CFOT Family Care kids do their part during COVID-19 crisis

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Children at the College’s Family Care Center create messages of hope and love.

By Karen Gleason–

Children at the College for Officer Training (CFOT) at Crestmont are doing their part to reach out to others during the COVID-19 crisis, creating uplifting notes and pictures. While their parents, Salvation Army officers and cadets—those in training to be Salvation Army officers—are serving on the frontlines of support, the kids are preparing messages of love—writing notes of encouragement that are being delivered along with Salvation Army food boxes and meals to those in the Army’s shelters and senior residences and to people living on the streets. 

“This awesome idea came from a challenge by Commissioner Jolene Hodder, via Facebook, asking children to join in the mission of The Salvation Army by sharing love and hope to others,” said Captain Joy Groenleer, CFOT Family Care Director.

It’s an easy project that can have a big impact, and the kids enjoy being creative.

“I felt happy making these cards because I know others would be happy when they receive them,” Nellie Vesikula said. 

The kids were able to imagine how the recipients might feel upon getting a note or picture—an individual touch—with their food boxes. “I feel excited that people will get my card and will say, ‘Aww, that’s so nice,’” Ethan Hernandez said.

Some were sensitive to how other children might be feeling right now, with their normal lives disrupted. “I think it’ll make other kids happy and feeling positive because kids are going through a rough time right now,” Arieta Vesikula said.

Groenleer said the children will continue to write encouraging notes, not just to families receiving food boxes and seniors but also to Adult Rehabilitation Center beneficiaries.

“As we support the children and assist them with keeping up with daily schoolwork, we want to also give them these opportunities for service as they help to make a difference by sharing encouragement and joy to others,” Groenleer said.

One of the kids summed up the project’s main point. “I felt happy that I could write positive notes to brighten up others so they know that people care,” Erick Rivas said.

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