Founder and Executive Director
The Lord first sowed the seeds for Casino Road Kids Ministries in 1999 when I began a year’s stint as a Youth for Christ intern. My job’s focus was to be two-fold; to organize a youth group for a local church and to develop relationships with the kids in the nearby apartment complex.
My work with the local kids was centered on a homework club idea. Children would come after school and get help with reading, writing and math. That is, when they weren’t kicking and throwing things at my car. Needless to say, some days were rough. But even back then, strong bonds were being formed. I recall one evening with 6 teens at a Wendy’s. I was yelling at one to stop running around and another to stop throwing food when I felt my heart ache. Here was a group of kids for whom a positive future was uncertain. They were wild, rude, badly behaved and educationally challenged. Many of them had turbulent home lives. And yet as sat there I felt for them. God opened my eyes. Many others had walked out on these kids. I didn’t want to be another transitory person in their lives. I prayed that I would love them like the Father, encourage them each time I was with them and that the Lord would use me to be His light to these kids and their families.
A few years later, as this first group of teens started to move on, I found myself returning to that apartment complex. I sensed that God was telling me that He wasn’t done with me and this place quite yet. After prayer and approval from the complex’s managers I was able to start a reading club. My idea was to introduce children to Christ through Bible stories, while also diving into some Dr. Seuss tales and helping with homework. And so, through the needs of the kids in the area and my own love for youth, Casino Road Kids Ministries (CRKM) was formally founded in 2008. Throughout the following years God continued to guide the ministry as the Board and I put our path firmly in His hands.
Today, Casino Road Kids Ministries has grown to over 60 volunteers serving hundreds of kids each week. We work primarily with children ages 5 to 11 at 4 locations on Casino Road that are convenient for local kids to participate. Our Homework Clubs provide school work help, crafts, and an opportunity to build relationships with caring adults. Our Kid’s Clubs focus on a simple Christ centered message of hope for a changed life, one child at a time.