Building Tomorrow's Families

aka Thornwell Home for Children   |   Clinton, SC   |


Thornwell has been helping children and families all across South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida since 1875. Today, we continue our long history by offering a foster care program and other family & educational support programs. We provide safe and loving homes for children in need, offer hope for a brighter future through education and community-based programs, and encourage healing and wholeness with counseling & support.

Ruling year info



Rev. Myron Wilkins

Main address

302 S Broad St

Clinton, SC 29325 USA

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Formerly known as

Thornwell Home for Children



NTEE code info

Homes for Children & Adolescents (P76)

Foster Care (P32)

Kindergarten, Nursery Schools, Preschool, Early Admissions (B21)

IRS filing requirement

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Residential Program

We’ve provided safe and loving homes for children in need in our residential program since 1875. The children who come to us need a place to grow emotionally, academically, and spiritually. At Thornwell, they find this in our cottages.

• Family teachers provide parental care and support, guiding children with homework, chores, and other activities.
• Children benefit from daily tutoring in the Learning Center.
• Many discover God’s unconditional love for the very first time. They witness their family teachers living out their faith every day, and they take part in activities on campus.

Thornwell may have changed over the years, but the residential program has always been the foundation of our ministry.

Population(s) Served

Our Building Families program uses a practical approach to help make families in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina happy and healthy again. A licensed therapist visits a family in their home twice a week for eight to 14 weeks. During this time, the specialist uses family activities, role-play, and parent assignments to help build skills for parents and children. These techniques and others are known to improve the communication in the family. Parents learn important skills like establishing routines and correcting misbehavior. Children learn how to accept consequences, follow instructions, and more.

Population(s) Served

We partner with Children’s Trust of South Carolina to provide the Strengthening Families program for families in Laurens County of South Carolina. The program has been recognized across the globe for improving struggling families. Family units must include at least one child between six and 11 to participate in the 14-week program. These families visit Thornwell one day a week to enjoy a meal together and learn how to make their families better. Parents work with family specialists to learn parenting skills and strategies. Children work separately to learn about appropriate behaviors. The goal is simple: To come together as a stronger family.

Population(s) Served

Our foster care program addresses one of the most critical needs in society today: The need for foster families. Many children throughout our region live without the love and support of a stable family. These children are often abused or neglected and need a safe place to live. At Thornwell, we:
• Help caring individuals become licensed foster parents
• Provide support to foster parents who become licensed
• Offer training to foster parents
We’re with foster parents every step of the way so that they can focus on what’s important: Caring for children whose own parents aren’t able to care for them.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Education is often not a priority in the life of a child before he or she is placed at Thornwell. Most of our children come to us going through difficult circumstances, and their education has suffered. We help children in our residential program and in the community with a number of programs:
• Academic tutors help children with homework and challenging subjects.
• The Learning Center includes a computer center and a fully stocked library.
• Our summer learning program, MOMENTUM offers a way for children to keep learning when they’re not in school.
• Read Right is a revolutionary program designed to improve reading skills.
Our educational support services offer additional academic support for students when they need it most

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

We partner with South Carolina First Steps to provide two early childhood education programs for children who may not be ready for school otherwise. Our Early Headstart program serves newborns to three-year-olds, while our 4K program prepares four-year-olds for kindergarten. In both programs, children learn:
• Child age-appropriate skills such as how to follow instructions and how to cooperate with others
• Cognitive skills
• Language fundamentals
Children also enjoy a meal in both programs. The goal for our early childhood education programs is clear: To prepare children to learn in school so they can succeed in life.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Teens in residential or foster care who turn 18 but don’t have a permanent home are said to “age out.” These teens often lack the family support and skills needed to succeed as young adults. At Thornwell, we don’t believe in “aging out.” Instead, our transitional living program offers teens:
• A house at our Clinton, SC location
• An opportunity to learn life skills and plan for their long-term future
• Housing, educational, and career support
Young adults from 17 to 21 are eligible to participate in our transitional living program. We offer teens a roof over their heads and support when they need it to prepare them to ultimately live their own.

Population(s) Served
Young adults

Where we work

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Board of directors
as of 08/03/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Jr. M. Craig Garner

Burr Forman McNair Law Firm, P.A.

Board co-chair

Maurice Purcell

Julius Anderson, Jr.

Anderson Insurance Assoc. LLC

Gordon Bondurant

Country Day School

Ella Busby

Honorably Retired Presbyterian Minister

Kay Cleveland

Retired, Laurens County School District 56

Michael Cunningham

AnMed Health System

Anthony Dawson

Mechanical Equipment

Charles Elliott

Honorably Retired Presbyterian Minister

M. Craig Garner, Jr.

Burr Forman McNair Law Firm, P.A.

Harriet Ike

Susan Malloy

M Capital Wealth Management

Jim Morton

J. Marion Sims Foundation, Inc.

Dorianne Norwood

Retired, Furman University

Michael Payne

Retired, Upstate Cardiology Associates

Maurice Purcell

Retired, Business Owner

Jim Conner


Christine Crutchfield

Gwinnett County Public Schools

Sara Evans

Grant Writer

Gordon Hight II


Mary Martin

Retired, Nokia

Jean McKnight

Retired, Aiken County Schools

Steven Roberts

Steve Roberts Construction Services

Raymond Smith, Jr.

Retired, Banker

Amalie Ash

First Presbyterian Church, Boynton Beach

Sylvia Collins

Retired, Insurance Agent

Tamra Erde

Tom Free


Don Johnson

Woodlawn Presbyterian Church

Fred Powell-Haig

Community Church of Lauderdale By the Sea

TJ Remaley

Family Ministry

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/21/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/19/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.