Kids Hope USA Volunteers Are My Heroes

By Virgil Gulker (09/18/2020)

We all have heroes. My heroes?  The thousands of KHUSA volunteers who have accepted a higher call to make a difference in the life of a child.  Volunteers like Roger DeFeyter, a street saint who has been part of a child’s life since the very start of KHUSA.  25 years!

Over the years, I have tried to understand what it is about these volunteers that so touches the lives of children.  These people are not counselors, social workers or teachers.  How is it they have a significant impact on the child’s academic performance, attitude and behavior?

I found the answer in the three questions most KHUSA children ask most often:

“Are you paid?” children ask.  They know they are special when this volunteer, who visits them every week, is the only person not paid to work with them.  Knowing that these people from the neighborhood church are “good for nothing” makes the children feel special.

“How many other kids do you see at my school?”  This is the question asked most often by our kids.  One child asked this question fifty weeks in a row.  She simply could not believe this wonderful lady came to the school, just to visit her.

“Are you coming back?”  No matter how faithful the volunteer, many children cannot believe this person will care enough to return week after week. The children feel valued because the volunteers do not disappoint them. They show up!

I smile when volunteers tell me their relationship with a KIDS HOPE USA child is the most important thing they have done in their lives. Many are concerned they may be receiving an even greater blessing than the children. These people are my heroes and I thank God for them.


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