by Eleanor Simons
The Arnette Group Homes cares for 12 teens; 6 girls and 6 boys ages 13-17. The group homes provide a long term home environment with 24 hour staffing that allows these teens to continue their education and live in a family-like setting. Grace Church has been partnering with the group homes for the last 10 years. In the past a group of women from the church went monthly to do crafts, cook, sew, plant, build and go on outings with the girls. From time to time a few men would take the boys fishing or talk about car care. When the girls wanted a picnic table a few good men bought the materials and taught them how to build one. There was a lot of “I can’t do this!” But they did. They boys were watching because their house is across the street and they wanted to build one, too. A few weeks later they did.
Each Christmas, when students have a vacation from school, Grace Church provides activities for these young people. Many organizations do things over the Christmas season for families that are in need. For these teens there are no funds for activities like the ones we provide. Grace Church’s goal is to enable them to experience some of the activities kids with families have. This year they would like to have a movie night, go bowling, go to Sky Zone, go paint balling, visit an escape room, go out for ice cream, and visit the fort in St. Augustine.
We call it Un-Decorate the Tree because you will be able to select an ornament or ornaments with an activity and the cost of that activity for one teen. The ornament serves as a reminder to bring in or send in your donation. Mark envelopes with cash or checks “Group Home Project.” These can be put in the collection basket at church or dropped off at the office.