Although each story at Folsom’s Hope is unique, many begin in the very same way.
It starts with a child in need. It may be a child who is stuggling with circumstances far beyond their control. Possibly financial hardships experienced by the family; an unstable home life; or a child suffering under the weight of fear, loneliness, uncertainty, or need.
But then the story takes a turn. One person, willing to invest in a child's future, decides to give the simple gift of time—one lunch hour, once a week.
On the first day, it’s hard to tell whose stomach has more butterflies. It starts simply, shy small talk and stories over sandwiches -- then a connection over upcoming movies and video games. As the weeks progress, the relationship builds; the adult offers a consistent presence and a listening ear, and the child relaxes into this sacred, trusted space.
A new chapter often forms when a mentor meets the child’s family. Just as conversations with the child have uncovered ways to navigate academic or social struggles, deeper discussions with the parents uncover the underlying needs of the whole family.
And now, the same program expands to help address the wider needs of the family. It may come in many forms: job training and assistance, résumé workshops, parenting classes, counseling resources, food and clothing programs, or after-school tutoring.
The stories of individuals and families touched by Folsom’s Hope are endless, but each is rooted in the simplest of beginnings. The cornerstone of every story is a single step, taken in faith, to begin a relationship with another person in need. The heart of Folsom’s Hope is relationship building… because it is only when we act in relationship with one another that we can offer what we all need most: A feeling of community, a sense of belonging, and a future of hope.
I have been involved with Folsom’s Hope for several years, after God called me to do more to help others. It has been time incredibly well spent! Seeing children thrive when they get one-on-one attention is very fulfilling. Folsom’s Hope fills such an important need in these children’s lives!
-- Sonya S., Folsom's Hope Volunteer