To celebrate this past Valentine’s Day, our Kids Hope mentors gave their students yet another special treat during a party at the T.A. Sims Elementary School Library. Children and parents who were able to attend visited with the mentors while enjoying refreshments together. “It was great to see so many parents and guardians of our kids present!” recalls Gay Ingram, FUMCFW Kids Hope Coordinator. “What fun it was to meet them, and our mentors were great to help welcome them and make them feel at home.” Everyone played games to get the party started, and friendly competition was rewarded with prizes provided by some of our mentors.
Plus, every student was given a book donated by one of our longtime church members. Each book was different based on age and reading level, and all were good literature by noted authors. This donor (who chose to remain anonymous) loves children, believes strongly in what our Kids Hope mentors are doing, and recognizes the importance of reading. Several years ago this same member bought each student a special edition copy of “The Polar Express.”
To wrap things up, all of the mentors shared glowing accomplishments of their students — little praises that go a long way with the kids, especially in front of their peers. A big thanks goes to all of our mentors who give their time and support to make a difference in the lives of these children. “I can’t imagine any group of Kids Hope volunteers that is more faithful and helpful than our group!” Gay exclaims. “I hope you each know how much you are appreciated and admired by so many, especially me. I thank you for your faithful, tireless dedication to the kids and for all the love and help that you give them all year long! I remain inspired by you!”
The Kids Hope USA Mentoring Program of FUMCFW reaches out to children who need help to beat the odds. When a child has a mentor who cares, it can make all the difference. Research shows that students who met with a Kids Hope USA mentor for just one year improved:
- 65% in educational success
- 79% in socio/emotional competency
- 56% in attitude toward risky behavior
Our mentors kick the stats to the curb — one child, one hour, one church, one school at a time.
“Over the past 10 years, many of our caring members, clergy, and staff have stepped up, showed up, and stuck with us to support these endearing children in so many ways,” Gay says. “From mentoring and prayers, to special events and holiday treats, to donations and so much more, our church has embraced both the children and the school. As always, the program simply serves as a guide — it is the people who make the difference.”
Through personal experience and the positive comments our mentors heard from others at the Valentine’s Day party, “we know for sure that our kids hold much promise!” Gay adds. “And you have each played a most valuable role in helping that promise become a reality — inch by inch.”
This Kids Hope Valentine’s Day Celebration was dedicated to the memory of Mary Andrews, longtime Kids Hope mentor and friend to all children. Mary passed away Christmas Day after a lifetime of working steadfastly for the betterment and welfare of all kids. She was a teacher, school counselor, volunteer for many groups who advocated for children, and a wonderful example for both kids and adults. Valentine’s Day just seems the appropriate time to again remember all Mary did for Kids Hope kids and all children.