Giving by Example: Girls of Smith Hall at Children’s Home All In

The truth is, at first, most of the children who come to STVCC Children’s Home are not happy about being there. This is understandable, their lives have been turned upside down, and in most cases they have seen or experienced things at home that no child should have to endure. Being in the foster care system is indeed about working towards the ideal goal of family reunification, but for the time that they are wards of the state these children have real needs for stability and trust. It is part of the responsibility of STVCC to create that stable environment and to forge trusting relationships.

Kari Robbins has worked at STVCC for over five years. Recently she has just taken on the responsibility of Case Manager for the teen girls living on Smith Hall at the Children’s Home. A mother of teen girls herself, she believes that children learn from example and this includes the children she works with at the Children’s Home. “Part of what I think is important for these girls to learn is the concept of giving back. We want them to understand that there are a lot of people supporting us here. We work to help the kids that are here learn to follow our lead about giving back… that no matter how bleak our own situation may be, there are others in more difficult circumstances,” shared Robbins.

Giving by Example

In a staff meeting, the Smith Hall team came up with the idea of bi-monthly service projects. The idea was presented to the girls living in Smith Hall and a Giving Back project was developed. The goal, to raise money with a bake sale. The proceeds would be used to purchase and assemble Blessing Bags filled with personal care products to be shared with the Loaves and Fishes Homeless Shelter.

The Smith Hall girls were fully engaged at every step of the way, researching and planning what items to make for the Bake Sale for the best return on their investment, baking, promoting the sales to STVCC staff, right down to opinions on what are the best and most practical items to include in the Blessing Bags. This service project was completed with a visit to the Loaves and Fishes Shelter to deliver the bags and learn more about the organization.

Planning is already underway for the next Giving Back project.

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