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132 Reviews
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November 9, 2012

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1 previous review
July 25, 2011

This is the third year that my family and I have volunteered on Heaventrain. There are so many positive aspects of this ministry. One of the first things I recognize is the fact that Pastor Phil and... more

November 9, 2012

But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Luke 18:15-17 Heaventrain is an awesome and amazing ministry that brings children to Jesus ! It brings hugs and laughter, music and a
message, and brings the love of Jesus into the Central Cleveland neighborhoods. I have stood and watched as the bus circles the streets and children come running from all directions. They return week after week. There are grandparents and parents that continue to come with their testimonies that they were Heaventrain kids ! Pastor Phil Batten, the Heaventrain Staff and all of the volunteers make a huge impact on these kids. For over 30 years Lighthouse, Inc. has been instrumental in planting the seed of faith. The longevity of the ministry has proven its success. It is the most rewarding ministry I have been a part of. I know our Heavenly Father is looking down and smiling every time he hears that music playing and sees that big blue bus filled with HIS children !

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

July 25, 2011

This is the third year that my family and I have volunteered on Heaventrain. There are so many positive aspects of this ministry. One of the first things I recognize is the fact that Pastor Phil and his staff have gone out with volunteers for 30 years to bring this "traveling church" to kids in the Central neighborhood ! That is certainly longevity and proves that Heaventrain is successful. I have met many adults who comment that "they were Heaventrain children and now they are bringing their kids as well". What a testimony !
This organization runs very smoothly. The staff knows exactly what to do and the volunteers are trained to step right in and interact with the kids. Some people do not know what Heaventrain is. The big blue bus drives around playing music and blowing the whistle. Kids come from everywhere !!! The children are kept busy with chalk, balls, jump ropes, etc. while they wait to get on the bus. When they are on the bus they are given a short sermon. (close to 85 kids at once). When that is finished they get off the bus and are served a meal. The whole process works very smoothly.
There is no experience that equals the feeling you get when you see these kids. They love to be hugged and they love the attention. They are all God's children and when we plant the seed of Jesus we just pray that their hearts will be touched. You have to experience Heaventrain only one time to be "hooked". We look forward to serving with the wonderful staff and seeing the faces of these beautiful children. It is a gift ! Hoping one day we will be on staff as well.
When I think of heaventrain I think of this simple scripture:
Matthew 25:40..."The King will reply, truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me".

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

By volunteering I have seen first hand how Heaventrain touches the lives of so many.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

There is nothing to change. Heaventrain has been running 30 years and they have perfected the process.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

For the purpose Heaventrain serves it is an amazing ministry. In the past 30 years it has been perfected. If we can get the kids there...we can touch their lives and hopefully change them and prepare them for eternity.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Oh yes ! Most importantly it taught me to love. Acceptance of all people. To take a step in faith and not be fearful of my surroundings. To be able to share God's word and open my heart to these children. I love it and look forward to it !

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Amazing. It touches my heart !

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

November 8, 2012

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November 8, 2012

I've been part of a team of over 20 volunteers from our church for 4 years now helping their Heaventrain ministry .I've been a suburban pastor in the Clevand area for almost 20years and a lay leader here since 1975 I feel this ministry is one of the most fruitful in the inner city that I am aware of.the leadership is dedicated to helping & serving the children and families in some of our most needy areas.Our church proudly supports this ministry. The ministry impact through basketball on young innercity men is commendable as is also their results though one on one tutoring in highschool.I could go on but will say only this in addition I pray others from all over greater Cleveland will check them out and help in some meaningful way.Our volunteers love the tool of outreach.Pastor Tom Slater--Visitation Pastor==Christ The King Church--North Olmsted.OH

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 8, 2012

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November 8, 2012

I've known the Batten family for about 10 years now and can't say enough good about their hearts and how they serve the people of Cleveland. When I was a teenager I volunteered for Lighthouse and got to see first hand how much they give of their selves and truly love the people and want to make a difference. I'm proud to say that I'm a part of this family and have been able to witness the countless lives changed. I don't know of very many organizations who not only talk the talk but walk the walk.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 7, 2012

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November 7, 2012

I HAVE KNOWN ANDY AND KRISTEN FOR ABOUT 2 YEARS. I KNEW ABOUT THE HEAVEN TRAIN BEFORE THAT. THEY ARE TWO OF THE MOST SINCERE AND DEDICATED PEOPLE THAT I HAVE MET IN A LONG TIME. I WILL ASSIST THEM IN ANY WAY I CAN. OUR COMMUNITY IS ALL THE BETTER FOR THIER EFFORTS.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 7, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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1 previous review
July 24, 2011

I've been a volunteer with Lighthouse for six years. I first started as a Heaventrain volunteer, then a tutor at East Tech, and now I am a community organizer in Central. The children on Heaventrain c... more

November 7, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

I'll never forget the day the Heaventrain pulled up and children were lining up outside eagerly awaiting their turn on the bus. I looked along the fence and saw a shirt, jeans, and shoes barely visible laying on the concrete. I thought that this was someone's clothes that were discarded. I looked a little closer and saw the most angelic face of a little boy sleeping on the concrete. My heart broke as he lay there suddenly the cold concrete pillow did not seem appropriate for this little boy. He wanted to come to Heaventrain but he was so tired that he couldn't stay awake long enough to make it on the bus.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

