Monthly Archives: January 2014

SON Ambassador!

By: Katie Ganick AmeriCorps VISTA 2013 – 2014

Helen Anderson has been a volunteer for Serving Our Neighbors SON Ministries for 5 years!  She is a prime example of a SON Ambassador.  We would like to recognize and share her dedication to the ministry over the years.  She is an inspiration to the staff, volunteers, children, and families. 

Helen first started volunteering for SON Ministries in 2009.  She became involved when her church, Scioto Ridge United Methodist, announced that SON Ministries needed volunteers for their Hilliard Free Lunch program.  Helen says that when she heard this she “felt called to do more and contribute to her community and the people in need.”

Over the years, Helen’s commitment to SON Ministries has grown – showing her Ambassador status.  In addition to faithfully passing out lunches at the Hilliard Free Lunch Summer Camp for Kids, she also participates in the Family ESOL/Kids Club program where she prepares coffee and cookies for the adults taking English Classes.  Helen also volunteers monthly at the West Interfaith Legal Clinic, she will occasionally help out in the office, and participate in our seasonal programs such as the Children’s Winter Coat Store.  Helen participates in fundraising and awareness events of SON Ministries such as the Golf Outing and the Silent Auction.  Needless to say, if SON Ministries has an event or program – Helen is always there.

When asking Helen why she does what she does, she simply states, “I enjoy it.  It’s like getting a paycheck for me and I have more time than money to give.” 

Helen would like others to know that volunteering at SON Ministries is “a rewarding experience and you feel good going home.  It’s just an awesome organization and I love the people who work there.”  She says, “By volunteering at SON Ministries I have met so many people that otherwise I would never have gotten the chance to know.  Just the other day, some girl came up to me at the gym saying ‘hey I know you! You volunteer at the English Classes.’” 

For Helen it’s about forming the relationships with people in the program as well as SON staff members and other volunteers.  She has been able to “meet new friends and associate with loving and caring people.”   

Helen says that, “I have been blessed with good health and energy and I want to share it!”  Volunteering makes Helen feel good and keeps her busy.  Other than volunteering she does her aerobics in the afternoon and in the evenings she comes to volunteer.  

Helen says that, “I enjoy every minute.  Life is good.”

Helen closes by saying that she is already looking forward to this summer and participating once again in the Hilliard Free Lunch Summer Camp for Kids. 

We can all learn from Helen Anderson.  She is a true example of a SON Ambassador.  Helen supports SON Ministries in many ways – mainly with her dedication and time.  She is a true advocate for the cause and sincerely believes that, “People are our priority – Relationships are our goal!”

An Invite for FUN

By: Ciara Alexander

OSU Masters of Social Work Intern with SON Ministries, Academic Year 2013/14


Have you ever been the new person in the room? You feel uncomfortable, so you pretend you’re busy. You pull out your phone and check the weather, or maybe you text a friend just to say “Hi.”

At SON Ministries’ Tuesday night Kids Club, I saw this happening with one of the newer girls.  She sheepishly sat off to the side of the room drawing on the white boards by herself.  Every time I walked by we sort of grinned at each other, until I finally had a minute to chat with her.  Quickly, she confided that she was new and rather “nervous” about playing with the other children.  I asked her which activity she enjoyed most and she happily responded jumping-rope.  As fate would have it (or Jesus, if you believe), one of the girls with a very welcoming personality happened to walk by.  “Leena, this is my new friend Jacqueline.  She likes to jump-rope. Would you like to jump-rope with us?”  Instantly, a bond.  In no time, the girls were laughing, and together we moved from jumping-rope to snack-eating to bracelet making.  Sometimes it only takes an invite for the FUN to begin, and a relationship to effortlessly start.

I would like to extend that invite to you: At SON Ministries, we build up COMMUNITY one respectful, empowering relationship at a time.

Wouldn’t YOU  like to come have fun – and build relationships – with us?

Faith, Hope, Love! But The Greatest of these is LOVE!

By: Tiaira Turner

OSU Social Work Intern with  Serving Our Neighbors (SON) Ministries, Academic Year 2013/14


Over winter break I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Good Tidings Christmas Store, Hilliard, 2013.  As an OSU student interning with SON Ministries, I was given the opportunity to help plan and put the Good Tidings Christmas Store together. Working with SON Ministries, the volunteers on the Leadership Team, Pastor Irma  and other members of Cornerstone Church,  I was able to see the entire behind the scenes work that went into making Good Tidings possible. From these women who did the planning and organizing, to the volunteers and donors that made the store possible, to the families who were filled with JOY and made this night a TRUE success.  

It was such a wonderful time watching the children happily running around in excitement as their parents were downstairs shopping for Christmas. It was great to see the hope and joy in each of the family’s faces that I was able to help as a Volunteer Personal Shopper. The scene was just amazing and I felt very blessed to be able to be the “hands” of God, serving families that I have grown familiar with through my internship work with SON Ministries.

The love and joy that filled The Good Tidings Christmas Store made all the hours and hours of work by so many well worth it. I remember standing back once the store was coming to a close, just meditating on all of the relationships that even I myself have made with many of the families from Kids Club, and with the SON Ministries volunteers. I am not from Hilliard but I feel so welcomed…    What I love most about this community is no one is looked down upon as lesser than, and no one is esteemed as better than. This truly is a community where neighbors LOVE and SERVE one another. As a social work student it is GREAT to be reminded that at the end of the day, love and relationships is what makes families – and communities – strong.

At SON Ministries, we build up COMMUNITY one respectful, empowering relationship at a time…


***Upon reading this article, Pastor Irma responded, “Great Job!  If I was looking for a city to move to and read your article I would want to live in Hilliard!!”***

Once again we are affirmed that Hilliard is a special community! 

Smiles Know No Barriers

By: Ciara Alexander, OSU Social Work Intern with SON Ministries, Academic Year 2013/14

There is one gesture that knows no barriers—a smile.  For even one second, when we smile, we share in a common experience.  To my delight, on January 9th, the smiles were abundant at SON Ministries’ registration night for the Tuesday and Thursday night  Family ESOL/KIDS Club program.  I saw smiles on the faces of both parents and children alike with 41 new families and 88 children joining the program that night.  The countries of origin that were represented were many (17 on that particular night) and the languages were varying (Spanish, English, Arabic), but the smiles knew no barriers!


Look at how the smiles of the new and returning children at play are bringing them together!  The experience was unique for each of us.  For me, sometimes I simply didn’t know what another was trying to ask me! However, quickly, smiles would appear and it became understood that we are in this together, giving our best effort, and trying to find answers to life’s questions together.  These uniting SMILES are one of the many reasons I look forward each week at Kids Club – to watch new and old friendships grow.

At SON Ministries, PEOPLE are our priority – RELATIONSHIPS are our goal!
I invite YOU to join us! You are guaranteed a lot of smiles!