The Hope for Kids Den IN ACTION!

On June 16, we held a dedication service at the Hope for Kids Den! We are so thankful for each volunteer from Hope for Kids who came to support this new part of our ministry. We were also blessed by several volunteers who worked with The Lion's Den when they owned our building--it was amazing to hear stories of God's faithfulness through the years within these walls! Pictures from this awesome night will be coming soon.

Check out this video recapping what God has already done in three short months at the Hope for Kids Den.

Kids Club at the Hope for Kids Den!

We had such a great time this past Thursday at the last week of our brand-new Kids Club program! Teens from Pioneer Valley Christian Academy provided dinner for everyone and helped lead the event, and we were able to give away huge bags of popcorn to all the kids thanks to a generous donation from the Springfield Rescue Mission! We are looking forward to running this Kids Club again beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. Check out pictures from this awesome night below!


Club Hope | May 2018

This weekend, Hope for Kids hosted our final Club Hope of the 2017-2018 season.

We are so grateful to the volunteers who poured so much energy into every event this year. Hope is happening in Springfield because of your work with these children! Lives are being changed as the love of Jesus is poured into young hearts and minds through your service and relationships with these kids.

This month, we asked the Hope for Kids family about their favorite part of this Club Hope year. Check it out in this month's video below!

Thanks to Tim Gavrilov for photographing this event for us! Check out photos from this weekend below.

Club Hope | April 2018

Club Hope this Saturday was awesome! This month, the kids learned about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and the fear of the future. We are so thankful for every volunteer who came out to make this event possible. Every child who attended had a chance to hear about how much God loves them as the Hope for Kids family invested in their lives. Check out the video and photo gallery below.

VOLUNTEERS: to sign up for our final Club Hope of the 2017-2018 school year, please click here!

Club Hope | February 2018

Club Hope this month was amazing! The kids had so much fun hanging out with our awesome volunteers. We learned about Paul and Silas and how with God, we can FEARLESSly tell the truth! Thank you so much to each and every volunteer who made this awesome event possible.

Volunteers, do you have a story of hope that happened at this month's Club Hope event? Did you see a child affected by the hope of the Gospel? Did you connect with your small group in a new way? Did you witness a funny moment? Email hopeforkidsmegan@gmail.com to share your story of hope! Check out #HFKsharehope to read other volunteers' stories!

Watch this month's slideshow highlighting the 8-9 girls small group and click through the photo gallery below!

Volunteer Spotlight: Raquel

This month, we’re starting a new feature at Hope for Kids: Volunteer Spotlights! This week we interviewed Raquel Rodriguez. Raquel has been a faithful volunteer during many of our Club Hope events and also makes confirmation phone calls to families prior to events. She is now serving on the Hope for Kids Board of Directors! 

Through these volunteer spotlights, we not only want to brag on our amazing volunteers: we want to give them a chance to share! I had a chance to interview Raquel this afternoon, and you can read her story below.

How did you start working with Hope for Kids?

I’ve always had a pull to get involved with kids, especially at my church–in the nursery, on the Board of Christian Education, and in helping with Sunday school curriculums. I tend to gravitate towards preschool-age kids especially, and I coordinated nursery ministry. I first heard about Hope for Kids when Matt spoke at Church of the Acres where I was attending. Along with another Hope for Kids volunteer, I helped with a Life Skills craft workshop for HFK and volunteered in the kitchen during Basketball Camp! I don’t remember the point when I volunteered to make phone calls for Club Hope, but that has been a blessing.

What is one experience or relationship that stands out to you in your work with the ministry?

My favorite story has to be about this one little boy who comes from a big family. The first time he came to Club Hope, he was confused about where to go and didn’t want to leave his sister. [He also speaks only Spanish and was not able to communicate.] But when he was watching the volunteers welcoming his family and working together, it helped calm his separation anxiety. Working with him is heartwarming for me–I have a connection with him. I look at these kids and see me when I first came to the United States. My mother came with nine children. We have the same struggles. Where these kids come from, that’s where I came from too.

How has your life or your walk with the Lord been changed through your time with Hope for Kids?

