KiDSCOR

Category - Mission Projects

Ava’s Angels Coat Drive!

 

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During the month of October KiDSCOR is collect new and gently used Coats for Ava’s Angels. Here’s a little bit about this awesome mission project from the founder Ava!

My name is Ava Jones. I am 13 years old. I feel led by God to serve others.  When I was 8 I had an idea to create an organization that collects coats. My friends and I call ourselves “Ava’s Angels”.  We would meet at my house  after school and go door-to-door throughout neighborhoods and ask for any winter items they would be willing to donate.  We also placed a bin on our front porch for anyone to drop off their donation.  Flyers were left at homes for families that were not home at the time we were knocking. The first year, I had 15 “Angels” and  we collected 111 coats, the second year we collected 150 coats. The third year we collected 500 coats, the fourth year 550 and last year we collected 650 coats. I am now in Middle School and my  group of “Angles”  has grown to 40!!   This year my goal is to collect over 1,000 coats/ winter items.  Winter is just around the corner and I want to make sure that unfortunate families are warm this winter. You can help by donating a new or gently used coat,  hat, or pair of mittens. (any size) All of the items that are collected are delivered to our church and donated to Project Warmth.

Ava’s Angels thanks you for making a difference this winter

 

– Ava Jones

NYC Mission Trip #2

**This week we have a 2nd group of 5th graders serving in NYC you can keep up with their travels here on the blog***
Today we began the day in two groups.  One of our groups delivered “meals on wheels” throughout the city to the elderly.  The second group worked in a food pantry packaging bread and rice for the pantry patrons to take home.
After completing our morning work, we headed back to the United Nations to hear from two formerly homeless citizens of New York City named Dennis and Liz.  Both Dennis and Liz told us their personal stories of how substance abuse led them to lose everything and end up homeless.  After years of living on the streets battling their addictions, Dennis and Liz got the help they needed and restored their lives.  Now Dennis and Liz mentor the homeless to teach them the skills they need to get off the streets for good.  After hearing from Dennis and Liz, we all made and shared “zines” on social justice issues.
After finishing up at the UN, we went back and changed clothes to get ready for the synagogue.  Everyone had a blast at the synagogue service at B’nai Jeshurun which included tons of singing and even dancing!  Everyone there was very friendly and welcoming, making it an evening we will never forget!
Day 6
Today was the last day and no one wanted to leave!  We woke up and headed down to a Methodist church in Greenwich Village to prepare and serve a mail.  We prepared a meal of barbecue chicken, bean salad, lead salad, potatoes and fruit.  Most of us cut and cleaned fruit or vegetables of some kind while pastor Lisa was busy basting whole raw chickens with barbecue sauce before putting them in the oven!  Everyone enjoyed seeing and serving all of the lunch guests.  Finally, everyone went back to the hotel to get their bags and headed to the airport.  What a great trip!!!!

NYC Mission Trip Update!

**This week we have a 2nd group of 5th graders serving in NYC you can keep up with their travels here on the blog***

Day 2 – Today we spent visiting different locations where we learned about the history of immigration in the United States.  We started the day by taking a ferry to the Statue of Liberty which would have been one of the first things immigrants saw upon entering the United States.  We then took the ferry to Ellis Island where we visited the immigration museum.  The Island was used as an immigrant inspection station where immigrants underwent various tests to determine whether they would be allowed to enter the United States.  We learned that during the time Ellis Island served as an inspection station, approximately 98% of immigrants made it in to the U.S., but the remaining 2% were sent back to where they came from.  We learned that this 2% equaled about 1000 immigrants per month who didn’t make it into the U.S. for one reason or another.  After finishing up at the museum, we took the ferry back to Manhattan where we boarded the subway for Little Italy/Chinatown.  We grabbed a slice of pizza on the go and made our way to the Tenement Museum.  There we saw first hand how immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s lived once they arrived in America.  The living spaces were small, but the stories of those who lived there were fascinating!  We then left the museum, headed back to the hotel, put on our Royals gear and headed to Citi Field to see our Royals play the Mets!  We lost 2-1, but the Mets fans were very gracious and riding the subway to and from the game was quite an experience.

