
4. to assist any/all needy children in the East Tennessee area as agreed upon by a vote of the board officers after requests are made known.
5. to assist Eastanallee Baptist Church in Israel mission work.
The History and Missions of
After seeing the need during a joint mission trip to Martha Brae, Jamaica in December 2009, a couple from Rome, GA offered to donate the funds for the foundation for a children’s home. Members of Eastanallee Baptist Church in Riceville, TN, after just experiencing the loss of Cole, were looking for a way to memorialize him. Thus, the two came together to build:
Noah's Ark Children's Home of Jamaica
Family and friends of Cole in other locations wished to join in this endeavor. Together we formed:
for the primary goal of promoting fundraising efforts for the completion of the building of Noah’s Ark.
Eastanallee Baptist Church of Riceville, TN along with the missionaries of Riverside Baptist Church in Martha Brae, Jamaica and Cole's surviving family chose "Noah's Ark" as the name for the Children's Home built near the Riverside Baptist Church.
The symbolism of the name is evident. Those who knew and loved Cole have suffered a flood of tears. The clouds in their lives shall not subside, but God has chosen to use the short life of His beloved child to produce a bright rainbow of hope and joy to the children of Martha Brae, Jamaica. They shall enter into "Noah's Ark" and there will be taught the Promises of God that shall bring peace, love, joy, and hope into their lives. They shall abide in an Ark of Refuge.
"And God said: 'This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look upon it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.' And God said to Noah, 'This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.' "
Cole's aunt, Stephanie Puryear Canfield, was given the job of coming up with a name for the fund raising efforts of Puryear family members and friends wishing to assist Eastanallee Baptist Church members in the building of Noah's Ark. She said, "I wanted to incorporate the idea of God's promise to Noah, as well as the promise God and the church have made to the people of Jamaica to provide this Christian home for the children. The more I've thought about it, the more I've realized that this whole endeavor is filled with promises. Our promise to Cole that his life will continue to make a difference in this world. Our promise to Glen, Cayci, and Cade that we will bring this home to fruition for them and do most of the hard work, because it is understandably too emotional for them to be responsible for raising the funds for the home. I think the name 'Promises Kept' gives us all a way to share our faith walk while still doing the work in memory of our dear little Cole."
With the completion of the Noah’s Ark facility, family and friends in East Tennessee feel that the needs of children living in East Tennessee cannot be overlooked and now focus efforts to help the needy here at home.
Cole’s Christmas for Children was originally set up by Riceville Elementary School in Cole’s memory. Funds and items donated to this worthy cause have provided toys and games each Christmas to those living in that area. Cole’s Christmas for Children is now a part of Promises Kept. Donations to Cole's Christmas for Children are tax exempt. Throughout the year children living in the East Tennessee area who are going through hardship are given assistance.
In addition to both of these great causes, Promises Kept hopes to instill a love of the game that Cole once enjoyed so much by providing college scholarships to youth golfers in East Tennessee. Recipients are chosen based upon strong character, athletic ability, and financial need. Since 2013 scholarships have been awarded to exceptional young athletes. The members of Promises Kept are committed to watching over and assisting these young people as they step out into the world as shining examples of God's mighty hand at work.
In thanks for all that Eastanallee Baptist Church members have done in the memory of Cole, Promises Kept now donates to assist in their Israel mission work.
In all of our work we hope to keep alive the spirit of a young child who loved God, family, friends, and sports. We hope you will share in our endeavors to
thank God for allowing us to know and love Cole.