Branson Bank Brings Christmas to Jacob’s House

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(Branson, MO) – On Tuesday evening, over 45 employees and family of Branson Bank piled into the large log home that serves as the main facility of Jacob’s House at Thunder Ranch – carrying arm loads of presents that Santa would later distribute, freshly-baked sugar cookies, and all sorts of icing and sprinkles to decorate them.

“We were accustomed to spending a certain amount of money celebrating the Christmas holiday with fruit baskets or cards,” said Bill Jones, Branson Bank President. “But this year, especially with needs so great, we all elected to spend those dollars on something more meaningful to the community.”

Discussions settled on a small foster community contemplating their first Christmas “under new management” this year.

Jacobs House at Thunder Ranch, a foster care community originally established by Tim Hill Ministries, is committed to rescuing abused and neglected children – providing housing, loving care, discipleship training and education. Located just outside Branson, Missouri, on seventy-one acres, Jacob’s House is a unique community of family-style homes where displaced children are loved and encouraged to become spiritual and moral leaders with a future and a hope in life.

“Though we’ve only been in town for a short while, Jacob’s House has been in business for 17 years,” said Penny Robichaux, Executive Director. “I’ve fostered over 200 children into adulthood, and I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know more countless hundreds. We were delighted that Branson Bank found a way to spread some joy and spend some time with the kids.”

The collaborative effort of bringing Christmas to Jacob’s House included nearly every employee of the Bank.

“We had staff out shopping for the kids, a great wrapping party after hours, some who baked sugar cookies and others who brought in sprinkles and frosting,” said Lyndi Carnelison, Branson Bank Public & Community Relations Coordinator. “We really couldn’t have accomplished the task without everyone’s generosity.”

Branson Bank kicked off the efforts with a generous donation to remodel a previously unused storage area into a private family room. Jacob’s House, equipped to house up to 23 children – will host 18 this Christmas from ages 2 to 17.

After a few slices of pizza and a visit with Santa that evening, children tore into packages presented to Jacob’s House, intended to keep at the facility for the new family room, like DVDs, board games, blankets & video games. Branson Bank employees were on hand to help all the kids decorate all shapes and sizes of sugar cookies. Special presents for each child from “Santa” were stashed away that night, to be saved for Christmas morning.

“The experience was extremely rewarding,” said Jones. “Jacob’s House is a hidden gem in the Ozarks, and doing really great things. We couldn’t have chosen to support a better endeavor.”

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