© 2007 Kitsap Cares About Kids, Commission on Children and Youth 614 Division Street, MS-23 Port Orchard, WA  98366-4676 • 360-337-4879

Kitsap Cares About Kids

Stories of organizations, businesses and individuals that have built assets in the community.

Kitsap Cares Story #39*

How Totem Girl Scout Council Cares About Kids

 

"I was shocked to discover the negative impact poverty has on a child’s life.

Now I’m amazed at the positive influence

we can have  . . .if we show we care."

--Chris Fortelny, Girl Scout Leader for West Park Housing

 

An average Girl Scout troop may charge Scout members six dollars per month for dues.  Chris is a troop leader whose typical family may earn only $6,000 a year.  “They don’t have extra money for dues” explains Chris whose program is funded with donations from Totem Girl Scout Council, Kitsap businesses, cookie sales and a matching grant from Kitsap Cares About Kids.  Many of the girls are living in third generation poverty with no immediate family members who have graduated from high school

 

Through Scouting, Chris has seen girls change how they view their lives . . . and themselves.  Instead of problems they see possibilities.  “Because we believe in them, they begin to believe in themselves. When girls are given opportunities to lead they stop joking about being failures and start seeing themselves as leaders.”

 

Chris has grown as much as her Scouts.  “It’s extremely rewarding to know these girls and see them realize their life has hope. They know they can choose their future.”*

*Development Asset #39:  “I believe my life has purpose.”   

The Search Institute has identified 40 Development Assets that help young people grow up to be health, caring and responsible.

 

Kitsap Cares Story #7*

How Bainbridge Island Teen Center Cares About Kids

“I wasn’t being judged and I could feel comfortable just being me.”

-- Christina, past B.I. Teen Center Board Member

 
When she arrived at high school, Christina didn’t know many people. A friend introduced her to The Bainbridge Island Teen Center and adult Director Shannon Buxton. Christina recalls conversations with the director. “She didn’t label me. She made eye contact and asked me follow-up questions. She didn’t talk at me, but she wanted to listen to me.”

Christina’s leadership as a Teen Center Board member included involvement with building the Battle Point Playground. “It was fun working outside, doing something good.  It was the first time I really felt connected to our larger community.  It was the Teen Center that helped me feel this way.”

“I was safe and able to be who I was. I wasn’t being judged. Shannon and the Teen Center changed my life for the better.”

*Development Asset #7:  “I feel valued by adults in my community.”   

The Search Institute has identified 40 Development Assets that help young people grow up to be health, caring and responsible.

 

Kitsap Cares Story #10*

How Puget Sound Boys and Girls Club

and Reid Real Estate Cares About Kids

“Our Summer Camp helped in ways we will never know except for one thing – we were there for them when they most needed help.”

--Billie Schmidt, Boys and Girls Club of Puget Sound

Summer camp is not usually thought of as a lifesaver, but it took on a new meaning for two young girls and their single mother. 

After leaving her abusive husband, a young Kitsap mother of two learned that he had kidnapped their two daughters and left the state.  She spent everything to get them back. 

Mother and daughters were reunited back home in Kitsap, except in the process she lost her home, her job and her finances.  But what she found was a community that cares.  Thanks to donations from Reid Real Estate -- the Boys and Girls Club of Puget Sound could provide a Summer Camp scholarship for the children. 

With her girls safe in Summer Camp, the mother was able to re-establish her landscape design career . . . and hope for a better tomorrow*

 

*Development Asset #10:  “I feel safe at home, at school, and in the neighborhood.”   

The Search Institute has identified 40 Development Assets that help young people grow up to be health, caring and responsible.

Kitsap Cares Story #8*

How Kitsap Family YMCA Cares About Kids

"When we see older kids mentoring younger children - that's when magic happens!"

                                          --Jim Pond, Kitsap Family YMCA

One small field trip - one big success.  It was a fun filled afternoon with 16 children on a walking tour from YMCA, through downtown Bremerton, to the Evergreen Children's Theatre and back.  "But the children got so much more out of the experience because of the teens that helped!" explains Jim Pond of YMCA.  "We had four 'mentoring' youth who used this afternoon to teach younger children everything from responsibility, to healthy living, to making a difference in the world around them."

"This experience showed me that it doesn't matter how old you are - you can make a difference in the lives of children.  And your actions, small and large, may have more impact than you will ever know."*

Development Asset #8:  “I am given useful roles in my community.”

The Search Institute has identified 40 Development Assets that help young people grow up to be health, caring and responsible.