Helping children grow
Editor’s note: The “Meet the” series profiles the people behind groups, organizations and businesses in the community.
Tom Pittmon has an understanding for the emotions children often feel when coming to live at the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home for the first time, leaving their family to live in an unfamiliar place because in 1968, that was his story.link Lillian Bowe: Staff photo
Tom Pittmon, a house father with the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home, fixes one of the children’s bikes Thursday at the home. Pittmon has been working there since September and watches over four boys with his wife.
Pittmon’s mother was struggling to support he and his sister and during that time, Pittmon’s childhood was troublesome.
“I was very rebellious and my mom had a hard time taking care of me,” Pittmon said.
When Pittmon was at the home, he said most of the children were older and most were troubled. The children did a lot of farm work such as feeding 55 dairy cows near the property. Pittmon said he really did not listen to the preaching, but that is what always stuck with him.
“I may not have picked up any of the spiritual side of it, but I did learn how to work hard,” Pittmon said.
Pittmon left after nine months and now after 46 years away, 30 of those years as a pastor in Colorado, Pittmon has returned to be a house parent with the home.
Coming back, Pittmon wanted to help the children grow and live up to their potential.
“I was really lonely when I first got here and when I get new kids here I know how they feel, so I really try to help them feel at home,” Pittmon said.
Pittmon and his wife watch over four boys ages 9 and 13 in their own little cottage. Pittmon said his favorite part of his job is interacting with the children.
“They are just funny and they say some funny things. Also, their perspective on things is so unique,” Pittmon said.
Pittmon said that all the children at the home have so much potential and can do anything.
Charles Anderson also worked as a house father, but now he is the director of professional services. Anderson said he initially planned to make his stay brief.
“I wanted to later be a school teacher, but 42 years later here I am still working here,” Anderson said.
Anderson had many jobs at the home including administrator, but his favorite job is the one he has now.
Anderson works in public relations where he talks to people about the home and he enjoys it.
“There is not as much pressure at my job now than when I was administrator and I like interacting with people,” Anderson said.
When Anderson was a house father, he said the home was much smaller with only one cottage and the children were older and many were delinquents.
“It was a little bit more difficult to get through to the kids,” Anderson said.
Now the home is the largest in New Mexico and deals with 60 children at present.