Article and photos by Urban Alliance staff
Ma'am, is that your French toast? I hope so, cause I crave your French toast every day!"
These words were music to Kelly Travers' ears. The little boy who asked about her French toast knew that he could count on one thing: a delicious, hot breakfast made with a large dose of TLC.
Thanks to the dedication of Kelly Travers, a UAServe volunteer champion who has contributed more than 75 hours of service in 2015, this boy and many other children at South Church in Hartford can count on their bellies and their hearts being full nearly every Sunday morning.
After an online search pointed Travers to the UAServe program, Urban Alliance was able to match her to a volunteer opportunity at South Church, where her passion for cooking and working with children would be a perfect fit.
"Cooking breakfast for children at South Church has changed my life is such a rewarding way," said Travers.
South Church participates in Next Generation, an Urban Alliance initiative that helps children and youth achieve academic success, develop character and be supported through healthy relationships by collaboratively increasing the scope, quality and impact of local in- and out-of-school programs.
"They have an amazing, amazing youth program," explained Travers, "Vicki Huffman works tirelessly to create a warm, caring and [educational] environment. There are multiple opportunities for children and the youth to be involved in activities whether for Sunday morning with breakfast or after-school with a nice hot dinner. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Vicki's work with children and families."
In fact, Travers' daughter is now participating in the youth program at South Church and in an unexpected twist, they have since learned that Huffman is their neighbor, so their service has opened up a new friendship where they are also able to see each other in their neighborhood.
"Kelly has been an amazing volunteer. I can put her in charge and she just does it all, from setting tables, cooking, serving, and relating so kindly and lovingly to our children," said Huffman.
When asked what she would say to someone who is not sure if they should volunteer, Travers explained, "Just do it. You cannot look at it as giving up your time or fearing an overwhelming commitment. It's giving back, making a difference and finding something that works for you and your schedule. One hour of your time could mean the world to someone else. I hear a lot of people say that they would love to volunteer but they just don't have time. Really? I am a single mother with a home to keep up and a demanding career. I am always busy. But taking those few hours on Sunday mornings is one of the most rewarding things I do all week."
Thank you, Kelly, for making an impact in so many children's lives by providing a warm, nutritious breakfast for them, and putting a smile on so many faces!
Interested in making an impact by volunteering?
Contact Rosa McGuire, Urban Alliance's Volunteer Manager, at email@example.com.
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