First, the steady beat of a drum. Then a tambourine. Followed quickly by a cowbell and egg shakers. The sounds lifted through Cunningham's Gerber School on Saturday as youth and adults from six churches participated in our annual Mission Day with Cunningham. It was a chance for them to experience some of the therapeutic activities that are offered to Cunningham youth on a daily basis.
If you grab lunch at the Patchwork Café in Spalding Hall during the Festival of Quilts, chances are you will see a few of our Cunningham youth eager to serve in blue volunteer aprons.
"What does this mean to me?"
It's a good question asked by a 19 year old who lives in Cunningham's Transitional Living (TL) home. She was one of about 15 youth who gathered to hear about Illinois Governor Rauner's proposed cuts to the State's budget which include elimination of all services to DCFS youth ages 18-21.
"I want you to bow your head and close your eyes. Raise your hand if...
People have made fun of you for what you were wearing?
People have made fun of you because you were different?
People didn't see you for who you really are?"
Christopher, a 6th grader at Gerber School, explained that they ate pottage, which is similar to a vegetable stew, and medieval gingerbread, a spicy dessert. He said that wealthy nobles ate fish, bread, and fruit.
The question isn't whether our kids will or won't participate, it's whether they can or can't.
On a cold Sunday afternoon, a group of boys from Cunningham's Cornerstone unit gathered at the Spiritual Life Center to watch "When the Game Stands Tall."
The movie may be about football on the surface but is packed with Christian messages. Chaplains Gay and Melvin organize the weekly movies for all of the units as a way to open up discussion on an assortment of topics with our kids.