Thanks to our partners at Third Reformed Church, we will be participating in a new Kids Hope event this December which we will hope will be helpful in building a trusting, working relationship between our mentors and their Kids Hope students.
At the end-of-the-year evaluation conducted by Third Church Kids Hope volunteers last year, some Third Church mentors told director Beverley Rannow that it was the activities connected with our annual End-of-the-Year Celebration that helped them to finally begin to create a real relationship with their child. That made them wish that something similar might take place much earlier in the program year so that they could build on the good feelings it created as the year progressed.
In response to that request, Beverley and Vicki Rumpsa have worked hard to develop an afternoon of activities called Fall Fun Day. It will take place at Third Church on December 6 from 3 to 5 p.m. and our hope is that most of the Kids Hope students and mentors from both churches will be able to participate. Also attending will be volunteers from among the ranks of our substitute mentors and prayer partners who will help supervise the activities and prepare and serve the afterschool snack.
Age appropriate activities, chosen because they require mentor and students to work together, will take up the bulk of the time, but we will also be showing last summer’s Camp Geneva video during the snack time. As you may know, both Hope and Third Churches in conjunction with Camp Geneva offer an opportunity to spend a week at camp to each Kids Hope student. Our hope is that showing the video may lead to more children and their families taking advantage of that opportunity next summer.
To give you some idea of what will be happening, here’s a sampling of the activities that are planned: designing and constructing out of poster board a maze through which students will try to blow a ping pong ball, decorating a frame for each student’s student/mentor photo, racing cars down ramps built by the student and his/her mentor, playing GaGa Ball, and (on a tamer note) making Christmas cards. Vicki and Beverley tried to choose a variety of activities, some of which are intended to appeal to the students’ competitive spirits while others place their emphasis on giving to others.
Since parents are being asked to pick up their child at the end of Fall Fun Day, we are also hoping that this will be an opportunity for mentors and parents to interact briefly with each other. Just being able to put a face to a name can make a difference for some parents who aren’t totally sold on having their child be a part of Kids Hope.
Please pray with us as we embark on this new adventure. Specific needs are cooperative weather (volunteers will be walking the children from Vanderbilt to Third Church), good attendance, safety for all concerned, and most of all that through this event and though all of the Kids Hope programs of the year we will demonstrate the love of Jesus to each of our students and through them to each of their families.
~Barbara Joldersma, Kids Hope USA Co-Director