The Heartbeat of Kids Alley - LOVE

Our program exists to confront and alleviate the personal needs and societal shortcomings that affect at-risk children and their families. It is hard to explain what really takes place at Kids Alley each day. Yes, we are dedicated to assisting them with homework, tutoring them, and providing educational enrichment. We want to see them succeed in school and have the same opportunities as their peers in other communities have.

We provide a safe place for them to play outside, learn to swing, learn to ride a bike, and play soccer, basketball,  and football with their friends, without worrying about what is going on with the gang on the corner.

Each program provides nutritional snacks, breakfast, and/ or lunch depending upon the time frame they are with us. We know that there is food insecurity in many of the children’s households, so we want to not only provide food, but provide healthy options and teach good nutrition. To assist with food insecurity, we opened the “Love Your Neighbor Food Pantry,” which provides non-perishables, toiletries, laundry detergent, toilet paper, and other necessities.

These are all important aspects of who we are and how we confront and work to alleviate the needs we see in our students and their families. Our vision is to see them have every opportunity to grow into thriving adults in their community.

The biggest privilege and what is often hard to explain is the work that is going on in the soul of the child and the parent.

The heartbeat of this ministry is the love that is poured out on these students and their families. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 says “ If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”

At Kids Alley we could provide programs of excellence, which we strive for but without love they would be nothing.

I have the privilege every day of watching my staff love on the children and the parents. They value each child and adult. We know that we are all created in the image of God and we attempt to live that out each day. What so often isn’t seen, is the patient, caring, love that sits in another person’s trauma, hurt, and pain and offers hope.

Here are just a few glimpses of the heart work that goes on behind the scenes:

The child screaming and angry over a minor occurrence. There seems to be no logical reason, but we know there is so much hurt and pain inside and we need to help the child navigate the real problem. We look beyond the behavior and ask “how can I help” or “what is going on at home, at school?” We sit in their pain with them and help them find healthier ways to deal with it. This takes time, patience, and love.

The mom sobbing because her son’s progress report is showing failing grades. She did not graduate and she speaks a different language. She feels hopeless. She wants more for her child, but she can’t help. We sit and listen. We called the school and found out what we could do to help. We go to parent-teacher conferences. We walk the path with her.

The boy runs out of the room angry, refusing to do what he is supposed to do. I follow him till he crumbles in a corner with his head buried. I sit on the floor with him, assuring him we care and want to help. I wait till he is ready to talk.

Another distraught mother, who because of language barriers thinks her child is being given an IEP and transferred to another school and she thinks it means he is retarded. She sobs until we explain that he is okay. These steps will help him to succeed.

We drive one parent to the laundromat, and supply the money and the detergent, so she can wash a month’s worth of dirty clothes, due to a government mistake that left her without money for the entire month. We also provide some food to get her through the week.

Our Learning Center Director buys a belt for the boy who is wearing pants that are four sizes too big, but they are the only school pants he has. He walks through his day, holding his pants up.

We have earned the trust of the children and their parents. Many of them have been hurt and beaten down. We listen to their stories. We sit in their pain and their plight. We talk about a plan to change things and how to move forward. We provide for what physical needs we can while loving them and encouraging their soul.

These are some of the scenes that no one sees. It is hard at times, but it is a privilege to be invited into their story, to love them, and value them for who God created them to be, to encourage them that they are valued.

Our works of service are important, but without love they are nothing. We never want to be just a clanging gong. We want to love others as Jesus loved us. (John 13:34)


Learning Center Youth
Love Your Neighbor Food Pantry
Back to School
Educational Enrichment
Learning Center Indoor Recreation

Care About children and Transform their lives with the gift of caring.

Thank You