There are only so many hours in the day. And life has a way of filling up those hours. So why spend time volunteering? For the Vanderpool family – dad Mark, mom Cheryl, and kids Zion, Immanuel and Seriah – volunteering is a way to live out the values they hold dear.
“As a family, it’s important to us that we live a lifestyle of serving those around us – starting with our immediate family and extending into our community,” Cheryl said.
Cheryl first heard about Home of Hope while searching for family volunteer opportunities in the Buford area, their home for the last two years. Upon finding out about Home of Hope, the Vanderpools jumped right into serving. To date, they’ve made around 10 lunches for the home with kids in their neighborhood and homeschool groups.
But what is it about volunteering with Home of Hope that keeps Cheryl and her family coming back? The way she’s seen it affect her kids.
“As we’ve continued to serve at Home of Hope regularly, my sons have gotten excited about the idea of helping other kids that are just like them. They get even more excited when they know they can share this opportunity with their own friends,” she said.
“I love being able to continually live out community service with our sons and the friends that we’ve invited to help. To ingrain in them the Biblical truth of selflessness and doing unto others what you would want others to do for them – and ultimately being the light of Jesus Christ through their acts of kindness – it’s so important,” Cheryl said.
While it can be gratifying to help a cause many miles away, there’s something special about serving locally.
“The real-time significance of serving the residents of Home of Hope brings a tangible experience for our children to help others just like them,” Cheryl said.
“In the simplest of words and from pure innocence, I love seeing our children add their personal touch to a meal with hand-written notes. It reminds them of how blessed they are and that they’re not too young to share the hope and goodness they have with others who are trying to find their way.”
Cheryl has long had a passion for helping children – she has a degree in elementary education and had previously served at Victory Church for eight years as Children’s Pastor. She now homeschools her two boys.
“For us, part of the draw to homeschooling was allowing flexibility to take advantage of opportunities like those we have at Home of Hope, to give experience and build character and values that are important to us as a family,” she said.
In addition to their work with Home of Hope, Cheryl also serves with Tres Dias and is a board member for Blagrove Special Needs Services, an Autism school in Jamaica.
Prayer and action together can make a huge impact, and through these means, Cheryl and her family have witnessed life-change through their time volunteering with Home of Hope.
“Indirectly, I have seen the joy and anticipation of a resident moving out on her own and even been a part of collecting donations of household items to help get her started,” she said
Having seen the fruits of their labor, Cheryl encourages others to get involved with Home of Hope.
“Every volunteer opportunity is rooted in the different aspects of bringing hope to what may have been hopeless circumstances. Home of Hope also provides residents with the practical life skills needed to create a home for themselves and their children beyond their time at the Home.” Cheryl said.
“And no matter how small or big of a donation – time, money, needed items – it’s all for the purpose of seeing the residents and their children succeed independently. As a community, we have what these residents need in order to lift them up above their circumstances to hopefully see a clearer path to independence.”
To learn more about giving your time to help moms and kids at Home of Hope, visit https://homeofhopegcs.org/volunteer/.