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October 21, 2019

This wasn’t how Mom had planned life. When she was a little girl her Barbie and Ken were just like everyone else’s. They were in love, married and shoe shopping for the latest color of pumps. But life happened and she found herself pregnant at a very young age and out on the streets with […]

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Can Anyone Turn Off The Rain?

September 16, 2019

“When it rains it pours” the old saying goes. Well M was tired of rain. She was wet through and through without even an umbrella to shield her. . . or so it felt. She had always had a love of children. Her journey began as a young mom with two of her own. Life […]

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Does Love Have Strong Legs

Does Love Have Strong Legs?

August 22, 2019

Does the heart need legs to love? Is balance referring only to the ability to stand without staggering or could it mean to stand in non-judgement with the healthy perspective of acceptance? “R” and his wife moved to the area almost two years ago. He was a teacher, a mentor, an advocate for children and […]

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Freedom to Love

Freedom to Love

July 4, 2019

She didn’t love him. In fact, she didn’t even like him. But she was a single mom and she loved her young daughter. She was struggling to make ends meet, so, when the boyfriend offered to let them move in, she did. One less rent payment. One less electricity payment. She was already working three […]

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No Walls


June 17, 2019

A “Lunch Buddy” isn’t confined to the cafeteria! There are no walls to love. “J” had not seen her Lunch Buddy “L” in a long time. Travels had taken her away for over a month and she missed her.  So, one day while out running errands, she stopped by her home for a surprise. Mom […]

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The Mentors Toolbox

April 15, 2019

Every Mentor has a toolbox of sorts. Books can be tools. Coloring pages and a box of 16 Crayons can be tools. A good lunch and a delicious cookie can be tools. Hugs, listening, laughter and smiles can all be tools. But sometimes the only tool capable of making a difference is prayer. L was […]

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March 20, 2019

So many choices. It is hard to be a First Grader. On the outside it may look like all fun and games, but making balanced choices is a challenge at any age. Most of “T’s” fellow students that invested time with their Buddy, did so in the mornings over breakfast. They needed the nutritional benefits […]

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February 11, 2019

What is LOVE? Well, if you ask a primary school child, it just might mean “teacher” – “How she listens to me.” “When he takes time to read to me.” “Believing in me.” “Being my friend.” “Helping me learn.” Twenty percent of all Valentine cards purchased are for teachers. And children spend an average of […]

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Safe Dreams

January 28, 2019

  “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul will keep. If the electrical box blows up before we wake… “ Most parents wish sweet dreams and a great night’s sleep for their children, but this mom prayed every evening that the electric box would not catch fire. It was […]

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The Sparkle Box

December 21, 2018

She kept a “Sparkle Box” on the mantel. It was old. The corners were tattered. The glitter was all but gone and the decorations hung on with thin hairs of glue. But it was a very special box that found its home on the mantel every Christmas. In the Sparkle Box were handwritten notes of […]

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No In Order To

November 1, 2018

Why do we give? Some in this world give in order to receive. Others give in order to enjoy a tax write off. Some give in order to get a fundraiser chairman off their back. And a few give in order to feel better. We have found that those who raise their hands as “givers” […]

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August 13, 2018

It’s that time again…the start of a new school year.  The talk is usually about school supplies and new clothes.  Fundraising drives and donation boxes are everywhere.  But this blog post is not about an elementary school student finding his or her way to the new classroom.  This “start of school” story is about a […]

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Clear Sight

July 15, 2018

There are a lot of dirt roads in Ozark Mountain Country. They curve and wind around like brown snakes in the grass. We get familiar with them and learn their routes and then….it rains! The roads change. Directions turn around. Danger arises. So, too, do we find familiar paths in life changing with the times. […]

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An Even Cut

July 6, 2018

She walked right up to the stylist and handed her a photograph she had torn from a magazine.  At lunch she overheard one of the other girls say that is what she had done…found a haircut on Pinterest and showed it to her hair stylist from her phone.  “M” didn’t have a phone.  She really […]

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Basic Needs

May 24, 2018

What does it mean “to have your basic needs met”? To some it might mean enough food and water. To others…maybe clothes. And yet, to others, it might mean having the ability to interact socially and engage in extracurricular activities – – money for athletic clothes or band instruments. To one young girl “having her […]

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Every Detail

April 19, 2018

He didn’t know the word when his finger ran across it as he read aloud.    “Per…snik….ity.”  He sounded out every letter with care.  Then he dashed his eyes up towards his mentor to see if he had said it correctly. She smiled and nodded, thinking he would just move on.  But “M” stopped. “What […]

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“See You Next Week”

January 31, 2018

“The day came that so many of us fear. The doctor actually said the words, “It is cancer.” For those who have heard those words it is understood there is a process that occurs after those words are said: shock, denial, sadness, fear, visioning, worry, determination… Then someone takes charge and a routine and protocol […]

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I Am Not A Hamster!