 

Day 3 – We started today by heading to the United Methodist Women’s church right next to the United Nations.  There we met Jennifer who told us all kinds of things about the Methodist chapel on the premises, how the different religions represented by the UN member nations interacted with each other and how the UN worked in general.  Jennifer then lead us in a few exercises that helped us learn about the root causes of poverty and what could be done about them.  Jennifer did a great job of showing us how the situation you are born into really plays a huge part in shaping the person you may become as adult.  After finishing up there, we grabbed lunch from a local deli to take with us to the East New York Farms.  There we ate lunch and met Kendra who told us about the history and purpose of East New York Farms.  She explained to us that the area is considered a “food desert” because there are few, if any, grocery stores in the area so the locals have very little access to fresh produce.  Kendra then assigned us tasks in the garden for the afternoon.  A few of us planted and re-planted vegetables, a few of us hoed and dug and a few of us worked with Frederick the compost master.  Frederick was an awesome guy – he was originally from Barbados and moved to the US to be a postman (which is what he was until he took an early retirement package).  He was passionate about the garden and especially his compost and the kids loved working with him!   Tired and dirty, we hopped back on the subway to rest up from tomorrow.

NYC Mission Trip #2

**This week we have a 2nd group of 5th graders serving in NYC you can keep up with their travels here on the blog***

 

Day 1 –  The mission trip crew met Lisa in the lobby of the Comfort Inn at 5pm sharp to begin our work.  Everyone was happy to be together and get started!  Lisa lead us through the subway maze and we eventually ended up across the East River in Long Island City.  There we met a community developer named Mark who has been responsible for a major renovation and rejuvenation of the area.  After telling us a little bit about the history of the area, we followed Mark’s lead and weeded several garden areas along the East River.  Several people stopped to thank us for our work and one boy even asked his mom if he could stop and help!  We grabbed a quick sandwich and sat outside to eat with a view of the Manhattan skyline.  After eating, we weeded for another 45 minutes or so under the street lights before calling it a night.  All in all, a successful first day!

NYC Mission Trip Final Update

**This week we have a group of 5th graders and their parents serving in NYC. These posts and pictures are put together by the 5th graders on this trip.***

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Today was our last full day of serving in New York. We started off the day with us splitting into two groups. One group worked at a food pantry and the other delivered meals on heels. At the food pantry, we cut bread and put the bread into bags. Also, we took crates and threw them away. At meals on heels, we delivered meals to people who needed them. After both groups finished our activities, we went to the United Nations Church Center. There, we met up with Jennifer to talk to with Liz and Dennis. They were both homeless people in the past and were willing to tell their stories to us and answer questions that we had. We found it really helpful and interesting. And we also made zines, which are DIY magazines that tell about our experiences this week. After that, we went back to the hotel to change for the synagogue. At the synagogue, they did a lot of singing, and all the songs were sung in Hebrew, which was really neat. After that, we had a free night. Today was amazing, and we are so sad that the trip is almost over.

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NYC Mission Trip Day #4

**This week we have a group of 5th graders and their parents serving in NYC. These posts and pictures are put together by the 5th graders on this trip.***

nycmissiontrip#5The day started with a subway ride to St Andrew & St Paul UMC. We split into two groups: one group worked at the B’nai Jeshurun soup kitchen nearby and the other group did meals on heels. The group that worked at the soup kitchen helped prepare tuna sandwiches, salad, and PB&Js. After that we set the tables and at 12:00 people came in for lunch and we started serving. We learned that some people don’t have to be homeless to need a meal. We helped serve lunches to 116 people! The other group delivered food to 15 elderly people in apartments.  Several of them liked to talk to us about Kansas and living in New York City.  They were grateful to us for delivering food to them.  It was fun!

After serving, we went to the Museum of Jewish Heritage and learned about the holocaust and immigration of Jewish people to America. We saw the Statue of Liberty from the Museum – it is a symbol of freedom. We’re sad that tomorrow is our last full day in NYC. We have learned so much on this trip. Can’t wait to tell you more!

NYC Mission Trip Day #3

**This week we have a group of 5th graders and their parents serving in NYC. These posts and pictures are put together by the 5th graders on this trip.***

nycmissiontrip#3The day started out very early. From the hotel, we met Jennifer who works for United Methodist Women. From there, we took the subway to Red Hook Community Farm in Brooklyn. There, we worked with Corey who manages the farm. We pulled weeds, and created compost with those weeds. While we were gardening, it started pouring rain, and we had to take cover under a tent! Corey told us about the youth that work on the farm and the neighborhood of Red Hook. We finally made it to the subway, and went to the United Nations Church Center. We learned about different religions, and we also learned about poverty. We found that there are many reasons for poverty such as, not having a proper education, having an unsupportive family, being ill, and finally, growing up in a poor community. We finished up with a free night. We are all excited for tomorrow, when we get to either help in a soup kitchen or meals on heels.

