Fayetteville, N.C. — Like most parents, I’m constantly looking for ways for my kids to contribute to their community.
I want them to see how lucky they are, and to be grateful for their many blessings. I also want them to experience the joy of helping others —how good it feels when you use your time and talents to help out someone else.
Dozens of fourth and fifth graders got that experience this summer by being a part of KidServe at Haymount United Methodist Church in Fayetteville.
KidServe is a program for children who have aged out of traditional Vacation Bible School. The kids use the week to serve others in the community, tackling a different outreach project every day.
“Kidserve shows children they can go out now and be the hands and feet of Christ," said Deborah Happel, Director of Children’s Ministries at Haymount. “They don’t have to wait until they grow up to do something important for others.”
This year, KidServe projects included the Cumberland County Animal Shelter and the Nehemiah House for women and children in need.
The week also afforded a special opportunity to connect with the kids at Falcon Children’s Home.
Founded in 1909, Falcon Children’s Home is a private, not-for-profit institution licensed by the state of North Carolina to provide full-time care for children unable to live with their parents or other relatives.
Located in Falcon, N.C., the campus consists of 300 acres of housing, education and athletic facilities, and provides a home for up to 90 children.
The younger kids at Haymount’s Vacation Bible School brought in donations for the Falcon’s residents: personal hygiene items, school supplies, etc. The KidServe group had the honor of taking those supplies to the Falcon kids, and enjoyed the opportunity to serve a pizza lunch and spend time getting to know them.
It was an experience one of the Kidserve participants, 10-year-old Maddie Lobban, won’t soon forget. “It was so great. They were so happy to see us, and everybody had a smile on their face,” said Maddie.
Maddie told me she thinks programs like KidServe are important, and when I asked her why, she gave an answer I think we can all, young or old, learn from.
“You get to meet people you didn’t really know before, and they are so sweet and kind to you. You can show them that there are people out there who still care about them.”
Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in 2010. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. She writes about motherhood and family-friendly events in Fayetteville here on Go Ask Mom.