Bridging the Gap Can Be Fun and Not Scary…Inclusion Fusion Library

DSC_5913I’ll be heading down to Orlando next week for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry meetings…which brought to mind one of the leading lights of the disability ministry movement-Marie Kuck.

Marie is Co-Founder of Nathaniel’s Hope, a rapidly growing national ministry dedicated to sharing hope and encouragement with kids with special needs (VIP Kids) and their families, as well as educating and equipping local churches with tools and opportunities so that even the most inexperienced people can “be a a buddy” and reach out and minister to these families.

buddy_breakNathaniel’s Hope has developed many programs to assist families, including a  growing respite program called Buddy Break. Buddy Break is a free kids/respite program done in partnership with local churches that provides a free “break” for caregivers of kids with special needs.  Marie and her husband (Tim) hope to build a national network of 1,000 churches to support VIP families with respite care.  Other programs offered by Nathaniel’s Hope include Caroling for Kids, a National VIP Birthday Club, Keep ‘m Smiling, Hall of Hope, and an Online Resource Center.  Last June, Nathaniel’s Hope hosted their 11th annual Make ‘m Smile festival at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando to honor and celebrate VIP kids, hosting over 10,000 people…including 1,500 VIP kids!

In Marie’s presentation from Inclusion Fusion 2012, she shares creative ways that churches…and the most fearful, inexperienced volunteer in the church-can serve kids with special needs and their families using fun, meaningful outreach opportunities. Nathaniel’s Hope has engaged thousands of “green” volunteers thru their annual Make ‘m Smile festival, Christmas Outreach and respite care program.

Here’s Marie’s presentation…

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cropped-key-ministry-door.pngOur Key Ministry website is a resource through which church staff, volunteers, family members and caregivers can register for upcoming training events, request access to our library of downloadable ministry resources, contact our staff with training or consultation requests, access the content of our official ministry blog, or contribute their time, talent and treasure to the expansion of God’s Kingdom through the work of Key Ministry. In addition to our downloadable resources, those who register for our resource kit can view any presentation from our Inclusion Fusion Disability Ministry Web Summits “on-demand”. All of these resources are made available free of charge. Check out our website today!

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, www.church4everychild.org was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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