April 17, 2020 | Comments Off on Healing Together
Volunteer, Colleen Kidd, shares how her time at Alexander Youth Network has helped her heal while healing others.
Since May of 2014, Colleen Kidd has volunteered at Alexander at least once a week leading elective Bible study sessions for the kiddos at our residential campus in Charlotte.
Over the years the sessions have taken different forms – from outside sessions, combining cottages, and now Zoom calls to connect our volunteers virtually. Through those changes, Colleen has been a constant source for spiritual support for many of our kids and staff by bringing faith and friendship to campus.
“The moment I got on the property, I knew that it was a special place. And I met the kids and my heart just melted for them,” says Colleen Kidd.
Colleen notes that she immediately identified with the mission of Alexander and the struggle that many of our kids have lived through. She reflects on the feelings that she carried with her through adulthood after surviving abuse from a family friend as a child. When a friend told her about the Bible study sessions, she knew that from her own experience as a child, this was her calling to help others heal through the Lord.
For Colleen, her past is a part of who she is and has inspired her to share compassion, love, and empathy for those who have gone through a similar situation. While she found her peace and healing through the Bible, she wants to share that love with others.
“Kids are not at Alexander because of something they have done, but because of something that has been done to them. I know this from experience and [I believe] we go through things to help one another. This is one of the reasons God put me here for Alexander.”
The faith-based sessions are optional for the kids to participate, but those that do are excited and energized to attend each month. The lessons are split so Colleen works with two of the six cottages on campus during each visit. Smaller groups allow the volunteers to talk one-on-one with the kids if there is something they want to share or just need some time to reflect during the session. Over the years, Colleen has built relationships with the kids and staff and has become part of the Alexander family.
“Having that relationship with the staff is so important because we are all in it together. We are all healing together.”
Over the years, there have been so many moments that have uplifted Colleen’s spirit and helped her heal and continue on her journey of helping others. But, her greatest joy has been sharing her unconditional love for the kids at Alexander.
“We are grateful to have Colleen as a volunteer and she has and continues to include Alexander as a part of her personal journey. She also takes an interest in each staff member’s personal life, which has meant so much. Colleen and her team of volunteers are not just special to the children, they are a part of our AYN family.,” said Ashley Nieves, Volunteer Engagement Officer.
“It is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done…The greatest joy of my life is to share the love of Christ with them so they know they are loved unconditionally even if they have never experienced love before.”
Colleen Kidd moved to Charlotte in 2013 from Syracuse, New York. She is an active volunteer at Alexander Youth Network and Queen City Church. She hosts the bible study sessions and other activities throughout the year including an annual holiday party during December for Christmas, through the Hickory Grove Baptist Church Mission. Brenda Perez, Diane, and Heather have been a great blessing to the mission throughout the years.
Written by Emily C. Gordon.