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DSCN3255 My name is Katherine Clark and I am a short term volunteer here at Hope For Tomorrow. I wanted to share a memorable experience from my trip in hopes of inspiring potential ideas for future volunteers!

I have been a member of the Clark County YMCA of Southern Indiana for more than eight years. I have worked throughout this particular branch for nearly five years, spending the majority of my time in the Kids’ Adventure Room. In the KAR, my job consists of playing with and caring for the children while their parents exercise.

YMCA Preschool drawing pictures for Hope for Tomorrow

YMCA Preschool drawing pictures for Hope for Tomorrow

Needless to say, the YMCA holds a special place in my heart. When Y members and staff heard of my plans to volunteer with Hope For Tomorrow, they were eager to help and support my efforts in any way they could. Numerous members and staff alike participated in the Mark’s Feed Store Fundraiser I initiated for Hope For Tomorrow. My YMCA family also offered countless prayers, positive thoughts, and good vibes directed to my new family at Hope For Tomorrow.

At the YMCA, I also spend a lot of time working in their preschool program. I was so excited when they invited me to talk about Hope For Tomorrow and to teach the kids a short Spanish lesson. The Y preschoolers colored beautiful pictures for me to bring to the children of Hope For Tomorrow. Each of them wrote the phrase: “Que Dios le te bendiga” which translates to “God bless you” on the top of their cards.

The children drawing back to the YMCA Preschool

The children drawing back to the YMCA Preschool

When I presented the children from Hope For Tomorrow with the pictures drawn by the YMCA preschoolers, they were bursting with joy and excitement. Rosa was especially pleased, as she brought every picture to her school the next day in order to show her teachers and friends the beautiful drawings she had received.

The children from Hope For Tomorrow immediately wished to return the favor by coloring pictures for the Y preschoolers. The kids and I had a blast drawing pictures and decorating their cards with stickers galore! I cannot wait to present the YMCA preschoolers with the cards that the children at Hope For Tomorrow have made for them in return.

This easy activity proved to serve as a bridge to combine two very important parts of my life. I am blessed to have the opportunity to serve here as I continue to grow and develop spiritually.

Cooking with Caroline

Lidia and Katy making cake ballsOn Sunday Miguel, Amelia, Lidia, Katy and I spent the afternoon in the kitchen.  I have always loved to bake, and I am thoroughly convinced that there is no better bonding experience than enjoying delicious food together.  Therefore the decision to make cake balls with these kids was an easy one to make.  Cake balls have become a fairly popular phenomenon in the United States, but no one here had ever heard of them before.  The best translation I could find for these tasty little treats was “pelotitas de pastel.”  I showed the kids a picture of the finished project to convince them that it was a good idea.  Luckily it did not take too much convincing.

Mixing together the oil, eggs, water and cake mix went smoothly.  Except for having to translate the directions on the back of the box to English, I might as well have been in my own kitchen at home.  However, our baking skills were truly put to the test when we had to cook the cakes in an oven that only has one temperature – hot.  Amazingly enough we managed to pull the cakes out before the smell of burnt cake filled the whole house, and we only had to pick off a few black edges.  It was a miracle!

Once the cakes were done I told the kids to break apart the cake into a bowl.  I truly wish I had a picture of their faces at this moment.  Every one of them (as well as Blanca the cook) was looking at me like I was crazy.  They could not understand why we would break apart a perfectly good-looking cake.  In my broken Spanish, I tried to assure them that the finished product would be worth it.

We had a great time breaking, mixing, rolling and dipping the pelotitas de pastel.  The hardest part for the kids was all of the waiting that was required as we let the mixture firm up in the freezer.  Thankfully, though, we had enough leftover icing and chocolate chips to get us through that long break.  There were plenty of cake balls to go around, so we shared with everyone at dinner on Sunday night.  We had a lot of fun and, as always, I loved getting to spend a bit of quality time with the older kids!

Cake Balls in the freezer

Cake Balls in the freezer

Amelia and Miguel rolling the cake balls

Amelia and Miguel rolling the cake balls

Lidia and Katy making cake balls

Lidia and Katy making cake balls

Katy having fun

Katy having fun

Chef Miguel

Chef Miguel

Lidia

Lidia

Amelia breaking the cake apart

Amelia breaking the cake apart

 

Hope Children 2013

8758335601_65617048f6_zIn March, we had a team from Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, OK come and spend some time with our kids. One of the projects they took on was taking new pictures of the children. The pictures turned out great and we are so thankful to the group for taking the time to bless us with new photos! See the new pictures below.

Remember, once you click on an image and it enlarges, you can navigate to the next image by clicking on the right side of the image (a “NEXT” button appears) or return to the previous picture by clicking the left side of the image (a “PREV” button appears). When you are done, click the “CLOSE” button or click outside of the picture.

