Jake and Kristin

Jake and Kristin

Like reading a fairytale, putting on a costume can spark kids’ imaginations and creativity. This October kids in our local tutoring program had the chance to transform into characters like foxes, lions, and The Flash by making masks out of paper bags. One of our tutoring volunteers, Kristin O’Neal, planned the activity and created templates for the masks. The kids loved it! Originally from Texas, Kristin and her 14-year-old son, Jake, started volunteering this fall with the tutoring program in the Chesterfield Mobile Home Park. Kristin homeschools Jake, and they wanted to find a way to incorporate service-based learning into the year. When they learned about Faith that Works’ outreach in the CMHP, the mission and focus on the Hispanic community caught their interest. Jake had taken Spanish classes in school, and their family has ties to Hispanic culture as well as mission work in Central America. For Kristin and Jake, volunteering with the tutoring program is one way they can be intentional about building relationships across cultures, something that reflects the diversity present in the body of faith. Kristin and Jake work with the K-3rd graders in the tutoring program, much to the excitement of some of the younger boys who enjoy having Jake spend time with them on activities. Kristin says she appreciates the relational focus of the outreach, recognizing that relationships foster compassion among different groups of people. Labels of “other” break down and dissolve as you spend time with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and languages. We see this happening in the local and global outreaches as people like Jake and Kristin volunteer, and for this we give thanks!
Kristin and Jake with other tutoring volunteers

Kristin and Jake with other tutoring volunteers

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