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132 Reviews
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November 14, 2012

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November 14, 2012

I used to be an elementary teacher and I was looking for an opportunity to minister to children again. I was a tutor at Carl & Lewis Stokes Elementary Academy one day a week in 2012. Each week we worked usually on sight words, reading skills and helping to build self esteem in the children. It was a joy to see a smile on the students' face when they knew they learned new words& understood the lesson. It was also good to see them work with other students playing a game and being a "team" or helper. Both Light House Inc. and the staff at the school were very welcoming, helpful and grateful for the work we accomplished with the students.

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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

November 14, 2012

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November 14, 2012

I am a retired public school librarian and I did not think that I would do volunteer work in schools. I am glad that a friend at church encouraged me. When I walked into Stokes Elementary in Cleveland, I felt right at home and I almost said out loud: "Wow, this is what I used to do every day and I loved it." I worked with first graders on readiness and early reading skills. I saw the same students each week and I got to know the sort of things that would motivate them: their favorite book, a puzzle game, etc. Working on beginning consonant sounds was challenging. We tried different strategies throughout the year and it was rewarding for all of us when we saw progress. Kevin L. Schaner

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

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

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 14, 2012

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November 14, 2012

I tutor at East Tech High School. The relationships formed through Lighthouse bring the Kingdom of God into the school in powerful ways. The words hope, potential, and future are being instilled in these young minds. I'm grateful for the opportunity, and I'm excited to see what God is doing.

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 13, 2012

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November 13, 2012

It is a honor and a privilage to volunteer with Heaventrain. To watch Pastor Phil serve the childeren of Central Cleveland is amazing. He gives so much to the childeren who have so little. How rewarding it is to hear the childeren say Thank you and to receive a hug. When I volunteer with Heaventrain I always learn more about the love of our heavenly Father from Pastor Phil and the team.

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 13, 2012

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November 13, 2012

Lighthouse INC is a wonderful team of people who have put their best feet forward in serving the children in Cleveland. I have recently begun part-time work with Lighthouse, and I have volunteered a few times on Heaventrain to help catch a glimpse of Lighthouse's larger goal. The lighthouse/heaventrain team is committed to what matters more than numbers of persons fed or snazzy programs to boast of. The bottom line is loving kids who need someone to believe that they can do it! Through tutoring, investing in good quality meals, and spending time cheering on these kids, Lighthouse folks are getting it done. They know the kids well thanks to years and years of faithful ministry through Heaventrain. More importantly, this group of people knows the significant value of each individual child. We have seen and heard of some miraculous things from some of the leaders, and I believe that is evidence of a team with the right vision!

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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

November 10, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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1 previous review
July 23, 2011

I started off going to the heaventrain as a young teenager. I wrote an essay for the heaventrain and Pastor Phill and the staff invited me to join the staff but, i really didnt know them and since id ... more

November 10, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

I can remember a time on heaventrain when a little boy had come to heaventrain and we were doing the summer feeding program; the kids 18 and under got a chance to eat a delicious hot meal with cold milk and carrots. While we were packing up to leave, we were giving away extras to the kids who wanted them (because we had a set amount and we had to pay for that amount any way) when this boy's mom walks up to all of our staff with tears in her eyes, hugging us and saying that they didnt have any food and didnt know what to tell the children. She said that heaventrain blessed their family with the sandwhiches and milk, which would feed her 4 children. Since this was our last stop of the day, we gave them our last box of sandwhiches and milks. For over 32 years, heaventrain has been quietly serving and blessing the community; and is able to build lasting relationships through holiday food drives, giving out coats for kids, and the numerous tutoring programs and extracricular activities students can be involved in after school. In the words of another heaventrain parent, heaventrain is a blessing and dont ever stop serving. Non-profits like this nowadays are rare and so thats why i nominate heaventrain for this grant.

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 23, 2011

I started off going to the heaventrain as a young teenager. I wrote an essay for the heaventrain and Pastor Phill and the staff invited me to join the staff but, i really didnt know them and since id already almost been snatched up twice, i decided to hold off and watch them. That was five years ago, and when i tell people this story they're baffled because they couldnt see themselves living in these neighborhoods facing the struggles these people are facing today. The heaventrain served as something to look forward to; seeing as society is so rough these days.

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The Great!

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

The community. I can't help smile when i walk into a store or down a street and a little kid or parent recognizes me and says he was on the heaventrain!

Ways to make it better...

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

I would make sure that everybody knew if the heaventrain was going to be running or not the night before; that way we dont have people come out get lost or jumped on. Like maybe give everybody walkie talkies or something...

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?

We need to get some cold water or juice in the summertime when it gets extremely hot.

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

It did because i was able to meet new people and it showed me that everybody is the same no matter what color they are.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

It makes me feel special; it makes me feel like i belong somewhere, makes me feel like im wanted.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

November 9, 2012

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1 previous review
July 22, 2011

4 years ago, I heard about Lighthouse through my son and volunteered to help set up the office. Then I spent a day delivering food through the Storehouse program. At each site several resident volun... more

November 9, 2012

So many times over the last several years I have heard from kids on Heaventrain how much they look forward to Heaventrain each week. Their moms have told me how the kids hear that train whistle and hurriedly grab their shoes and race out the door to meet Heaventrain. So what's all the hype about? Come spend one day among these children and you will never be the same. In their eyes, I see hope and resiliency no matter how difficult their lives have been. They are so worth the commitment of the volunteers to come each week and show them God's love in tangible ways through listening and caring, playing games, and feeding them. Then there's the deep yet simple Gospel message shared on Heaventrain that is so relevant to where they are. I love being part of Lighthouse and reaching out to these kids! They have helped heal my heart without ever knowing it.

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 22, 2011

4 years ago, I heard about Lighthouse through my son and volunteered to help set up the office. Then I spent a day delivering food through the Storehouse program. At each site several resident volunteers would help unload the food and then set up mini pantries. It was fun to work together. Next, I traveled with Heaventrain on a Saturday in December. It was very cold, but the volunteers stayed all day, interacting with kids as they waited to board the bus or when they came off. I was amazed at the hope in these children's eyes when it was obvious that their community and living conditions were less than ideal. They were resilient in the face of difficulties. I could see why they responded to the teachings; they needed real answers. I have helped in other ways, too, and have found the community widely recognizes Lighthouse and speaks very positively of it.

The Great!

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

the people. Lighthouse has intentionally spent time developing relationships with the kids and adults in Central Cleveland. The people respect Lighthouse for the work done in Central and are willing to support efforts made by Lighthouse.

Ways to make it better...

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

develop more capacity and develop great marketing for Lighthouse. Lighthouse has a story to tell and no or little funding to support such marketing.

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

more

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

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Spend time with a young person as a tutor. Volunteer