News Release


“At their first session, a mentor asked a child what she would like to be called. The little girl was so lacking in self-esteem that she could not even look into the mentor’s eyes. She said, ‘Maybe you could call me what other people call me.’ ‘What do they call you?’ asked the mentor. ‘They call me Idiot.’” (Christianity Today, August 2003)

This young girl eventually acquired a stronger sense of self-respect as she spent more time with her Kids Hope USA mentor, according to organization founder Virgil Gulker in his recounting of her story. Kids Hope matches church members with a child from a neighborhood school to provide a mentoring relationship one hour each week.

The Social Work department at Trinity will be hosting two informational sessions on June 5 and June 6 for area pastors and church leaders who are interested in learning how they can become involved in their local schools to impact the lives of children. Sessions will be held on June 5 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and on June 6 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the board room of the Jennie Huizenga Library.

Guest speakers will be Drew Pierce, national director for partnerships at Kids Hope USA, and Scott Waller, director of program development at Buckner Children and Family Services. These two organizations work collaboratively in some geographic areas to develop church partnerships with Kids Hope.

“This is an opportunity for Trinity to provide resources for local churches and a link with these organizations,” said Laura Zumdahl, project coordinator in the social work department.

For more information or to participate, call Zumdahl at 708-239-4852 or Dr. Rose Malinowski, associate professor of social work, at 708-239-4849.
Kids Hope was started by Gulker in 1995 with three churches and schools in southwestern Michigan and today mentors thousands of children. Buckner Children and Family Services works both as a consultant and practitioner to improve the lives of orphans, at-risk children, families and senior adults around the world. For more information on these organizations, visit and

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