It Only Takes a Spark

Read how Nancy is a catalyst for HOPE!

As we celebrate all of Novo volunteers this month and eagerly look forward to both National Volunteer Week and National Superhero Day – two of our most favorite times to recognize our most favorite people – we wanted to share with you a story about one of our volunteers.

While we know that superheroes are a thing of our imagination, we still can’t help but see those who do so much for the children of our city as extra special. In our eyes, they truly are heroes because of the lives they change and difference they make.

Nancy Garner is one of hundreds of volunteers who has embraced the mission of Novo and found her calling to reach inner-city boys and girls.

In July of 2015, tragedy struck Nancy’s family when her husband passed away. In the midst of this incredibly difficult loss, she found purpose and comfort in an unexpected way.

Nancy’s friend, Lupe had been asking insistently for volunteers at his Novo Bible Club in one of our city’s housing projects. Nancy finally gave in and said “yes”.

She showed up week after week and soon it became much more than a commitment to fulfill or an obligation. Nancy said Tuesdays quickly became her favorite day of the week and her evenings at Novo Bible Club one of the things she most looked forward to each week.

Last year at our Appreciation Event, Nancy was inspired by another volunteer’s story. She heard about Ms. Jewell, a volunteer battling breast cancer and still showing up week after week to invest in the children of her site. Jewell’s story touched Nancy’s heart and strengthened her resolve to keep serving and bring the HOPE of Jesus to many more children.

That night, Nancy knew she was “all in”.  Whatever she could do, whatever it would take – she was all in to help the boys and girls of our city know the HOPE that Jesus gives!

Nancy’s friend, Carol, is also a volunteer and helps Nancy lead a group of 4-5 year olds – the “Red Team”.  Nancy goes above and beyond – putting scripture to music, thinking of creative ways to share the lesson, and spending extra time preparing to teach.

Nancy has also recruited others to the mission of Novo through SparkHOPE. SparkHOPE is a movement within the Novo community led by Novo volunteers who invite friends, family, and other contacts over to their home or church one night for a brief presentation on Novo. The goals of these mini-events are to provide an easy way for our volunteers to recruit more people to be involved in the mission of Novo and ultimately, see more boys and girls reached!

Nancy knew that a SparkHOPE mini-event was just the kind of tool she could use to show others how committed she was and encourage them to join her within Novo. She was especially burdened at that point to recruit more volunteers so that the children on the waiting list at her site could attend.

Supported by her fellow volunteers, Nancy gathered about a dozen people in her home to share her passion with them. By the end of the evening, 5 people gave donations (3 of which became HOPEBuilders – and Nancy was one of them!) and 4 people decided to volunteer!

One of the current volunteers recruited her mother to join her and now they serve together each week!

The best part is, not only did those new volunteers allow for all the children on the waiting list to attend, but it also opened up space for more children to enroll!

Nancy is a hero to the boys and girls who learn about Jesus from her each week. We’re glad she’s “all in” and a great champion for this mission and the children who need her most!

Because of YOU, people like Nancy can show up week after week and invest in boys and girls in our inner city. YOUR support helps her recruit others to do that too.  As we celebrate our volunteers this month and as we think of all our HEROES – donors, community partners, and more – THANK YOU for caring about the children of our city!

Would you like to be a catalyst for HOPE like Nancy? Call or email Heather at 405.397.6721 or about hosting your own SparkHOPE event and sharing the mission of Novo with others!

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