by Nate F.
In light of the Thanksgiving Holiday that we have coming up, we wanted to share with you 10 things that we’re thankful for at the Peace Program:
- Art Projects! We’ve painted gourds and pumpkins, traced leaves, drawn pictures, and much more. I love seeing the creativity of the kids as they get to color, create, and convey their imaginations through art.
- Laughter! I’m grateful for the amazing and (sometimes) hilarious things that our kids say and do. There isn’t a day at PEACE that isn’t filled with at least a little bit of laughter.
- 8 boxes of peanut butter crackers! These and other snacks were generously donated by the Food Depot. We send each child home with a snack like this every day, and the PB crackers are a favorite. We’re blessed to serve alongside organizations like the Food Depot, who work hard to feed the hungry and better our community.
- PEACE Parents! We really feel the support when, for instance, the parents of our students drop by to donate some extra snacks for the kiddos. Or when moms make a point to talk to us about where their kids are academically, so we can focus tutoring time most effectively. This semester, many parents have sincerely thanked us for what we do and how we’ve helped their kids. It’s encouraging to see families come together across the Devlin community because of PEACE.
- Face Paint! We hosted a booth at Kirksville’s Red Barn Arts and Crafts Festival, where kids could paint pumpkins and get their faces painted. We got super busy around noon, and Larissa and her team did an amazing job painting so many of those faces! It was gorgeous weather for mingling with the community and conversing about the mission of PEACE.
- PEACE Movie Night! We had nearly 20 kids inside our library (which we transformed into a mini-movie theater), as we all watched The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. There were kettle corn and hot drinks for everyone. We had a BLAST!
- Our new library! It’s definitely the best room in the building! Each day, our kids sit together on their cool new bean bags and excitedly read through a myriad of books. We are super grateful for all the work that the Kirksville Housing Authority did to provide us with our new carpet and flooring, and to Home Depot for providing some free rugs.
- Prayer! Every day before snack, we pray for the food. The prayers of our kids vary depending on the day, time of year, and mood that they’re in. But recently, I’ve heard a new level of sincerity from our kids as they thank God for “great days,” “the yummy food at Peace Program,” “my mommy and daddy,” and the list goes on and on. It would be normal and right to hear kids asking God for things that they need or want, but it has really blessed me to hear prayers of thanksgiving flowing from their hearts.
- Brothers and Sisters! This semester we have a lot of younger kids that have older siblings in the program. The older kids are doing a fantastic job helping the younger ones read in the library and follow directions during activities. They are great at just loving and encouraging them. It is a beautiful representation of what a family should look like.
- Smiles! Nearly every day, as soon as the bus comes to a stop on the other side of PC Mills Park, a small girl with blonde hair and a heart-warming smile comes racing to #20 as fast as she can. One day I asked her, “Why do you run so fast to get here every day?”
Her face lit up with a smile as she replied, “I wanna be here because I love the Peace Program.”