Kids Hope USA is a great partnership for our church with tons of potential. It is one of the few Christian organizations that provides the church access to the public school system. Plus, God can use you to change the life of a child forever, and He just may use that kid to change you too. Here is how they describe what they’re all about:
One simple thing will make a big difference in the life of an at-risk child: One-on-one, positive attention from a responsible, caring adult. Kids Hope USA is the catalyst for an expanding network of church/school partnerships. These partnerships take on the enormous challenge of kids at risk—One Child, One Hour, One Church, One School at a time—through one-on-one mentoring relationships.
Our Kids Hope Director (Jeff Nordrum) here at Hope Summit recently passed on an email from Becky, she’s one of our volunteer mentors…
When I agreed to be a Kids Hope mentor, I was trying to give back to God. I was being authentic when I decided to be a mentor. I had been a public school teacher in the primary grades and also an in-school suspension teacher for the upper elementary grades. I thought this was an area I could help someone. Little did I know that God had plans for me.
I went throught the training and met with the teacher for the first grade. Our meeting was positive and we agreed on the goals we would work on. Next on the agenda was the meeting with the student. I finally met Adam—my first time seeing the young boy was in a busy noisy classroom. He was kneeling in his chair, bending over the table reaching across to the other side telling the others how to do the assignment(which was a no-no). His shoes were nowhere to be found, one sock was on and the other was stuffed into the lost shoe. My first goal was to get Adam to keep his shoes on for most of the day. Coming from the mountains in the south, I totally understood that some people learn better with their shoes off but I dauntingly approached my task with care and enthusiasm.
Adam and I went to the library after spending a half an hour of our hour time looking for his shoes with half his group helping us which happened for about the first six to eight weeks. It only took me most of a year to get Adam to keep his shoes on during school.
After we made it to the library I found a young man that was polite, excited about school and learning—especially reading. I didn’t expect a first grader to be reading with comprehension the books Adam was enjoying. We started in on chapter books about the magic schoolbus and Adam read them in one sitting. He advanced quickly and really understood each book he read. During the next 5 years we progressed to historical books about the revolutionary war period and Adam was engrossed with some of the people he met while reading.
As each year progressed, I learned that Adam enjoys games like Connect Four, Scrabble (which he tried to cheat at but as he grew older I stopped letting him), and any others I would challenge him with. It got to the point I was always losing.
Adam and his family were very positive and excited to be involved with Kids Hope. Adam and his siblings came to the parties that Hope Summit would have for the Kids Hope Kids always having a great time. During a couple of the summers, Scott and I would take him to the little league games to watch Spencer Carey play. He and Spencer’s brother, Jeremy, would shag balls. Adam had never learned to catch a ball with a mitt. Jeremy worked with him to learn this skill. Adam enjoyed going to the little league games and to the movies.
He turned into a young man I can be proud of. I still see Adam occassionally when we are out and about the city of Rochester. Adam carefully selects his friendships, cares about his grades and has set life goals he wishes to achieve.
I went into Kids Hope trying to give back; and God and Adam turned the tables on me. Adam continuously keeps giving back to me. When I am down, God puts Adam back into my life for a boost and I sail again for a while. Hopefully, Adam feels the same about me. He will always be a friend to me that I will cherish for as long as I am able to remember each of our moments. This was a effort of love that I will always be so glad that I was able to participate in. There is never any regret–Adam is a young man I am so proud of. Too bad he had to grow up!
If you attend Hope Summit and you’d like to be a mentor contact us at the church office here.
If you are a pastor and interested in partnering with Kids Hope USA in your city you can visit their website here.