Some of the most joyful and painful moments of their lives have led Lonn and Gloria Skiles to being generous givers to Florida Baptist Children’s Homes.
Their daughter Kerrie adored children. At age 3, while living on a military base, Kerrie wandered off to the playground, and within a few minutes, she returned hand-in-hand with a child they had not met before. It was a young boy, and Kerrie exclaimed, “Mommy, I want you to meet my new friend!”
Kerrie exhibited a deep love for children all her life.
Two decades later, Kerrie treasured being a first-time aunt as she spoiled her nephew, Josh.
At the age of 24, Kerrie was killed in a car accident involving a drunk driver. Lonn and Gloria were devastated and were uncertain if their daughter’s legacy would be largely forgotten because she was gone at such a young age.
Twelve years later, while attending Northcliff Baptist Church in Spring Hill, they heard a staff member from Florida Baptist Children’s Homes explain how to give a gift to the ministry in honor or memory of a loved one. The Skiles visited our state headquarters in Lakeland, and they remember the smiles on the children’s faces and the hope that was apparent in their eyes. God compelled them to tangibly demonstrate their late daughter’s love for children by setting up an endowment fund that is impacting the futures and eternities of children every day.
Kerrie’s sister, Kim, passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2013. As a legacy of their love for children, Lonn and Gloria created an endowment fund in honor of their daughters.