Think back to when you were growing up, was there someone who you got to know that made an impact? A relationship with someone who changed the trajectory of your life through many small powerful moments?
In April of 2018 Kami and Allan Collins, along with their daughter Addie, took a chance and became a mentoring family with Families Plus. After meeting with a Families Plus therapist, the Collins family was introduced to Novah and her grandmother Michelle. With the support and guidance from the Families Plus therapist and staff, Novah slowly became a part of the Collins’ lives. Kami and Allan were surprised by what they discovered.
They now refer to each other as sisters
Since being a part of the Family Plus program, Novah has been able to take part in Girl Scouts, volleyball, and basketball. Nova would struggled to participate in any of these activities if it wasn’t for both charitable donations from the community to help cover her activity fees and the Collins’ providing transportation to Novah. Kami and Allan were never asked to do this, as they got to know Novah they wanted her to have the same opportunities as their daughter Addie.
But to their surprise, the relationship that the Collins’ have built with Novah is deeper than simply getting her to activities. Novah started spending small periods of time at the Collins’ home where Kami, Allan, and Addie do what they normally do; share meals and spend quality time together, they merely add Novah to the equation. Their time together has had a profound impact on Novah and the family. Kami remarks that “Addie and Novah now refer to each other as sisters.”
This is inspiring for Novah’s grandmother, who is often overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for her three grandchildren and working full time. She is grateful to know that Nova has a safe place to go. This is true for most of the guardians in the Families Plus program.
The Families Plus therapist Brenda Holland could not stress the impact that these relationships will have on Novah’s future. “No matter what life throws at Novah she will not only have her immediate family, but also her relationship with the Collins’ to support her. It has been proven time and time again that these kinds of relationships are what truly help children thrive.” Holland explains.
The Collins were initially apprehensive about mentoring someone else's child, but Kami was amazed by how seamless it was to make Novah a part of their life, and the whole family enjoys when Novah can tag along with them.
Families Plus mentoring families are a crucial component to helping the children we serve succeed in life. We work with many children who are desperately in need of relationships like the one the Collins’ have with Novah. As a mentoring family, couple, or single adult, all it takes is allowing one child to be a part of your life occasionally and you slowly build a relationship that has a lasting impact for children like Novah.