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Donor Spotlight: Melanie and Clif Christopher

Melanie and Clif Christopher have spent over three decades building a life together filled with love, family and a shared passion for giving back to their community.

Melanie, a former elementary school teacher, and Clif, a former United Methodist minister and founder/CEO of Horizons Stewardship, have called Maumelle home for 22 years. Together, they have raised four children and are now blessed with 10 grandchildren.

Inspired by Family

Bitty and Beaus_Clif ChristopherLast year, a trip to Houston made a lasting imprint on Melanie and Clif and their philanthropic focus as a family. In 2023, the Christophers traveled south to celebrate the grand opening of their son and daughter-in-law’s new cafe, Bitty and Beau’s Coffee. A national franchise, Bitty and Beau’s empowers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing meaningful employment. Motivated by the success of their son’s venture and inspired by their grandchild’s journey with Down syndrome, Melanie and Clif felt a calling to contribute more actively to the special needs community.

“When we were driving back, I was thinking that somehow I need to connect with this part of our world in Little Rock,” said Clif.

With his background in the Methodist church, Clif had heard about Camp Aldersgate, but had never been directly involved. After visiting with CEO Sonya Murphy and touring the campus, Clif said he knew this was the place where he could give back.

A Summertime Tour

During the summer of 2023, Clif visited Camp Aldersgate for a tour with his church group. Although he had seen the campus previously, this visit was different. Clif stopped and asked a group of campers what they liked most about camp and what it meant to them.

“It was obvious to me as I rode around here with those campers that this is a place I can not only give to, but I can physically come out here and see what that giving is doing. That made the decision for us to give to Aldersgate,” said Cliff.

Clif recalled what one young boy said: ‘Just being around other people who have the same disease I do and seeing them is really great because I don’t know other people who have this.’ He said that encounter made it clear that Aldersgate provided strength and hope for these kids.

Why Give

Not only are the Christophers advocates and donors of Aldersgate, but Clif now serves on the board of directors and is excited to make a difference through his talents and time as well.

When asked why people should donate to Camp Aldersgate, Clif said:
“I would suggest that they come here and see for themselves. Outside of the church, it is a struggle to determine where your money can make the most difference and have the most impact. There’s a lot of great nonprofits. After being involved in the short period of time that I have I can see that both our money and time are going to be well used.”

Through their journey from witnessing the success of Bitty & Beau’s to discovering the profound impact of Camp Aldersgate, the Christophers exemplify the joy and fulfillment that come from giving back to the community.

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