How NBA’s Mission & Ministry Grants Helped Children Enjoy their Summer

The children at CCH have opportunities to participate in activities such as arts and crafts, acting and sports. The children at CCH have opportunities to participate in activities such as arts and crafts, acting and sports.

The NBA Mission & Ministry Grant program accepts applications annually in the autumn and awards funds for use in the following year. Mission & Ministry Grant recipients used their 2019-20 funds to improve the health and wellbeing of older adults, youth, and young adults. As the 2019-20 grant period comes to a close, we asked grantees to share a story from the past year of how their communities and organizations benefitted from their award.

Summer is a time for kids. School is out. You get to stay up a little later, sleep in a bit more, and relax. It’s no different for our kids here at Cleveland Christian Home. Although they still participate in treatment every day by attending groups and one-on-one sessions with their therapists, their days are definitely geared toward letting them do what they need to do best – be kids!

Last week, the boys in our Intensive Treatment Center were treated to a water park-sized slip-n-slide. Their shrieking and laughter played to the backdrop of motorcycles revving along Lorain Avenue. It was one of the best sounds I’ve heard in a long, long time. It sounded like a normal summer day at CCH, where we weren’t world-weary from the long-reaching tentacles of COVID. Other boys splashed around in the pool, thrilled to cool off and burn off the day’s pent-up energy, spent just waiting to get there.

There was never a longer 30 minutes than the ones you had to wait after lunch as a kid before you could get in the pool, for fear of cramping and sinking and all other manner of possible impossibilities that might happen if you got in the water too soon after a meal. Imagine having to get through an entire morning of treatment and then lunch, like these boys did. Now that is patience!  Our boys deserve a great deal of praise for the equanimity they’ve demonstrated this summer. And throughout the entire spring, really.

We all know that life is not the same since the outbreak of COVID-19, but for our boys, whose lives are already so restricted, they have adapted amazingly well not being able to leave campus to go to Cedar Point, to go camping, or to baseball games. Our staff has done an amazing job of keeping them informed and safe without inciting panic, and for kids who already have emotional and behavioral challenges, it truly does feel like divine intervention that they have simply rolled with these punches. Or maybe it’s that they had no prior expectations or are accustomed to doing without. Most likely, all of the above.

Regardless, we are grateful that, thus far, our kids have been able to face even more challenges in their already taxed lives, and that they have been doing so with amazing alacrity. Of equal importance to our needs are our successes. Now is the time to reflect and focus on the things for which we can be truly grateful.

Cleveland Christian Home exists to be a haven of hope and healing for children, youth, and families struggling with mental illness, abuse, and neglect.

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As the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Benevolent Association partners with congregations, regions, general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers to create communities of compassion and care. Founded in 1887 by six women responding to the needs of the day and on their doorsteps, for more than 130 years the NBA has continued to serve “the least of these.” Learn more at