Most at risk kids in America do not know ONE Christian!
Do you think you could make a difference in the life of a child? One child, one hour.
Learn more about being a KidsHope volunteer at one of our upcoming info or training meetings:
Info meeting: Aug 23 at 6:30pm
Training: Sept. 21 at 6:00 pm in Room 351. AND Sept. 25 6:00 pm in Room351
Please email Cheri Loy at cheriloy
@comcast.net to sign up.
HMUMC is partnering with our local schools through KIDS HOPE USA to help build caring relationships…one child, one hour, one church, one school. KIDS HOPE USA develops these one-on-one relationships through the creation of church-school partnerships that pair church members with at-risk kids in supportive, mentoring relationships.
We are looking for mentors to spend just one hour per week, reading, talking, playing and listening to a child at school. By helping the child feel loved and valued, they help that child to learn, grow and succeed.
Why is Kids Hope needed?
• Many U.S. Children are at risk
• Churches want to reach out and love these children but they don’t know how
• Principals, teachers, parents and children are asking for it!
• Children—Because EVERY child matters
• Relationships—Because love is only possible person to person
• Faithfulness—Because if I say I will, I will
• Prayer—Because it is the language of hope
What is KIDS HOPE USA?
H—Helping to meet the emotional, social and academic needs of at-risk children by giving them a one-to-one, Jesus-with-the-skin-on relationship with a mentor from our church.
O—Owned by OUR church. This is OUR ministry to children and families in the Mill Creek Cluster.
P—Prayer is the foundation for our work. Each adult-child relationship is wrapped in prayer by a behind-the-scenes prayer partner from our church.
E—Elementary school children are our focus. They need mentoring most because they are at that critical time when values are formed, self-esteem is developed, and academic skills must be acquired.
Why does KIDS HOPE USA work?
• Lives are changed.
• It is a proven model: one child, one hour, one church, one school
What does OUR church need to do?
Director Cheri Loy will be looking for a leadership team that will include:
• A prayer coordinator
• Communications coordinator
• Match support coordinator
• Special event (parties for mentors/mentees, goodie bags, etc)
• Most Important—become a mentor!
• Become a prayer partner!
• Become a mentor substitute
Kids Hope Stories
A Mentoring Story…
Betty Thompson, a mentor was meeting a little girl for the first time. The little girl would not make eye contact. Betty asked the little girl her name, but she still would not respond. So Betty introduced herself, “My name is Betty. You can call me Miss Betty or Mrs. Thompson.” The little girl looked up. Miss Betty asked her name once again. The little girl responded, “You can call me what everyone at home calls me.” Miss Betty asked her what that was. The little girl said, “Idiot.” Miss Betty got down on the little girl’s level and looked her in the eye and said, “The paper here says your name is Jenny. I think I’ll call you smart Jenny.” A lasting relationship started at that minute.
A view from another mentoring organization…
Mentor a kid
Posted: 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015
By Juan Sanchez – AJC – 1/29/15
People think mentoring a kid is a bigger deal than they can handle. The truth is, when you mentor a kid, you spend a lot of time acting like one — and getting major, grown-up kudos for it.
January is National Mentoring Month. Folks around the country are raising awareness about the importance of positive role models in the life of a child. Dozens of kids in the Atlanta area just need someone to spend about an hour a week with them to do the kinds of things kids do: hang out, play games, talk and have fun. It’s how you show a kid he or she matters, and that can change the world, one kid at a time.
At Southwest Key Programs, where we work with youth who are at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system, we see the relentless impact of the school-to-prison pipeline on children headed down that path. More often than not, they lack a caring network of adults to advocate for them and help them make better decisions about life, friends and school.
There are so many kids in Atlanta who’d be much better off if someone took some time to connect with them. What would happen if each of those children could have just one person in his or her life as a positive, uplifting and inspiring mentor that challenged them to do better, hope for better and aspire to be more? What if someone decided to give of themselves to make someone else’s future a little brighter and more promising?
Many people complain about “this generation” of kids and how disrespectful they are, or how teenagers don’t care about anything and are apathetic. But what if someone took it upon themselves to inspire these kids? Raising a child is not a one-person show. Were your parents the only ones responsible for the adult you became? Sometimes, we all need our village to give us that extra push to get it right.
According to the MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, if a child has a mentor, that child is 52 percent less likely to skip school, 46 percent less likely to begin using illegal drugs, and 27 percent less likely to start drinking.
Mentoring works. It changes lives, and not just the life of the child involved. Each day I work with kids at Southwest Key, they teach me something new. The culmination of these lessons helped me become the man I am today. You don’t need a fancy degree. You just need to be yourself and share what you’ve learned from your own life experiences. It’s really that easy.
