What Sets Us Apart
The C4C Initiative is organic...
C4C is not a “canned program.” The interaction of each partnership is based on the resources and needs of its specific school, church, and/or community. Various models and services begin at differing stages in the process. Many start with a school partnership and develop a community coalition that broadens support. Others begin with a community coalition and move toward the school partnership later in the process.
C4C is relationship-focused
C4C focus is relational. Planning should intentionally focus on the development of relationships, possibly with students through Reading Buddy or other mentor/academic support. These relationships can grow offer the provision of additional services later. The most successful case studies have started with personal one-on-one or small group relationships followed by support of basic needs.
A written plan of action with goals and outcomes
C4C requires a “Written Plan of Action” for planned accountable support. Our goal is to develop a plan with outcomes rather than a plan with random acts of kindness. Walk through each step of the planning PRIOR to recruiting volunteers. The plan should focus on developing relationships with students with a goal of reaching specific outcomes. Basic needs are typically a component of the plan, however our goal is to help children get out of poverty. The one way out of poverty is through an education and that requires reading. While we cannot food pantry our children out of poverty, we can support education with that goal in mind. Remembering as the plan is developed that God also requires that we provide for the needy and learning can only take place when basic needs are being met.
*Volunteers DO NOT need to be trained until a week prior to meeting with students. Training too soon will result in frustration. Please see more information in Managing Volunteer and Mentors.
Community collaboration is key
Collaboration is critical at all levels of planning. Our churches often respond to needs in isolation. Intentional development of ecumenical community collaboration provides an opportunity to share best practices, provide stronger support and avoid duplication of efforts.
At the school site level any current school partners should be invited to participate in the planning and process. Beyond the school site, stronger collaboration at the community level provides opportunity to collectively impact the work, as we mobilize support, seeking deeper and stronger outcomes for children and families.
Together, God’s broader church has potential to impact the community and families who are sorely in need of the church’s response.
Collaboration within the church is equally important
This ministry provides an opportunity to go outside the church walls to be represented in the community. Just as the work of C4C should be built on collaboration with schools and community, the church must model this philosophy internally. Therefore it is important to provide support church-wide and for communication within the church to reflect this as a church-wide ministry. Working across committees and small groups within the church is critical. A team of diverse members should be formed that will reflect and represent the church as a whole.
The focus of this ministry is ministry “with” and not “to” the poor
We seek to understand and we seek to be changed by the ministry and by the children and families we encounter. Whether support of a classroom or a meal provided in a local neighborhood, seek first to join families in ministry and to encourage joint support with families.
The initiative is led by laity
While support of pastor and staff is vital, the ministry is designed to be developed and implemented through a team of laity to provide sustainability.
Training and support are available
C4C is being developed as a process with a team constantly seeking additional ways to respond to poverty reduction and advocacy. As resources become available, opportunities
will be provided for additional training and support.