By Tim O’Neill
Over the past two months, I’ve had the privilege of leading many tours through our facility but the tour with the Canton Children Services is one I will not soon forget. Let me explain:
Approximately twenty teens(16 years old or less) arrived at Refuge of Hope with two case workers. Right from the start, you could tell that the group was engaged to find out more about Refuge of Hope. Many of them asked questions and several asked multiple, detailed questions about the ministry. While walking up to our second-floor donation storage area, I asked one of the case workers if they could share what their intentions were and also what take ways they wanted the group to have from the tour (thinking that they may wish to volunteer at a later date). I was surprised to hear that many in the group were foster children and were reaching the end of their foster program. The case worker wanted to bring the group to a homeless shelter and allow them to learn firsthand that it is not a glamorous option in their life choices. Once we reached the second floor and I had explained the donation process, I asked if anyone had questions. Again, many raised their hands with questions. It was then that I discovered that each person had a piece of paper with a BINGO grid of questions. I turned to the case worker and told them that this was a brilliant idea to get the group involved with asking questions (it really was).
It was such an honor to talk to these young adults and especially to share with them that they have a Father in Heaven who loves them and will walk beside them through life. I ended the tour on a sober note by telling them that they needed to make good life choices and Refuge of Hope should never be one of their options.
Who would know that a simple game of Bingo would result in such an effective way to teach teenagers about making good life choices?
Did you know that…
Job and Family Services and Refuge of Hope are partners in a couple different areas. We are honored to work with these children from Canton Children Services and in the past have been a first job training site for a few in that program.
In addition, we also help adults going through programs with on-the-job training, while building their resume with skills and experience working in a commercial kitchen. We have the ability to hire any worker that we have trained and would be a fit for our organization. Over three years ago we hired our first Jobs worker and she has become a valuable asset to Refuge of Hope!