 

NYC Mission Trip Day #2

**This week we have a group of 5th graders and their parents serving in NYC. These posts and pictures are put together by the 5th graders on this trip.***

tenementmuseum
Today we went to some historical places like: the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Tenement Museum. Today was serve along the way day; we did that by handing out care packages that we made that included: trail mix, soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and snacks. Giving these care packages made us feel good inside, and made us want to do more and bigger things in our community. We saw how other cultures live by going to Chinatown. Chinatown is an example of where immigrants live today. The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Tenement Museum were other places that made us reflect on how people came to this great country, and where and how they lived. Our guide at the Tenement Museum, Cherrye, showed us apartments from 150 years ago and told us stories about how people used to live. She talked about the Great Panic and the Great Depression. We learned a lot. (Their website has pictures since we couldn’t take any inside: www.tenement.org) We walked over 21,000 steps today! We ended the day with a free evening. It was a great and inspiring day, and we can’t wait for the rest of the trip!

NYC Mission Trip Day #1

**This week we have a group of 5th graders and their parents serving in NYC. Here is a quick update from this first day of serving.***

nycday2 Today was our first night of serving. We took the subway to Queens. There we met Mark. Mark volunteers for the Hunters Point Park Conservancy. We all thought he was a pretty cool guy for helping get people involved. He helped us at a local garden. There we pulled weeds. When we started, there were so many weeds you could not see the ground. We were working along the sidewalk. When people walked by they saw us, and hopefully it made them think about simple ways that they could help too. After that we had dinner, and this really nice guy, Frank (owner of the restaurant), brought us dinner as a thank you for working in the park! We ended up having extra food, so Anna suggested that we could pack up the leftovers and give them to people who may need dinner tonight. We wrapped up hot dogs
, French fries, ketchup and mustard and packed them up for each team member to take a bag and give it to someone along the way back to the hotel. That made us feel good for doing something good. After that long evening, we prayed together and got ready for bed. We are so tired we think we’ll be asleep before our heads hit the pillow. We can’t wait for new adventures to come tomorrow.nycday1

Spring Break Service Ideas

By Denise Mersmann

Spring is in the air! Along with the budding flowers and singing birds, comes a few glorious unscheduled days of spring break.

For some, spring break is a time to head out in search of sandy beaches or snow covered ski trails. But for others, spring break is a great time for a relaxed and meaningful staycation.

If your family happens to have a little free time this spring, consider putting some time to use in a productive, but still fun, way.   Your family can devote a few hours, a day or several days of your spring break to helping make the world a little brighter! There are a lot of fun ways your family can serve right here in the metro.

Some ideas that you might consider:

Have a lemonade stand in your neighborhood to raise money for a cause that matters to you. Before you start, decide where you would like to donate the money you raise and make sure to include that on your signs!

Pull weeds and clean up a local park or shelter area. It’s always a good idea to wear gloves so no one gets cut and have some antibacterial wipes in the car to clean up for the ride home.

Send a package to deployed military troops. Go to Operation Gratitude or Give2TheTroops for details on blessing our troops.

Take out the sidewalk chalk and decorate the sidewalk or driveway of one of your neighbors or the walking trail a local park.

Take an outdoor plant or flower to a neighbor – offer to help plant it for them.

Make bird feeders to hang in trees in the parks or along local walking trails. You can find super easy directions by Googling “homemade bird feeders”.

Go to a local shelter and love on the animals. If you have extra blankets or towels that you can donate those are always appreciated.

Serve at the Ronald McDonald house. There are many opportunities for families to serve other families who are going through a tough time. Search “Ronald McDonald house volunteering” for the opportunity that best fits your family.

Collect gently used or new swim suits to donate to local children’s shelters like Spofford House.

There are many ways that your family can serve, either through organized opportunities or individually. As you are coming up with what opportunities best fit your family, consider what you enjoy doing, how much time and money you can commit and the environment that you feel comfortable working in. Regardless of what you do, celebrate that you are blessing others with your time and talent!