January 9, 2018

It feels like a hamster wheel sometimes. Each day has certain tasks and often those tasks run together and blend into bland…get up, make the bed, breakfast, news, mail, bills, dinner, dishes, phone calls, groceries, trash, cleaning, get up, make the bed, breakfast… And even though I know there are wonderful things in each day […]

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Life Is A Marathon

December 6, 2017

I am not a runner by choice and, yet, I find myself running every day…picking up kids, going to sporting events, grocery store, work, mailbox, lawn mowing. If you do life…you run…every day. Competitive short distance sprinters can see their finish line and run straight for it as fast as they can. But life isn’t […]

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September 5, 2017

No man can see clearly when his eyes are shut and his fists are ready for the fight. “J’s” fists were so tightly clenched, he was perpetually ready for the “fight” …not the physical fight of student on student, but the emotional fight of never having “enough.” His mother had lost her job and her […]

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A Care Package

July 15, 2017

What is a physical need? Clothing, food, water, safety, sleep….. When those basic things are met, it is often assumed that a person can succeed. But unmet emotional needs can often be the biggest obstacle to standing in the gap. Two generations shared the same household. Grandma was helping to raise her grandchildren. Basic needs […]

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I Call DIBS!

June 21, 2017

It’s a funny thing… being “in”… sitting at the “cool table.” No one can ever actually figure out from year to year what is going to be the deciding factor that constitutes “cool”. But for the 4th grade class in a local elementary school, the “cool table” was wherever there was a Lunch Buddy hanging […]

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Everyone Needs A Little Pomp

May 1, 2017

She wasn’t going to graduation.  Oh!  Yes!  She had earned the right.  Her GPA was amazing at 3.2.  She had all of her credits.  She even had qualified to attend a Community College for two years with her A+ program completion. She had done everything required of her to walk across that stage…except for one […]

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Twenty Minutes With Miss H.

March 13, 2017

It’s just twenty minutes… and yet those minutes combine — sending off ripples that account for lifetimes.  Can twenty minutes make a life?  One mentor shares a story that answers that question with a truthful, “YES!” Maybe even more than one life. —– Like many other Care for Kids mentors, I spend a mere 20 minutes […]

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This Is “ONLY” A Test

January 16, 2017

The ACT Test. It is really a big deal for high school students wanting to go to college. Each Junior gets to take the ACT for free during the spring. But if the desired score for college entrance is not achieved, the student must take the test again. And this time it is at his or her own expense. […]

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A True Reunion

November 28, 2016

Do I care because we are related? Or do I discover we are related because I care? My husband had been a book buddy to “J” for several years. A deep and strong relationship was born. Both he and “J” looked forward to the days they shared. They developed a love for certain styles of […]

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Special Words

November 12, 2016

It was kind of a rough day. I had a nagging headache. My knees and lower back reminded me of my age. The sky was a bit overcast making it difficult to find the sun. The recent national events had me worried; seeing a lack of civility and grace. It bothered me so much that […]

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Mentor = Friend

October 2, 2016

It is common to find a mentee in grade school.  Help with reading.  Needing a male influence in the life of a young boy.  Guiding high energy or coaching instead of harsh discipline.  There are so many things that can surface in the first few years of school with which a mentor can assist. But […]

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Christ Is At It Again

August 15, 2016

It is often said, “Money can’t buy happiness.”   But money can provide a Senior with a cap and gown so he can walk out onto the stage with his graduating class and feel a part of it all. And money can keep the heat on when it’s freezing cold outside. And money can put a […]

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Digging Deep To Find The Future

July 17, 2016

She wasn’t a chatty kind of girl.  Second grade seemed a little rough.  It’s easy to think of childhood as a stress-free time.  After all, what is there to worry about?  No bills, no need to buy food for the table or put clothes on the backs of others, very little health issues.   But when […]

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