By: Kara Williams
OSU Social Work Intern 2015/2016
Spring has sprung here at Serving our Neighbors Ministries and our Kids Club program is rearing up with fun and exciting springtime activities! This week we are making binoculars out of toilet paper rolls collected from friends within the community through means of Facebook, partnerships and volunteers. Everything SON Ministries does is a continuous community effort year round, including collecting recyclables for our Kids Club crafts!
While making the binocular craft, we talked about interesting things we can see with them this spring, such as flowers blooming and bugs! We also learned that they could help us to see new friends around us at Kids Club. This craft was a hit! The kids loved decorating them and making them their own. We even tied strings around them so they can carry them with them wherever they go.
After making the craft, we witnessed kids walking around making new friends, looking through their binoculars at one another.
Here at SON Ministries we do more than offer activities for children. We teach valuable life skills and foster an environment for personal growth. We teach how to respect others and appreciate diversity among friends. Kids Club is a very unique program to attend, and offers enrichment for every one alike–kids, volunteers and staff.
We build up COMMUNITY one respectful, empowering relationship at a time.
OSU Social Work Intern
A few weeks ago at Kids Club there was a bit of bad weather that led to a lot of kids not coming out to the program that evening. Although it’s unfortunate that the kids couldn’t make it, it allowed the opportunity to be able to communicate with the adults in the ESL class. During the adults hospitality break I walked around and began conversing with them. I specifically remember my conversation with a lady from India. She told me that it was her second day at Serving Our Neighbors ( SON) Ministries and she really enjoyed the program so far. I asked her what was the hardest part about learning English. She told me that she had a lot of trouble with grammar and holding a proper conversation. I reassured her that grammar is a difficult thing to learn. Jokingly, I told her that I’ve lived in America my whole life and I still struggled with grammar which made her laugh. I began asking her questions more about her home and family life. She told me she has two children and that she’s married. She also went on to tell me that she’s not okay with just being a wife and a mother and that she would like to socialize and do more outside of the house. The only time she goes anywhere is taking the kids to and from school, events at her children’s school and to The Family ESL Program. She said she never gets to do anything or see her friends. The only way she communicates with them is through email. I encouraged her to try to make friends in her classes. I told her she could make plans with the ladies she meets here outside of the classroom. It never occurred to me that this is probably the only time that the women get out of the house socializing each week. This made me excited to finish planning the upcoming “International Fair” because I know this will give the women an opportunity to socialize and learn more about each other.
Here at SON Ministries “ PEOPLE are our priority– RELATIONSHIPS are our goal.”
OSU Social Work Intern 2015/2016
Serving Our Neighbors Ministries serves much of the Hilliard community through both the Hilliard Free Lunch Summer Camp for Kids, and the Family ESL Program. As a social work student interning with SON Ministries, I have been blessed by having the opportunity to serve in the Kids Club program. This program specifically focuses on alleviating poverty by implementing the “strengths-based” perspective, a core belief of the social work profession. The strengths based perspective focuses on highlighting a person’s strengths rather than focusing on the “problem” or “weakness” or in this case, the challenges or potential limitations of poverty. Rather, SON Ministries strives to create a fun, joy-filled atmosphere that brings to light all these wonderful children are and have to offer. At Kids Club, we foster relationships built on common ground and hope. Through this, we are then able to establish trust with the children and learn more about what they dream about and who they want to become. I have had the pleasure of getting to know several Kids Club tween-agers (5th grade-8th grade). I have heard their amazing dreams of becoming doctors, lawyers, astronauts and teachers. Knowing these hopes and dreams are instilled in them only further motivates me to foster their potential, and show them that I believe in them. I aim to create opportunities for them to expose their strengths, allowing them to recognize them on their own, maybe for the first time.
Through the activities SON Ministries offers at Kids Club, children are able to recognize that they are talented artists, athletes, students, and teammates, and that each of them is a resilient individual. Despite challenging circumstances that may seem impossible to overcome, SON Ministries displays that through God’s love and with a Hand Up, challenges such as poverty CAN in fact be overcome!
At SON Ministries, we bring HOPE to children and families in need by connecting them to people, resources and a hand up.
It’s a blessing to serve as an OSU social work intern.
Here at Serving Our Neighbors (SON) Ministries we consider it our mission to advocate on behalf of the children and families attending our programs. Through the Kids Club program, we are able to impact the children God brings us in a variety of different ways. Not only do we offer a safe environment for free play, structured team building activities, and academic support, we also regularly invite guests to our program offering the children yet one more avenue for enrichment.
Last week, we were blessed to have children from Scioto Darby Elementary School come to our program and teach us all how to juggle! The Scioto Darby students wonderfully engaged and interacted with the children during the hour they were with us. The children LOVED learning from peers their own age. It was obvious to see how empowered the guests felt by sharing their talent, and the Kids Club children had the opportunity to learn something new. This is what we are all about here: empowering, fostering hope, and having FUN! This is what truly sets SON Ministries apart.
AT SON Ministries, we nurture DREAMS to alleviate poverty.