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I had the most wonderful opportunity this Fall to help out a group of boys full of promise and potential, living in a scholar home in south Kansas City. I am so glad my friend, Ann Hall, board member of Boys Hope Girls Hope (BHGH) of Kansas City, called me asking for help with a fall centerpiece for the home! Ann manages the physical part of the house for this group of boys from disadvantaged backgrounds who want to go to college and make successful futures from themselves.
BHGH of KC has been sponsoring boys since 2006, providing a home supervised by residential counselors, school scholarships to St. Thomas More, Rockhurst and various colleges, food and clothing and an active faith life. Ann, who loves her time at the house with the kids, loves to remind each scholar, "You are a special boy." The organization believes God cares about each individual, and their mission is to be a spoke in the wheel of breaking the poverty cycle.
The first step in creating a centerpiece for the boys was finding a crate that would cover a good length of the extra-long table where the boys eat but may also do homework. I didn't want to give them something that was cumbersome to move. My daughter and I found three crates at Home Goods that we knew we could nail together.
I enlisted the help of my husband who is better at carpentry than I am. He nailed the three crates together to create a long container for the centerpiece. Yes, the project was a family affair!
Next step was to use a glue gun to attach moss to all sides of the crates. This is done so that the not-so-pretty styrofoam will be invisible.
Stiff styrofoam is then fitted inside each crate, doubled and cut up if necessary, to fill the crate from end to end and to the top.
More moss is glued with a hot glue gun to the top of the styrofoam, making a clean and pretty palate for the fall foliage.
The good thing about styrofoam is that individual artificial fall foliage pieces will stick right in! I found reasonable good looking artificials at Wall-Mart, and this vine really pulled it all together and filled in the gaps. I highly recommend getting some vine in addition to the pumpkins and little animals, etc.
The most fun of all was seeing the surprise on the boys' faces to have a little feeling of fall on their table when they got home from school. These three range from fifth grade to eighth grade, and three others attend high school at Rockhurst. Two more scholars are being supported at college.
This awesome home has eight bedrooms and 10 bathrooms with the capacity of housing 10 scholars! All six scholars that live in the house now have chores and laundry schedules, as well as regular study time with tutors provided and meal times with grace before dinner.
Ann, pictured above, says the organization really reflects its name. When you meet these boys, you see hope in their hearts. "An enthusiastic bunch, they all believe they have a bright future, no matter what hardships. We want them to feel supported with arms around them for the future," she said. I also brought them this fall wreathe with fresh burlap ribbon to brighten up their front door.
I love this organization because if kids think someone's investing in them, they in turn, will invest in themselves. I was honored to be a part of this.
Boys Hope Girls Hope of Kansas City is in need of financial contributions in order to continue making a difference in boys' lives. They are hoping to establish a girls' home someday soon as well. Click on this link to donate and read more about this very worthy organization.