Everybody Needs Hope
The faith community is a critical partner in St. Vincent Catholic Charities’ vision of a healthier community and providing hope. One church that provides hope to many vulnerable children through STVCC is Mount Hope Church and their pastor, Kevin Berry.
At Christmas, Pastor Kevin gave a gift to a boy he mentors at the St. Vincent Children’s Home. Pastor Kevin recalled, “He instantly felt the need to give me something back. He gave me a book that was in his hands and he said ‘HERE, THIS IS FOR YOU!’
I didn’t look at it until I got home and it was called, ‘The Puppy Place – Where Every Puppy Finds a Home.’ It just melted my heart. Here this little boy is reading about a place where a puppy, every puppy, has a home. I thought, my goodness, there needs to be a place where every child has a home.”
The need to help the least in our community has inspired members of Mount Hope Church to volunteer at STVCC and the Children’s Home for over 20 years. In addition to serving as mentors, they’ve assisted on numerous facility projects and collection drives. These include recent renovations of the Child Welfare visitation rooms and providing gifts for each Children’s Home child last Christmas.
“We’ve always had a deep appreciation for what St. Vincent’s does,” Pastor Kevin said. “We love kids and believe that God’s word says we’re responsible for taking care of orphans and widows. A great expression of that in Lansing is obviously right here.”
Yet it wasn’t until the 2015 Guardian Society Breakfast that Pastor Kevin learned of the financial need at the agency. “I never knew there was a Guardian Society, so when I found out about that opportunity, of course that is something we wanted to be a part of,” said Pastor Kevin. Mount Hope Church joined at the Gift of Charity level, a decision driven by the relationships Pastor Kevin has forged during his four years as a volunteer mentor.
“These kids are really close to God’s heart, He cares a lot about them,” reiterated Pastor Kevin.“It’s a thrill that I get to, in a very small way, represent His kindness to kids that I know matter so much to Him.” With the help of Pastor Kevin and Mount Hope Church, STVCC can continue to work tirelessly to find a home for each child in their care.
“What I’d like to accomplish is providing a home for every child. If only half the churches in Michigan would just come up with one family, every child really could have a home. To me, that goal is so realistic. It’s what we’re commanded to do.”