“Matching the kindness of a neighborhood church with the needs of a kid in a public school,” is the motto of Common Grace, created in 2002. This homegrown organization partners members of neighborhood churches and service clubs with elementary school students at breakfast, lunch or after-school time to offer kindness to kids. Many seniors volunteer with Common Grace.
It all started with the Principal of Queen Lydia Lili‘uokalani Elementary telling Jay Jarman and Pastor Ron Arnold of Kaimuki Christian Church that they have lonely children on their campus. She asked, “Would any of your church family members like to come once in a while to sit and talk and make friends with our kids?”
Today, Common Grace partners with twenty-one elementary schools, interacting with approximately 150 students. They are supported by the State of Hawai‘i Department of Education Superintendent, and received the 2007 Partnership in Education Award. Jay Jarman, Executive Director, received the 2009 Outstanding Advocate for Children and Youth Award from the Hawaii State Legislature.
If you want to be a friend to a lonely little kid, you may contact Common Grace: 808-282-6194. Mentors complete a two-hour training session and pass a background check and work in teams to offer mutual support and built-in back-up in case you are not able to be with your child at your regular meeting time. For more information visit: www.commongrace.org.