This month the Windham Magazine ran a four page article about our local Kids in Service organization. I was beyond thrilled when they reached out in January about doing an article about our group and the work we are doing in the community. Reporter Madeline Hughes called to do a phone interview with me and then reached out to a few of our members (adults and kids) to ask them about their experience with the organization.
Madeline and photographer Carl Russo came to our KIS Teen meeting at the end of January and took pictures and interviewed the kids while they made blankets for Project Linus. We made 12 blankets that night and shared so many laughs as Madeline asked questions and Carl came around and snapped photos.
The article came out last week while I was away. My friend Kristin sent me photos of the article and I cried tears of joy and gratitude in the parking lot of a CVS. Reading the words of the kids, the parents and the seniors we serve in the nursing home touched my heart. Since the article came out I have been showered by love and support from friends, family, former colleagues, community members and many people from my past. I am so grateful to everyone who has reached out and for The Windham Magazine for running the article about our special group. I had hoped that the article would mention a few of the key people who have helped Kids in Service grow into what it is today. Unfortunately they were not mentioned and so I wanted to take a moment to thank them now.
Kids in Service NH is a team effort and has been from day one. The group started almost 5 years ago under the name MOSAIC Kids. Claire McGarry, founder of MOSAIC of Faith and Shifting My Perspective, and I sat together one Saturday afternoon and dreamed up a group where our children could serve the community in age appropriate ways. We could not find service opportunities for our young children and decided to create projects of our own. We brought on Pam Sarantis and MOSAIC Kids was formed. That first year we worked so hard recruiting families, dreaming up projects and creating the framework for the organization. Claire and Pam stepped down from leadership after our first year but have continued to support the organization every step of the way. I am so grateful for all they did to help build this group.
Next on board came Kristen Sudati. She was a busy mom of littles but wanted to get involved. She took over organizing our nursing home visits and worked to promote our group around town. Last year Jody Wilkins joined Kristen and they were both given the official title of Community Relations Directors. These amazing women work tirelessly behind the scenes to promote our group in the community (the Memorial Day Parade, Scarecrow Contest etc.), make sure that we have a place to meet and that the families know when it is their turn to bake cookies for Project Appreciation, deliver the food for Project Brown Bag or clean up the park. I am so grateful to have these two women on board and for all they do to make Kids in Service a success.
Kids in Service is so lucky to have the GREATEST families as part of our organization. I am constantly in awe of the kids in our group. Their kind hearts are always searching for new ways to make a difference. During our Kids in Service Kids meetings we start with a lesson and a story and end with a gratitude circle. The wisdom and gratitude of these children always warms my heart and gives me so much hope for the future. Watching the teens and seniors interact at the nursing home is a beautiful site. The fact that all of these children take time out of their busy lives to stop and help others is so important.
We could not do half of what we do without the support of the parents. They are out shopping for items to donate, chatting with the seniors at the nursing home parties, making sure that their kids get to meetings on time and then pitching in to lend a much needed hand with our projects. These parents are the glue that hold this group together and I am so very grateful for all of the work that they do and for sharing their children with me each month as we work to make our community a little brighter.
Thank you to Joe D’Amore, Cheryl Haas, Katie Cook, Peter Griffin, Lisa Challender, the Bow Rotary Club, Janine and Chris Parkinson, Zack McGarry, Scott Weller, Windham Presbyterian Church, St. Matthew’s Church and the many other people who support us financially, spread the word about our group, allow us meeting space and help to get us involved with projects.
Finally I’d like to thank my husband Scott and my children Zach and Caroline. These three are my sounding boards, my cheerleaders and are always willing to jump into whatever service project is up next. Without their support there would be no Kids in Service.
Thank you EVERYONE!!