“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
— Dr. Seuss
There is power in numbers. That’s why 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. And when you care a whole awful lot, everything gets better and better. 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.
“The T.A. Sims Elementary community is only 10 – 15 minutes from our church, yet it is a world very different from the one that most of us know,” says Gay Ingram, FUMCFW Kids Hope Coordinator. “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. 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.”
Here are some favorite memories from our 2015 – 2016 mentors.Brian Eaton
A great memory for me is teaching my student one of my favorite games (dominoes) and seeing his skills — math, logic, decision-making, etc. — as well as his enjoyment of the game increase throughout the year. Being a Kids Hope mentor is just a great way to put your faith into practice, make a positive impact on a young person, and have a lot of fun along the way.
I have LOVED my time with JaiRyan and look forward to another exciting year with him. I love the moments when I can make him laugh and smile, but I especially love the times when he opens up and I get to see the real child inside his big personality and tough exterior. He is such a sweet and sensitive little soul.
I’ve found with every one of the kids I’ve mentored so far that they really like the idea of an adult who has taken time to be with just them. One particular boy, Hector, struggled early and then was clearly becoming a much better student. We started playing games and that just lit up my day. His teacher told me that he’s never known a man like me, and of course I just completely lost it. I can’t begin to tell you how much every effort was like gold. Hector just owned me after that. He was saying that he was really glad that he had somebody to come visit him at school. You will change somebody’s life without even meaning to, and it helps change your life. Besides, it gives you an opportunity to play as an adult.
A special memory for me and one that I will never forget was the time we provided ice cream floats for the students at the end-of-school party. You truly see how much it means to kids in need. Something as simple as ice cream can change lives. It reminds me of the butterfly effect. One small change — in this case, mentoring a child — can change the world. I think that is what mentors hope to show that one child: you are special, you can have a successful life, and there is someone who cares and will show up week after week to be there for you and only you.
When I first met D’Marian, we were sharing things about each other and I told him I played the guitar. He asked if I would buy him a guitar. When I asked him why, he said that if he had one he could learn to play it and sing so he could make some money, help pay his family’s water bill, and get the water turned back on. He was a second-grader worried about his family’s utility bills.
Click here to read more favorite memories from our mentors. “It only takes one person willing to share their gifts of time and love to make a dramatic impact in a child’s happiness and success in school,” Gay says. “We invite YOU to join our Kids Hope team this year and discover not only the difference an hour a week can make in the life of a child — but also the difference this hour can make in yours.”
Discover the joy as a Kids Hope mentor. Join us in the Garden on Sunday, September 18, for Kids Hope Sunday. For more information, click here or contact Gay Ingram (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817-999-8075.