Friday, February 10, 2012

A Year of Dance

Kids from the Monday evening dance class
get together after seeing a performance of
"So You Think You Can Dance?"
The case managers at the Center of Hope were dealing with an irony. The parents of children staying in the family apartments needed to learn better parenting and life skills. But what would the children do while their parents were in a class? The case managers wanted to provide the children something more productive than putting them in front of a movie. Some parents worked during the day, so the only time to hold the class was in the evenings. The only time a classroom was available was on Mondays.

Around the same time, Maria Stevenson was looking for a way to give back to her community. She grew up taking dance classes and was influenced to give back by her social-worker father. She wanted to provide children living in the Center of Hope a “normal childhood experience.” For a year, Maria has taught a Monday evening dance class for the kids whose parents are in life skills class. “I get to see strength, passion, laughter and dedication shine through in young adults who are not in ideal circumstances,” Maria said. 

“It reminds me that strength and happiness are not found in situations but in state of mind.” 
As the volunteer coordinator, it’s very gratifying to see a need met so perfectly. And I know God has many more good works in store for each of us to humbly carry out. Ephesians 2:8-10 says: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Yours in Faith,

P.S. Special thanks to Kelley Maricle & Ronn Glosson (Center of Hope Staff) and the following community partners who support the dance class: Tulsa Area United Way Women's Leadership Council , Tulsa Shock , BOK Center , Brad Griffin with BOSC, Ashley Farthing with Farthing Events , South Tulsa Dance Company and STDC competition team, Jenks Dance Academy, Black and Pink Supplies , Joe Momma’s Tulsa , University of Tulsa – Hurricane Sports Properties and volunteers Angela Turkovich, Cory Wallace, Heather Fick, Jessica Rhodes, Kilee Hammer, Maranda Figueroa, and Courtney Borgard.

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