July 24, 2011

I've been a volunteer with Lighthouse for six years. I first started as a Heaventrain volunteer, then a tutor at East Tech, and now I am a community organizer in Central. The children on Heaventrain come running from their homes when the bus arrives in their neighborhood. They stand quietly outside the bus or play with the toys until it's time for their turn. Lighthouse has been a part of Central for 30 years and is trusted in the community. I've experienced this first hand through my conversations with the people in the community. It is unique to have an almost "family-like" dynamic with strangers but when I mention Heaventrain this is what happened.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the trust of Lighthouse in the community, seeing students improve their reading comprehension two grade levels, relationships with community residents

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find more ways to get the word out about Lighthouse so people can understand and see what I have experienced in the community

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

November 7, 2012

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1 previous review
November 21, 2011

I am the founder and pastor of Heaventrain. It has been my highest privilege and honor to serve as part of an amazing group of people. The children of Heaventrain are the most precious treasures in ... more

November 7, 2012

Heaventrain love's Children, more specifically Cleveland's vulnerable children. The team loves these kids and you can see and feel the impact of three decades of service. There is a special bond between our Heaventrain family and the children we serve. Words cannot express the honor it is to serve as part of this organization.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 21, 2011

I am the founder and pastor of Heaventrain. It has been my highest privilege and honor to serve as part of an amazing group of people. The children of Heaventrain are the most precious treasures in God's Kingdom and represent the hope for Cleveland's future. The volunteers of this organization give years of their life as servants that have fallen in love with our children. There is love that is seldom felt that is a mutual gift between the children and volunteers, it is a special connection that you must experience to understand. I have seen first hand barriers of race, economics, culture, and geography disappear and know first hand what it is to love and be loved by a community. I have spent over 30 years as part of this organization and am proud to be associated with a ministry that has created a legacy that will continue for many years. We have been blessed by many people that live, love, and give of themselves. While we have enjoyed a rich and exciting past I know that our best days are ahead as a new generation of leaders and children continue to pursue the vision of Lighthouse Inc.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Years of community connection. Much love and compassion of children and volunteers alike.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Bring more young people to leadership roles, better support of projects financially, and more indigenous leadership.

October 23, 2012

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1 previous review
November 29, 2011

I have been involved with Heaventrain for a little over two years now and during this time have really grown to appreciate the hard work and efforts of the entire staff and volunteers. While it is re... more

October 23, 2012

I have been involved with Heaventrain for over 3 years now and continue to be amazed at the dedication and love that is being shared. While this past year I have been unable to attend on a regular basis, we have continued to provide (make) over 800 sandwiches once a month ... even when I cannot be there to distribute them, I can still vision the children receiving them and their smiles. Rain, sun, snow...the Heaventrain team is there and should surely be commended.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 29, 2011

I have been involved with Heaventrain for a little over two years now and during this time have really grown to appreciate the hard work and efforts of the entire staff and volunteers. While it is rewarding to see such a dedicated staff, the real joy is in seeing the eyes and smlies of the children. When I first attended Heaventrain, the children were receiving a simple meal or snack. We noticed that as the economy got worse, so did the available donations to hand out. As a result, on the Saturday my church volunteers attended each month we have begun providing 800-900 bologna and cheese sandwiches. Heaventrain volunteers as well as other groups in the chuch help out in the preparation, getting more involved that may not have the entire day available. The great part again is reaching out to more individuals to make them aware of Heaventrain. Being able to provide the sandwiches is rewarding...but again it's all in the eyes of the children. When you hand them their snack and to have one tell you "Thank you, I am so hungry"...that's what it's all about.


I can not say enough about the Heaventrain staff and volunteers. Week after week, always organized and ready to serve with a smile. It has been a blessing in my life and I hope to be able to serve for years to come.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the number of children reach and those who return week after week and later in life bring their own children

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would love to see them have more resources to work with

September 19, 2012

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September 19, 2012

I am amazed by the the heart that pushes the team at Lighthouse to serve. It is not only in the way they serve and build community, but also the motivation in that service. Working in a tough neighborhood, Lighthouse does not back down to the big challenges or shy away from the problems. They are intentional to face these issues directly by finding innovative solutions with creative ideas. Many times working with limited resources the staff and volunteers at Lighthouse seem to be willing to take on the impossible, and more often than not succeed. I am happy to give my time, energy, and financial resources to an organization who is making a real impact.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

August 26, 2012

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August 26, 2012

what an outreach to the people of cleveland and beyond... when others have walked out Heaventrain and Lighthouse minsteries have rolled in...

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Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2000

August 7, 2012

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August 7, 2012

I really loved volunteering for Heaven Train because it's great to see all the kids running from their houses to see the puppet show and hear the Word of God. It's wonderful to hang out with the kids and learn more about them.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Spend time with a young person as a tutor. Volunteer