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2 reviews

Review for Kidzreach, Yountville, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Kidzreach, is a program which gives 'at risk youth' a reprieve from their extremely challenging circumstances, each Sabbath, for an entire day. The crew is all volunteer, and includes the director, assistant, Pacific Union College students and various others. They all join to make a difference in the lives of approximately 35 children every week. The day is begun by picking up each child from his home, driving to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, feeding them breakfast, taking them to their prospective classes, attending church, eating lunch with them, engaging in play, hiking or some type of afternoon activity, all having dinner together, then driving them back home again. At Christmas, these young people are given a Special Dinner and Party, complete with gifts, which is often the only that some receive. A variety of communities donate and volunteer, along with the regular crew, to make this happen. While Kidzreach has only recently become an official non-profit, a lot of these families have been ministered to and 'gotten together' as a surrogate family for many, many years; some, for their entire lives. As a parent, I especially appreciate that we have been given the opportunity to participate as a family and church youth group as we are able. At times, volunteers bring their knowledge, specialties or games to share with the group, ie: instrument-playing, drawing and other art skills, etc.

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

that some of the kids want us to come back and are so happy to see us. I've had youth confiding in me. I've seen kids obviously enjoying themselves in a stress free environment, having multiple positive learning experiences. I've noticed growth in participants and volunteers alike. I've observed the modeling of healthy conversations, relationships, mentoring and skill sharing. It is obvious that these kids love, respect and look up to the consistent volunteers especially.

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

(I know they are already doing some of this to some extent, and that the top people very much operate on this truth.) But due to the fact that the needs for these families are so enormous, because I know we can never pray too much, and that prayer gives God permission to do that which He wouldn't be able to do, I suppose I would have someone set up a consistent prayer ministry which concentrates specifically on these kids, their families' circumstances and salvation.

Role:  Volunteer & I have been priveleged on occasion, to take a group of teens to volunteer to spend the day helping out, befriending the youngsters and joining in with their activities. I've also helped one year with some Christmas Party preparation. I collected cloth.

Review for Plant-A-Book International, Castroville, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

My family and I have been sponsoring one child at a time, for five years. I periodically meet with one of the staff / volunteers, so am more than confident in supporting this non/profit.The interactive aspect is one of the keys to the success of this program, ( in terms of our relationships with our students and the on-going dialogue between sponsors, volunteer staff and the program's director, Fanuel). It's what helps keep my family involved and active in the life of the children we sponsor. It is rewarding to see my own teenage sons also willing, to spend their own money to buy 'ourKenya boys', book bags, food and clothing. We are getting so much more than we're giving. When writing to these children, sending them packages and receiving correspondence back, I feel we are actually contributing much needed moral support and some financial help as well. Our small role in this endeavor truly impacts our sponsees, as is evidenced in their improved marks/grades. These young people face unbelievable obstacles. Anything we can do to encourage them to dig deep, to study and get the education that will pull them out of the slums is gratifying.
An miraculous amount of progress at the schools and orphanage has taken place.

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

I periodically meet with one of the staff / volunteers, so am more than confident in supporting this non/profit.

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

Encourage people that are posting to the group's Yahoo site, to reply to an individual's email's address when appropriate. I feel that there are people that would like to keep up on what's happening, but can't wade through all the messages.

Role:  Donor & My family and I sponsor children from the schools. .