This past month has been one of change, some beautiful, like celebration of sixteen-year-old birthdays, and some bittersweet. After eight years as the director of our local Kids Hope USA partnership, I have officially passed that baton, effective today. Today, July 1, will also mark the beginning of my annual “30 Days of Thanks,” and I decided that this would be an appropriate way to reflect on this beautiful ministry.
5 Reasons I’m Thankful for Kids Hope USA
- One-on-one connection – During my time teaching middle school, before we moved to Upland in 1997, I had more than 100 sixth graders in my classroom throughout the day, and many needed more than just academic instruction. I became a Kids Hope mentor in 2005 and saw that this was a way I could make a real connection with a single child, meeting with her for an hour each week. This gave me a chance to be “Jesus with skin on” to a young girl week during the school year – for about five years!
- School connection – After teaching, then going to graduate school, then becoming a mother, then adjunct teaching at Taylor, I was able to be a meaningful part of our local elementary school by mentoring. What a blessing to become director after two years as a mentor! This was also the school my daughters attended, so what a wonderful way to keep my finger on the pulse of this lovely institution. The principals (3 during my 8 years) and teachers have been a joy on so many levels!
- Church connection – Training and working with many adults, from college students to retirees to everything in
between, it has been a true blessing to connect with so many wonderful loving, giving individuals. And to have support of not just mentors, but the church as a whole – I look forward to watching the program grow over the coming years.
- Prayer connection – Prayer behind each mentor-student pair, and behind our program overall, is important beyond description!
- Personal connection – After a lifetime of connections through schools and beyond, I am thankful that the Kids Hope USA ministry gave me the opportunity to weave these strands into the fabric of my own life. I am so thankful for those I have gotten to know both professionally and personally as a result of these eight years with Kids Hope!
Life changes may not be simple, but my self-proclaimed “Month of Thanks” falls at a perfect time to help me focus where I ought. For those listed above, thank you so much for being a special part of this chapter of my life!