ServeRDU Family Day Recap
Research shows that children whose parents actively serve and involve them in serving are more likely to grow up and follow Jesus. Why is that? Seeing the impact of serving others gives children a deeper understanding of how to live a life full of purpose.
On Saturday, we offered parents of the Summit Alamance Campus Church an opportunity to do just that – serve alongside their kiddos. As part of their ServeRDU week initiative, the church partnered with HER to love on the moms and children currently living at the Allied Churches of Alamance County homeless shelter.
Jai Baker, the Director of ACAC, bought into the idea of bringing a family fun day to the shelter. At this point in the summer, most of the children are going a bit stir crazy as they have been out of school, out of a routine, and out of sorts as they’ve lived alongside strangers 24/7 for way too long! And, while the moms strive to keep their children occupied, not disturbing the other residents (some of whom are not accustomed to young children), they’re also worrying over their next steps before their time at the shelter comes to a close.
Our solution – entertaining the kids with outdoor water play and treating the moms to an indoor spa day!
Over 30 volunteers from The Summit Alamance Church volunteered and became the largest group of volunteers the shelter had ever seen!
The outdoor fun consisted of a larger than life blowup water slide (clearly the top favorite for all ages!), 840 water balloons, wiffle ball games, water balloon target practice, chalk art, and pickup basketball.
The indoor retreat featured DIY Hand Scrubs & manicures (courtesy of Ms. Millie Nails).
ACAC treated every single volunteer and resident to a hot dog lunch paired with homemade Cool-aid pie. What a treat?!
A couple special moments from the day are particularly memorable. The first is when one of the dear moms went down the water slide in her clothes, just to see the smile on her kids’ faces (ok…the 95 degree weather helped her agree to it too!). The second is the look in each of the moms’ eyes as we gave them their very own copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible. A personalized, handwritten note on the inside cover explained that they and their children were gifts with a God-ordained purpose. We now pray the stories between those covers help bring clarity to the depth of love our Heavenly Father has for each of us and that clarity of this love will urge them to get to know Him better.
As time was winding down, the kids were still going strong on the Dolphin slide and the SunSet slush tubs were running on empty. My mind knew it was time to unplug the blower and turn off the hoses, but my heart longed to keep the entertainment going. Well, God heard my heart’s cry and answered it with a HUGE clap of thunder! Moms started calling for their kids and everyone dispersed right on time.
The amazing team of volunteers cleaned up the entire event (including all 840 popped water balloons painting the grounds!) in 15 minutes flat. And, everyone pulled out of the parking lot just as the first drops of the summer rain storm met the windshields.
What an amazingly, fun day.
Thank you to the Summit Church for sponsoring the event, ACAC for trusting HER with organizing the event, and all the volunteers for serving at the event. We hope it is the first of many family service collaborations to come!