Faces of children…
I’m certain you will be startled to hear that there are over 930 “at risk” (as we know it, homeless) children in Sarasota County. According to the YMCA, http://www.sarasota-ymca.org/socialServices/homelessYouthEducation.cfm homelessness continues to rise as families struggle in the shrinking economy. In August, I was humbled to be one of 230 volunteers for the Day Of Hope, organized by Pam Hawn, Laura and Jay Crouse, and many volunteers at Church of the Redeemer. Medical exams, dental checks, haircuts, photo IDs, and school photos (along with backpacks, and personal care items) were some of the services provided to these children and their families.
A few quick facts…
- Pam Hawn started Back to School with Hope three years ago;
- 930 “at risk” (homeless) children in Sarasota County;
- 100 children were invited Aug 6 to Church of the Redeemer (that number doesn’t include extended family);
- 230 volunteers contributed time, services, food, money. Eight dentists, eight physicians, nurses, hygienists offering floride treatments and brushing instruction, hair stylists and many many others who helped the day run smoothly;
- Six churches shadowed with the plan to serve all at risk children next year. The organizing church created guidebooks for groups to sponsor their own Day Of Hope in 2012 so please ask your friends, inquire here or find an organization/church that will host;
- Coordinated through Schoolhouse Link, YMCA Sarasota, http://www.sarasota-ymca.org/socialServices/homelessYouthEducation.cfm
This is an experience I will not soon forget. In fact, I’m signing on for next year’s event, to be held again in mid/late summer, prior to the start of the school year.
The day we spent together flew by…and the experience reminded me that there is so much to appreciate; there are far too many children (ONE is too many!!) without homes… www.fchonlin.org
and who need our gifts of
generosity… hope… compassion…time…spirit…
To volunteer and/or receive information about 2012 Day of Hope at Church of Redeemer, contact Laura Crouse at [email protected].