Guest Post: Miracle Mountain — A Hidden Sanctuary for Children

Miracle Mountain: A Hidden Sanctuary for Children is a poignant, beautiful, and powerful video portrait of The Crossnore School, a self-proclaimed “modern-day orphanage” in a remote corner of the North Carolina mountains. The school takes in children from preschool to high school with numerous disadvantages caused by their dysfunctional biological families and by their multiple placements in the dysfunctional foster-care system. The school has one overriding goal, “to give children their childhoods back.” It seeks to produce miracles through the restoration of hope and healing by a staff with a sense of mission and unrivaled grounds and facilities.

The film (which lasts only a little more than seven minutes) is necessarily focused on one self-proclaimed “modern-day orphanage,” revealing the heart and soul of the school’s guiding childcare philosophy founded on common sense, as laid out by its head Phyllis Crain who succumbed to her eleven-year battle with cancer this past summer.  However, the film has a larger message that extends beyond the Crossnore campus.  To critics of orphanages who say, “well, children’s homes might might have worked in bygone eras, but they can’t work today,” the documentary short on Crossnore says loud and clear, “It can be done today, and is being done  in grand style.”

The video portrait was filmed and directed by James Pham (independent of The Crossnore School).

For more information, go to

Click here to watch Miracle Mountain.

This blog post was written by Richard McKenzie, the Walter B. Gerken Professor Emeritus of Enterprise and Society at The Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. McKenzie is also a member of the OVC Wellbeing Advisory Board and an alumnus of Barium Springs Home for Children where he grew up in the 1950s.

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