By Randy Hensley, Executive Director
“I basically grew up here” Alysia’s expression turned clear with sadness as she explained that her time at Coalition was coming to an end.
“You can always come back as a Coalition staff member,” explained Miss Shelly, Alysia’s Site Director.
At once Alysia’s face light back up with a smile too big to hide, “Maybe I will!”
Alysia is in her last semester with the Coalition as a 9th grader and has been coming here since kindergarten. Alysia was fed close to 2,304 warm dinners, and had 1,350 hours of free tutoring at the Coalition, which has helped her become a straight A student with a chance to attend college. Without the Coalition, Alysia otherwise would not have had help with her homework every day or dinners at night growing up in a single-parent home with only one source of income requiring her father to work late into the night. I hate to imagine what this young lady’s life would look like today without us.
Alysia originally entered the Coalition as an especially quiet and shy little girl. Throughout her 9 years, she has blossomed into an outgoing, energetic, and beautiful young lady. She is a team captain in her current role at our Liberty Bell program and was recently accepted to ETSU’s Upward Bound program.
“My favorite part about Coalition was the sleepovers!” said Alysia. Imagine that… a child’s favorite part about her time at Coalition was the occasions when she got to spend even more time here!
Through the Coalition, Alysia has built a relationship with Christ, maintained straight A’s in school, made life-long friends, was surrounded by positive influences, and has been given the same opportunities for social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth as her well-resourced peers.
Imagine the Coalition having the same life-changing impact on all of their children as they had for Alysia. Most all of the children that Coalition serve do not come from homes of stable families, positive influences, plentiful resources, or emotional and physical support. The Coalition is the safe haven to these children of low resources. Not only does Coalition provide warm nutritional dinners, arts, music, and sporting/physical play opportunities, but Coalition also provides them with all of the same learning and development opportunities as their well-resourced peers.
4 ways Coalition hopes to change children’s lives in 2018:
1. Provide career and educational exploration for subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) through Coalition’s new STEM Lab and programming.
2. Provide more positive influences in the children’s lives by partnering them with mentors in the community through our Mentoring Program.
3. Ensuring that more children are reading on or above their grade level.
4. Provide opportunities to learn about the bible, lead a life that honors Christ, and build a relationship with Him.
Last fall the Coalition led 47 children to Christ!
Coalition invites you to join us for our Annual Luncheon on Tuesday, April 24th to learn more about “The Task at Hand.”
While you enjoy a free lunch at the Holiday Inn in Johnson City, we will share with you our mission to impact more children’s lives, just as we have with Alysia. By joining us, you are also having a direct impact on the future of these children. You will meet some of the children, along with many other friends, community members, and partners that share the same mission to provide a better future for the children of this community who are of low-resources.