Staff with Hope Mission, a not-for-profit Christian social care agency, has been busy connecting with kids and families through schools in the north part of Red Deer.
Coming up is ‘A Night with Dr. Jonathan Welton’ in support of Hope Mission – the event is slated for Oct. 7th at 6 p.m. at the Hope Mission Center (5217 – 50th Ave.)
Call 403-304-5189 for tickets or for further information.
Meanwhile, things are certainly busy at Hope Mission as the organization continues to expand services across the community.
“We finished our registration for Kids In Action,” said Kelly Row, program manager. “We are also getting set to promote our Youth In Action program for Grade 6 to 8 students,” he said.
“We will be getting our registration numbers the last week of September and launching the program in October.”
Currently running in four schools in north Red Deer, Kids in Action is a mentorship and meal program where kids participate in fun activities and learn from mentors who model positive, healthy lifestyles.
“We’re in the same four schools for the kids’ program – Dawe, Glendale, Aspen Heights and Normandeau,” he said, adding the program is proving extremely popular in those neighbourhoods.
Much of the Kids in Action program focuses on goal-setting and healthy lifestyles.
As mentioned, plans are also shaping up for Youth In Action. “Glendale, Normandeau and Dawe go up to Grade 8,” he said. “The Grades 6 to 8 students need a different program altogether – one that is more in-depth and more mature,” he said.
“So this year, we are going to launch in those three schools, and Central Junior High got added on, too. We’re hoping to get 20 kids in each of those sessions as well and have 80 kids in that program.
“We’re basically putting the program together over the month of September and after Thanksgiving we will launch it in the schools,” he said. “These kids need help too; there’s a lot of kids that need some support, community, friendships and role models.”
Hope Mission began in 1929 in Edmonton as a soup kitchen and men’s shelter. Today, the organization has grown into an Alberta-wide social care agency serving men, women, youth and children.
Row added community support to the ongoing work of Hope Mission is also essential, as they receive no government funding. “We have such a great opening in these schools, and there are more schools we could get into, but of course it’s always about funding.”
For Row, working with youth in his home town is the ideal job. “I grew up in Red Deer so for me to be back in my hometown and able to reach out and help – the reward is there too,” adding he’s also inspired by his Christian faith to continue to move forward in ministry. “I have a heart for this community.”
Meanwhile, Row is also gearing up for the Ride for Refuge on Oct. 1st.
“The local one is taking place at CrossRoads Church, but they have sites all over North America,” said Row, adding that it’s a fundraiser for any type of refugee situation. “It started out with more of an international kind of feel to it – to support all of these people that are in other countries who are supporting refugees and those who are being displaced.”
Row said the ultimate goal is to raise $2,500,000 for some of the most marginalized people in the world and here in Red Deer through Hope Mission.
“As it sort of evolved, they thought, ‘What about our people who are seeking refuge? What about our homeless people – our suffering people? We wouldn’t mind raising some money for that, too.’”
Folks can walk 5km or bike 10km, 25km or 50km.
To support Row in his fundraising for Ride for Refuge, or for more information visit www.hopemission.com.