Monday, July 31, 2017

Students have a day on the job at a local retail store

A group of six Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) youth were able to receive tips, personal insight and hands-on job training at a seminar on July 18  hosted by Waco’s local Old Navy store. The job training seminar, which took place at the local Waco Old Navy storefront, was hosted by Old Navy representatives.

The four-hour seminar was both informative and interactive, according to Codi Stafford, MCH recreation coordinator.

Youth listened to Old Navy employees share about their line of work in retail. Further, the employees walked students step-by-step through how to get a job. Then, students were able to be hands-on in the seminar by participating in mock job interviews, training on registers and inventory, and how to speak professionally with customers.

Kimberly Bobbitt, recreation director at MCH, said the event was a great opportunity for MCH youth to “gain some hands-on job training experience and [gain] clearer understanding of what it looks like to get and retain employment at a basic job level.”

According to Old Navy’s website, Old Navy employees believe that “business communities need to work together to thrive.” In turn, as an organization, they focus their community programs on areas that line up with their business expertise. “We think we can make the biggest difference by advancing women, teens, and young adults and supporting volunteers,” the company states.

It is Bobbitt’s hope that through this experience “students gained wider understanding of insight into what the process of getting a job looks like, as well as what a ‘day on the job’ might look like.”

“Often our students are told what it takes to get a job and what behavior is needed to keep one,” Bobbitt said. “But it is not often that they get to experience a day on the job and get the hands-on experience to back up these words.”

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Core Value Award for Hope - Dr. Elise Pinney

Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) annually recognizes staff who exemplify our Core Values. Staff are nominated by their peers and recognized at an all-staff meeting.

The Core Values for MCH are:
Christian Principles

Dr. Elise Pinney, director of psychological services, received the 2017 Core Award for Hope at the spring all-staff meeting. The recipient of the Core Award for Hope is someone who believes in the possibilities of the future.

According to her nomination, Dr. Pinney cares deeply about the safety and well-being of all our youth. She exemplifies the Core Value of Hope in the way she helps youth find an ideal balance of both structure and nurture to help them realize their full potential in life. She does this with a caring, compassionate and genuine demeanor which make youth feel heard and trusted.

Dr. Pinney meets with youth on a weekly basis to provide them support and encouragement on their goals and also handles many acute situations when our youth are in crisis.

Through her personable and caring approach, Dr. Pinney is able to quickly establish connections with youth in order to provide them a sense of felt-safety and comfort. She instills in them hope to help them thrive in our program.

Julie Spiech, associate administrator and Dr. Pinney’s supervisor, said she had the utmost respect for Dr. Pinney and the way she has worked to offer hope to those in the MCH community for many years.

A quote form Austin Brown, clinical therapist, further sums up Dr. Pinney’s impact on MCH: “It has been an honor for me to work with and learn from Dr. Pinney. She is always quick to serve as needs arise and she does so with a consistent calmness and stability that puts those around her at ease. She is someone who I think embodies the core values that we strive for as an organization.”

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Methodist Children’s Home again receives four-star rating

Methodist Children’s Home on July 1, 2017, received another four-star rating by Charity Navigator – the highest rating available from America’s largest independent charity evaluator, according to Tim Brown, president and CEO of MCH.

“Any success is based upon a steadfast commitment to service and excellence to which we are called, as well as accountability to those we serve and to those who believe in our life-changing mission and support us through their generosity,” said Brown.

 According to leadership of Charity Navigator, only a quarter of rated charities have achieved the distinction of a four-star rating.

“Attaining a four-star rating verifies that Methodist Children’s Home exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in their area of work,” said Michael Thatcher, president and CEO of Charity Navigator. “This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator sets Methodist Children’s Home apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness.”

Thatcher explained that donors today desire greater accountability, transparency and for concrete results from charity evaluators and “the intent of our work is to provide donors with essential information to give them greater confidence in both the charitable decisions that they make and the nonprofit sector.”

“We are grateful to receive this outstanding rating because we take seriously the relationship with our faithful supporters and the trust they place in us as we go about our ministry,” Brown said. “This is a tremendous affirmation of our entire organization.”

Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Break Week 2017

Late June and early July is a time for youth at MCH to have fun and to participate in classic summer recreation activities. Summer break week at MCH is a time to add a period of extra flexibility to schedules in the middle of summer.

Classic activities our youth are able to participate in during break weeks include swimming, fishing, kayaking, hiking through Cameron Park, taking a stroll on Baylor’s campus, horseback riding, eating snow cones, and bowling. Youth are also introduced to new and creative activities such as slip-n-slide kickball, water sponge dodgeball and Larping – a type of interactive role-playing game in which the participants portray their own characters through physical action using props. All of these activities are brought to our kids by the MCH Recreation staff.

Summer break weeks are meant to be fun, engaging and energizing, preparing youth for another round of their normal summer programs. This week also provides a time for students to spend daily time off campus. Codi Stafford, recreation coordinator, stated that her favorite moment “is seeing the kids leave all their troubles behind when we go off campus and just have fun.”

It is the hope of MCH that youth are able to have experiences that they may not have been able to have at home. MCH wants youth to able to enjoy the joys of childhood during every season and forget about the challenges they face.

A highlight of the summer for Jr., a resident of MCH, is fishing and all that it entails.
“Worms are my favorite part of summer because they wiggle and because you can fish with them,” he said. “I love to fish because I don’t get to do it too much and because it is a chill adventure.”

Other young people shared that what they most looked forward to on summer breaks is getting to relax and have a stress-free schedule, as well as swimming and visiting a local water park.

“Swimming is my favorite,” said 13-year-old Christina. “I like to swim because you can just relax and do whatever you want in the water. I also look forward to going to water parks! I want to try the tall slide this year! I think I’m brave enough.” 

Aside from all the fun and games and possible thrills, summer break week serves as another great opportunity for MCH staff to continue to model and build trusting relationships with youth, keying in on a few of our core values, growth and relationships. For Stafford, “building trusting relationships with the students in a playful and safe way” is what she looks forward to most.