OFFERING A SAFE HAVEN FOR ADOLESCENTS EXPERIENCING EMOTIONAL DIFFICULTIES
BOLINGBROOK–I am a busy mom as many of you are. I have three children, a high-schooler, a middle-schooler and a grade-schooler. Besides juggling all their activities and three different school programs, I am challenged each day with helping them navigate their emotional difficulties, relationships and their sense of self-worth. I can only hope that I am making a good impact on them.
However, there are many teens in our communities who don’t have that person or role model they can turn to for support and advice, possibly hindering their emotional development. Heart Haven OutReach, fondly referred to as H₂O, steps up to the plate by reaching out to the youth of Bolingbrook, Romeoville and the surrounding areas to offer a safe-haven for adolescents experiencing emotional difficulties and challenges in their lives that might not otherwise have the resources they need to guide them.
Conceived in 2004, H₂O offers physical, social, intellectual, emotional and spiritual components of development in their programs, including support groups, one-on-one mentoring, life skills, monthly community service programs, tutoring, and leadership building. “This program not only gives our youth in need a place to belong and somewhere to be loved without strings, but also gives opportunities for them to participate and connect in our community,” says Ryan Lawrence, Executive Director of Heart Haven OutReach. “We want youth that feel hopeless to come in and realize there is hope for them, and they have a purpose.” Weekly, the organization offers 13 different support and mentoring programs and had 436 youth participants attend, a number that increases each year.
Volunteers are vital to the success of Heart Haven OutReach, whether it is becoming a mentor, facilitating support groups, tutoring, participating in activities and field trips, or working behind the scenes. As well, there is always a need for help in planning and running events and fundraisers. Guiding the development of strong character in our teens helps to promote a positive future for them and a strong community.
For more information on Heart Haven OutReach programs and volunteer opportunities, visit www.hearthavenoutreach.org .
Mindy’s February Giving Inspiration: Randomly buy flowers for a busy mom you know.
ABOUT THE WRITER Mindy Kyle is the owner of Be Inspired Studios and is passionate about helping people discover what brings them joy and to live a full, healthy and happy life. She has her Masters in Fine Arts degree in creative writing from DePaul University and lives in Naperville with her husband, three children and the cutest dog in the land.
To read all of Mindy's To Give, To Inspire columns visit www.glancermagazine.com/to-give-to-inspire