This summer as part of one of our week long summer camps we decided to do an art camp, the kids knew that throughout the week they would be making art that would be sold at the end of the week. They were also told that a portion of the money they raised would be kept in house and used for something special for them, and the other part of the money would go to a local charity, we gave them a few choices, the Animal Shelter, The Helping up Mission or the Maryland Food Bank, as the week went on we talked about each of the different charities and who they would help, the kids asked questions about each charity, asked where they were located etc. Finally at the end of the week we took a vote, and the charity with the most amount of votes would be where we would donate our money. When it was all said and done the Helping up Mission (HUM) is where the kids decided our money should go.
I wanted this to be an experience for the kids, I didn’t just want to take a check to HUM and drop it off, I wanted the kids to be a part of the experience. So I called HUM and I asked what it would take for a few of the boys and I to visit? From the second we walked in the door until we left we felt like VIP’s, Mr. Frank gave us a wonderful tour of the building, which lets be honest at first I wonder how the boys would actually feel about this, but they were so excited to see each room of the HUM, they were excited to meet some of the men in the program. At one point we got to visit the Spiritual Life Director Pastor Gary, and share with this class about our summer project. The rooftop visit was the highlight of the tour until Mr. Frank dropped the million dollar question, “Do you guys want to stay and serve lunch?” The boys all quickly said yes and we were swept off to the dining room where we hung out until it was time to serve, the boys were so excited to serve lunch to our new friends.
As I stood back I got so excited to watch the kids that God has called me to serve, serving others. The boys served the meal and then at the end, they turned around and said to me, “Ms. Colleen can you bring us here everyday?” It made me so happy that the three boys I brought with me were so excited about serving. We have talked about what it means to serve others, and that God has brought me here to serve them. As a part of my journey I want to teach the kids about serving and that God calls all of us to serve and that even though they may be 10, 8 and 9 they too can make a difference. While I can’t bring them to HUM everyday, I do plan to arrange a time for us to visit on a regular basis. I am excited about how God can use them to change the lives of the men at HUM and how the men at HUM can change their lives.
Today I am praying for more opportunities for the kids we serve here to be able to serve both in and outside of their community. I am excited about how God is going to stretch them and grow them.