Hello! My name is Kelly, and I am the Children's Services Specialist at the Center for the Homeless. My main responsibilities include enrolling students in school and organizing after-school activities for the Center's youngest guests. I have worked at CFH for a little over a year, and I am daily challenged and inspired by the guests.
The holidays have already been very busy, but we are having fun! Many thanks to all the volunteers who run our tutoring, library, and childcare programs. We rely heavily on volunteers to run programs for youth of all ages. If you would like to volunteer, check out our website to find out when our next volunteer orientation will occur. We also partner with local youth agencies. Many thanks to Cindy Shuder at Crooked Creek Ranch, The Boys and Girls Club of St. Joseph County, The Youth Services Bureau, Boy Scouts of America, and the Girl Scouts. These agencies provide quality activities for our youth.
Thanks for reading, and check back often for updates!
Yikes. Day three on my new job and I’m asked to write a blog entry. Not such a big deal for a writer – unless the assignment is to “introduce yourself.” Then it’s weird. But we’ve got this blog, boundless technology that’s immediate and satisfying, so I promise myself to handle this task with little grumbling. I’m the new development resource specialist at the Center. It means from day-to-day, my duties here will fluctuate, an unpredictability that’s just fine with me. I’ll assist with events, write newsletters (and blogs, invites, articles), oversee the Car Donation program. Because I am new to my job and to the “real world” of the not-for-profit, my new colleagues reassure me with their kindness and impress me with their loyalty to the homeless population.
I have the fundamental goal to share my God-given graces with the Center and make a difference through them. I’ve been a writer for nearly two decades – makes me sound so old, but I promise, I’m not. I have lots of magazine and newspaper experience and have volunteered at not-for-profits throughout my professional career. I’m a mother, I’m a friend, a daughter, a sister. I’m ridiculously optimistic, but at the same time, don’t do such a good job of being easy on myself. I’m like our guests – very, very human. So, while here I am, just another new face at the Center for the Homeless, I am not just another face. Like our guests, I have a name, I have a purpose and, I hope, have a gift to share.
The Center for the Homeless recently honored a group of volunteers from Granger Community Church with the Mary Von and Francis Scott Award. Maribeth Roncz was present to receive the award on behalf of the 300+ individuals from GCC who have volunteered this last year alone.
Upon receiving the award Maribeth read the following letter (pasted below). We, at the Center for the Homeless, are so very grateful for the commitment GCC shows to those less fortunate in our community.
CONGRATULATIONS GRANGER COMMUNITY CHURCH!
This is Stephanie, the team leader from Lifeline's MOVE trip. I apologize for just now e-mailing you, a full week late. I've been having horrible problems with my e-mail account, which is why I'm now e-mailing you from my hubby's e-mail address.
Last Friday, our time at the Center for the Homeless was wonderful. The girls that pulled weeds with me said that it was the highlight of their trip. My immediate group was paired up with Kevin (I believe his name was) who is living at the Center. Throughout our time there he began to share his story with us and then at the end of the time, he allowed us to pray for him and some requests he had. The girls were so deeply impacted by their time with him and the challenges that he has faced. In a later discussion that I had with the girls, they shared that Kevin has given them a new perspective on life and they now look at homeless people much differently. Each of the girls will continue to pray for him and he will forever be in their memories I'm sure.
The other two groups, both those in the storage room as well as the group planting flowers also enjoyed their time at the Center. Some said that they had no idea such a place existed in our town, nor that people with such struggles existed so close to home. At the end of the day, before we headed home, they were given some time to interact with the residents, and many of them said this is what they enjoyed the most.
Although we were there to work and serve the Center, I think the Center served our group just as much. The students were so overwhelmed by how thankful everyone (both residents and staff alike) were for the work they had done. It was so good for them to see and experience such a place as the Center... not a single student in the group had ever been there before. I think it helped them realize how blessed they are and how much they take for granted.
Thank you so much for all your help getting us connected. And for making sure we were taken care of. We really appreciated it!!
Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you or if there's anything else you need from me.
Thanks so much to all of our volunteers for helping us break the cycle of homelessness. We truly couldn't do it without you.