Atlanta has a new youth mentoring program, thanks to a $1 million federal grant from the Department of Justice. The grant comes as the Atlanta metro area is experiencing a shortage of volunteers. This shortage has left many kids, particularly young men of color, with nowhere to turn. The Southwest Key Youth Mentoring Program is helping connect these kids with men and women like you for a one-hour-a-week commitment that lasts one year.
Southwest Key has worked in the Atlanta area for more than 10 years, providing alternatives to incarceration programs for youth. We have been mentoring in other parts of the United States for years and are excited to bring this evidence-based program to Atlanta. Our free mentoring program here launched Jan. 1. We are working with school counselors and probation officers to recruit youth who are at risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system and could benefit from a caring mentor relationship.
So get involved, make a difference, change a life and grow as a person. Mentor a child today.
Kids Hope USA changed my life… and I’m the mentor, not the student.
Hailey has a heart for the world. Several years ago, as a young high school student, Hailey felt called to get involved with her church’s Kids Hope USA program. She felt God calling her to help others, and being a mentor was a direct way to do that.
When she approached her church to volunteer, it didn’t come without hesitancy. Because she was young, many worried she wasn’t “wise enough to mentor a child.” But that didn’t stop Hailey from pursuing her calling.
Hailey was able to go through mentor training and started mentoring a first grade girl who’s family attended the same church that she did. Hannah, her mentee, was shy, but sweet and very smart.
As they continued in their mentor-student relationship, Hailey learned just how special this little girl was, “Some of my favorite moments are when I pick her up from class,” says Hailey, “She’ll jump into a story about whatever is going on in her life – and she get’s so excited about new things! She is one of the most determined people I have ever met. Whatever we choose to work on during our mentoring hour, she will work at until she masters it. She has inspired me in that way.”
But watching Hannah’s determined spirit isn’t the only reason Hailey loves the program. “I wish I had had a mentor when I was younger. I wasn’t well liked in school, and having someone to tell me that it was going to get better, and that being different was okay… that would have helped me immensely. There was even a point in my own life, not too long ago, that my meetings with Hannah were the only things I had to look forward to during the week. Seeing her smile and spending time with her always made me feel better.” Hailey and Hannah’s relationship had become reciprocal.
“I might not be taking on and changing the entire world all at once, but I’m changing someone’s world. And when you change the world for one person, you’ve changed the world,” says Hailey. “I think that Hannah is learning that there’s hope – everywhere you look. Even in your hardest and darkest times, there is someone out there who loves you and will always be there for you.”
This past spring, Hailey took another step in her Kids Hope USA journey and became a supporter of the organization through a financial gift. “I was given the opportunity to do this by God’s Grace and someone else’s kindness. Kids Hope USA is amazing and I want others to have the opportunity Hannah and I did three years ago. I don’t think any church should be turned down because they can’t afford the program, and therefore no child should be denied a mentor. If every child had a mentor, it could change the world.”
7 Reasons Members Become Mentors
Church members become Kids Hope USA mentors for a variety of reasons… and we decided to ask all of YOU why you chose to become a part of this mission to give kids the gift of hope! Here are seven reasons you may have decided to become a Kids Hope USA mentor:
1) You know there are so many children that just need someone.
“Knowing there are many children who just “need someone” and knowing I could potentially make a difference. It’s been a blessing beyond what I ever expected! So thankful our Director, Angela, introduced me to the program.”
– Carrie Gunter Nault, Oklahoma –
2) Mentoring is a common denominator in a successful life.
“I read lots of stories about successful people and a common denominator is always one person that made them feel valued, important and loved. And how it changed that person’s life and they wouldn’t have achieved or overcome a bad situation without that one person being a positive influence in their life. I would be humbled and honored if I could be that individual for someone.”
– Lori Herremans VanWerden, Michigan –
3) You have an irrevocable love for KIDS!
“I love children and being able to help them know someone really cares!!”
– Wanda Bell, Indiana –
4) It’s an opportunity for you to give back to others.
“My children are in college and I have been so blessed with the life that the Lord has given me, I feel it is my duty and responsibility to give back. The smile that greets me every week when I open the classroom door is priceless and it give me great joy to be able to be there for a child in need of some extra ‘TLC.’”
– Joanie Meehling Wolfe, Ohio –
5) You have the chance to give a child JOY.
“I love to be able to see the joy in a child’s face when they know someone actually chooses of their own free will to be in their corner.”
– Mindy O’Bannon, Texas –
6) You could have benefitted from a mentor when you were young.
Courtesy of Zach Palowsky
“I had the kind of childhood in which I would have benefited from a mentor. When I heard about the program I couldn’t stay away! My heart knew this was for me!”
– Tanya Holleran, Texas –
7) The Kids Hope USA program is TOTALLY RADICAL!
“The whole program is totally radical.”
– Randy Montz, Alaska –