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By Andrea Williams, AHCC Member, Wife, Mother, and Executive Director of ConnectiKids

Housed downstairs at the church, ConnectiKids receives AHCC outreach funding. Our agency provides students in kindergarten through eighth grade with tutoring and mentoring for the full academic year. Each student meets exclusively with a tutor one day per week for 75 minutes, and also enjoy, arts and enrichment, and other activities. I’d like to tell you about one of our graduates, a boy named Alex. Alex joined our program as a first grader, when he lived with his mother and brother; his father was in prison. Alex was very energetic and expressive, but often shut down when learning. After pairing him with several mentors, he learned how to read, comprehend, express himself better, and was able to reference text in his writing. After watching Alex progress through the program, he graduated West Middle and went on to high school, where he continued to excel. When his dad came home, Alex was even happier to reconnect with him. I helped Alex write his resume. He later volunteered as a mentor for our third graders in Drew Hall on Wednesdays during the school year, and all four weeks during the summer for several years. At the end summer of 2017, he arrived to our office with the biggest smile, as he shared his acceptance letter to University of Hartford. We celebrated with a hug, and of course, several styles of high fives.

Alex still visits us. Each time he returns, he tells our team how grateful he is to be in college and to have the opportunity to advance his life and education. His genuine and thankful soul sometimes makes me cry. But most importantly, it makes me proud of him, and what we have been able to do for him. Our work not only impacts Alex, but his entire family, and other students such as Nathalie, Martin, and 300 others every year. They come to us just like Alex, in need of the right resources including time and someone to listen to and guide them.

Funding from AHCC to ConnectiKids is made possible by outreach grants made possible by your pledge dollars. Now you know how your pledges transform lives. But this experience has also transformed my giving. After learning more about the church’s goals, financial status, and how our giving impacts our community, this inspired me to pledge. Previously, I just made an offering each Sunday. But this year I am pledging – to support the work we are doing with God to make our world a better place, one family at a time.

If you haven’t made your pledge commitment to AHCC’s 2018-19 Stewardship campaign to strengthen AHCC for the future, we encourage you to complete a pledge card in the pew, pledge online here, or contact Deb Holden at 860.216.9833.

Thank you, your pledge matters.