Memories to Last a Lifetime

IMG_3600We are so blessed here at Hope for Tomorrow to have many groups, families, and volunteers come down and spend time with the kids. The kids get so excited when they hear a group is coming down and talk about it for days before the group even gets here.

At the beginning of this month, we were blessed to have the Trenaman family come and spend time with the kids and take them out for an Easter Egg hunt and to the water park, H2Olas. The kids were bubbling with excitement the entire week before the family came, talking about the pools and all the fun stuff they would do. This was an especially exciting trip, as it was Holy Week, the Guatemalan equivalent to Spring Break. Normally the kids would return to school and listen to their friends tell stories of where they went and what they did over Holy Week. But this time, they would have a story to share themselves. A story to share may not mean much to you or me, but to the kids, it means everything. It means not feeling so different from everyone around them. It means, not only did they get the chance to do something fun for a day or two, but that it carries into the rest of their week with their friends. Now instead of just sitting back and listening, they can tell all about the fun they had over their break.

Groups coming down express to the kids that they are cared about, that someone took time out of their lives to come and be with them. It is so much more than a week of activities, it’s a lifetime of memories.

Lulu’s six month birthday and first food!!

8391399236_650e1f6d2fIt’s been a great privilege to watch Lulu grow. We give thanks to God for such a beautiful opportunity. Yesterday, we gave her her first food, cooked blended vegetables. She loved it!

Here you can see the pictures of her eating.

We love you little Lulu!

Remember, once you click on an image and it enlarges, you can navigate to the next image by clicking on the right side of the image (a “NEXT” button appears) or return to the previous picture by clicking the left side of the image (a “PREV” button appears). When you are done, click the “CLOSE” button or click outside of the picture. 

A Very Merry Christmas

IMG_000169

Thanks to a generous supporter, this Christmas was wonderful for our children.  Each child got a great present, and for the first time, none of the children complained that someone else got something bigger, or better! =)  But most important, this Christmas was special because our family has grown so big.  What an incredible experience to see the excitement of 15 children all at once and to have them literally jump on you to show you the present they received.  The joy that was in the home on Christmas Eve was special and a great reminder of the purpose of our ministry: bringing joy and hope to the hearts of children through the love of Christ.

Enjoy the pictures of our Christmas celebration!

Remember, once you click on an image and it enlarges, you can navigate to the next image by clicking on the right side of the image (a “NEXT” button appears) or return to the previous picture by clicking the left side of the image (a “PREV” button appears). When you are done, click the “CLOSE” button or click outside of the picture. 

Putting up the Christmas Decorations

We’re less than a month from Christmas and like many of you we are getting everything ready for the holiday.  Of course a big part of that is decorating the house and this year we let all the children get in on the action.  We began by getting the tree set up.  As undoubtedly you have experienced, having a Christmas tree packed away in a card board box for a year means all the “branches” and “needles” are all smashed together.  If you don’t get everything opened and spread out, the Christmas tree can look a bit sickly.  So each of the children was assigned a branch and within a matter of minutes the tree was nice and plump.

Juan Jose and Edison putting the Christmas tree together

Then we proceeded with the lights and of course, half of them didn’t work, but we managed to evenly distribute the half that did.  However the most exciting part of decorating the tree is putting the ornaments on and this year we gave each of the children a small ornament that they were responsible for.  These ornaments symbolized each child’s individuality (each one was different than the rest), but once they were all on the tree, together they represented that they were also part of a family.  (By the way, I’m not sure how many of them understood the metaphor, but hey…it’s the thought that counts!!).

The children loved taking turns looking for the best place to put their ornament with the majority of them putting them as high as they could reach.  In fact, Angel enjoyed it so much that when it was his turn he put on his ornament and then proceeded to remove someone else’s and then put it back in the same place!

Angel putting on his ornament

Once the individual ornaments were on we opened up the big bag of random decorations and then it was a free for all to get them all on the tree.  The children crowded around every inch of the tree to cover it in ornaments only leaving their space to run to the bag to get another.  It was the best example of organized chaos we’ve seen in a while!

When the bag of ornaments was empty we put up all the stockings up.  Normally, we hang them under the fireplace mantel, but this year we have so many children that we had to put some on the wall to get them all to fit.  When we gave Sarai hers, who we think had never seen a Christmas stocking, she didn’t quite know what to do with it.  So since it looked like a sock she proceeded to take her shoe off and put it on her foot!  It was so cute!

Finally, with all the decorations up, we brought out some hot chocolate and spent some time talking about the true meaning of Christmas and the holiday.

Of course we took pictures of the afternoon which you can see below.

Remember, once you click on an image and it enlarges, you can navigate to the next image by clicking on the right side of the image (a “NEXT” button appears) or return to the previous picture by clicking the left side of the image (a “PREV” button appears). When you are done, click the “CLOSE” button or click outside of the picture. 

 

 

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Hope For Tomorrow Children's Home
135 Lackawanna Rd.
Lexington, KY 40503
T: 859-276-6249
F: 859-276-5570