My name is Fred Tulloch and I am a Presbyterian pastor and professional counselor who, for eighteen years, traveled two-three times a week from Grand Prairie to Itasca to provide counseling sessions for children enrolled in PCHAS’ Group Home Program. My connection to Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services can be traced back to my parents who were very supportive of the Itasca Group Home. I grew up hearing about this wonderful ministry to children in need. Looking back, I was influenced by a relative whom I called “Aunt Jane” Tulloch, even though she was an older cousin. She graduated from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education and was a fine Sunday School teacher.
After graduating from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary I met Jerry Tompkins, who would become a life-long friend and mentor (and later in his ministry the president of PCHAS). At each step of my career I was very appreciative to receive Jerry Tompkins’ sage advice. He would encourage and prod me to accept new challenges, wherever God was leading me. My ministry included an internship in Monticello and pastorates at the First Presbyterian Churches of Belton and Dallas. At the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas I was honored to play a role in helping the Stew Pot Ministry get started. I guess I’ve always had a place my heart for people who are struggling.
Verl Childers, former director of the PCHAS Group Home campus in Itasca, invited me to provide counseling services for the children living in the group homes. What I found in Itasca were children who were struggling with many issues: rejection, anxiety, depression and anger. Most had no parents and many rarely, if ever, visited extended family members. This instills in a child a growing sense that they lack control. They are moved around, like pawns on the chessboard of life. Is it any wonder that they have trouble bonding with others when they have felt shut out their whole lives? Over and over again, by their words and body language, they kept saying to me ‘Why me? What did I do wrong?’
To begin the healing process, I spent approximately 45 minutes to an hour with each child, listening carefully to whatever they had to share. I showed genuine interest in their unique story and provided them with positive affirmation. In group sessions we practiced listening. For instance, I would ask ‘Joe’ to share something with ‘Sally’ and then ask ‘Sally’ to repeat what ‘Joe’ just said. At first, even though ‘Sally’ was looking at ‘Joe’ when he spoke, she wasn’t listening and couldn’t recall what he had said. But in time, the ‘Sally’s’ and ‘Joe’s’ would listen, and by truly listening, build trust. Listening is the building block of creating relationships, so I felt it was essential for every child to learn how to listen and develop authentic relationships. I also knew from research and experience that listening would enable them to develop empathy for others and would serve them well throughout their lives.
Recently, Dr. Tulloch established a Charitable Gift Annuity for the benefit of Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services. The Charitable Gift Annuity provides Dr. Tulloch with quarterly income payments, tax credits and the satisfaction of knowing that Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services will receive the remainder of his gift after his lifetime. Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services is grateful for Dr. Tulloch’s future support which will be provided by his Charitable Gift Annuity.