I think it has helped me to first of all have a closer relationship with God, because I see the amazing work that God is doing. He is using us to do an amazing work in the community. Not just with Hope for Kids, but anywhere we have contact especially with children around us. My eyes are open more, and I want to have God use me any way He can.

Thank you for all you do, Raquel! You are truly an irreplaceable gift to our ministry and we are so thankful for the ways you serve the Lord with your unique gifts.

Volunteer Spotlight: Mariah

This week we’re spotlighting one of our awesome Mentor Hope volunteers, Mariah Duran! Mariah has been working with Hope for Kids at Club Hope for almost three years, and has been getting involved with Connect Hope as well! She spends time with many of our middle school-aged girls outside of HFK events: hanging out at Starbucks, bringing them to youth group, and even going rock climbing! Relationship building is such an important part of reaching these kids, and we are so grateful for the way Mariah truly invests herself in their lives.

You can check out our interview with Mariah below!

How did you get involved with Hope for Kids?

I heard about the ministry on the Q99.7!

Can you tell me about the first day you volunteered?

The first day I volunteered I was so nervous! I had signed up for the bus and I felt so unqualified to be involved in these kids’ lives. Another thing I felt was overwhelmed. There was so much happening and I didn’t know what to process.

When did you first start to really click with the kids?

Probably the second or third time. I really debated about not coming back but I wanted to give it another chance and let my emotions dictate. Volunteers don’t generally become comfortable in an instant. It takes time to get to know the kids and to know yourself as a volunteer.

What has been your favorite Hope for Kids story so far?

I hate that question! There are so many stories to choose from. I think my favorite thing about working with Hope for Kids is the faces. Looking around and seeing the faces, remembering moments where you’ve made a difference in their lives, is amazing. One story that stands out is of the first time I reached out to my kids outside of Club Hope and Mentor Hope. I took one of the girls out for her birthday and we just got to hang out, have fun, and get to know each other a little more. At the next Club Hope, she kept constantly talking about how much fun that time had been, almost to the point of making the other girls jealous! She felt so special, and knowing that I had that chance to be an important influence in her life was awesome.

How has God shaped your walk with Him through your time with Hope for Kids?

Ever since being involved with Hope for Kids I’ve been stretched like Laffy Taffy! It’s required me to become really dependent on God for strength–a one-size-fits-all approach really doesn’t work with kids, and I’m always learning. I’ve learned that God has such heart for kids and sensitivity to their tender hearts. He’s teaching me how to be patient, and over time He’s built wisdom and discernment in the way I understand these girls through my interactions with them.

You can ask anyone who knows me: I used to hate kids! Before Hope for Kids, kids were not on my radar. I didn’t really like being around them. But seeing the atmosphere of love and respect that Matt and Erika and the volunteers built for these kids and knowing that this was God’s heart completely transformed me. Now I love kids!

What’s one thing you would want to share with someone who’s new to volunteering?

If I could tell a new volunteer anything, it would be this: you might be scared out of your mind the first day, and that’s okay. Don’t underestimate what God can do through a willing heart to serve Him. You might not see value of the time you spend until years later. God will bless that willingness! He’s blessed me through relationships that have been built with the kids, and a feeling of community and family in the ministry. I’ve been doing this for three years, and I can tell you, it’s worth it!

Volunteer Spotlight: Mark

For this week’s HFK Volunteer Spotlight, we sat down with Mark Danalis, owner of Tommaso’s Ristorante. Check out his interview below!

Mark has done so much for Hope for Kids and we are so thankful for him and his heart for the children of Springfield! He supplies all the food for our Club Hope meals, and he has also given us a challenge as a part of Connect Hope: take one different Hope for Kids family each week to his restaurant for a meal on the house. He and his family will personally serve them and give them (and the volunteers who bring them) a hot meal while demonstrating the love of God to them.

Are you up for it?
Are you a volunteer that has a “favorite” Hope for Kids child?
Are you a prayer sponsor who would like a chance to spend time with that child?
Do you have a heart to help people and a will to be part of the life of a child or family in need?
If so, please contact us at office@hopeforkids.net, or leave a comment under this video!

If this is something that is out of your comfort zone, will you pray? Pray that God would bless Mark, his family, and his restaurant. Pray that God would match just the right volunteers and children together. And pray that God would use this one on one time to draw these precious children to Himself.