Meet Jon!

Name: Jon Thom

Role: Warehouse Specialist since March 2011.

Why did you choose to work at World Vision? The opportunity to work for a great organization that is dedicated to helping those in need with a focus on children is something that would be hard for anyone to pass up.

What is something that makes any work day better? Knowing that you are helping others is always a great feeling, but I also love problem solving and being challenged.

What are some of your hobbies? Connecting with nature, building/fixing

What is your favorite verse/life verse? Leviticus 19:18 — “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”

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Meet Kamilah!

Name: Kamilah Ceaser

Role: Administrative Coordinator, Since May 2011

Why did you choose to work with World Vision? It is important to me that children are protected, have a voice and are heard. Because World Vision is committed to the protection and well being of children there really is no other place I’d want to be.

What is something that makes any work day better? MUSIC and LAUGHTER and a lot of it!!! 🙂

What are some of your hobbies? Reading, traveling, laughing, just enjoying life!

What is your favorite verse/life verse? Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength. (NCV)

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Targeting Hope in the Twin Cities!

Join Community in Preventing Youth Violence through “Targeting Hope” Conference!

According to the City ofMinneapolis, youth well-being is increasing. More youth have experienced higher quality jobs, graduation from high school, and less violent crime—16% less, this year since this time last year, in Minneapolis.

What’s Made the Difference?

Collaborative efforts among teachers, social workers, law enforcement, and others interested in child well-being have shown youth their value, restoring hope in their minds.

Healthy youth and children are the key to improving our communities!

Save the Youth, Save your Community

Targeting Hope is an energetic, one-day learning event on October 22, 2011 at The Glover Center in Minneapolis. This event is for any individual or community organization committed to working together to improve the well-being of children and youth in our community.

World Vision serves as a catalyst to equip and convene local experts and practitioners, increasing their collective capacity to develop and transform communities through encouragement and workshops.

World Vision –Twin Cities will be the tenth World Vision site to host the Targeting Hope event.

Derek Lane, president of The Mendenhall Ministries, participated inMississippi’s Targeting Hope conference this past March. He considered the event to be a highlight of their ministry year: “Months after [Targeting Hope], we continue to hear stories of how participants were inspired and their skills sharpened to continue work in their respective communities.”

Workshops include “Living the Full Life: Understanding Youth and Child Well-Being”; “Community Youth Development: An Approach to Community Transformation”; and “Understanding Poverty in theU.S.”

Not only will Targeting Hope participants learn the reality of poverty in their local community, they will also learn new tools to equip youth for “life in all its fullness,” as well as methods for combating poverty in their own communities.

This event costs $25 per person. To register, call (612) 623-9234, extension 2230 or online:

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Meet Debbie!

Name: Debbie May

Role: Senior Project Manager, on loan from General Mills since November 2010.

Why did you choose to work at World Vision? Passion for working with Women/Families and Children locally

What is something that makes any work day better? Inspiring others, Learning something new about our community or Technology.

What are some of your hobbies? horses, outdoors, swimming, family time.

What is your favorite verse/life verse? Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

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A Flood of Volunteers from Upper Room!

Recently, the World Vision-Twin Cities warehouse was flooded with volunteers: Flood Kids!

Flood Kids help WVTC sort out school supplies, showing Truth in Action!

Upper Room Church had a camp from July 26-28, 2011 for fourth and fifth graders who wanted to “experience what it means to put faith into action” while “explor[ing] what it means to serve others.”

Their mission? “To Let what we do in here fill the streets out there.”  Not only were the helpers well-behaved, they were enthusiastic! The kids made tedious sorting tasks in our World Vision storehouse fun through games and singing along to the radio.

“I had KTIS playing in the background, and I loved hearing the kids sing along to many of the songs, and/or exclaiming, ‘Oh, I love this song!’” says Warehouse Specialist Kirsten Melvie, “The leaders were awesome to work with as well.   Besides keeping the kids on task, they played little games as they were working to keep the kids engaged and excited about what they were doing.”

The students also spent time learning about the issues of poverty and social justice as they discovered God’s plan for their action to be part of the solution to a better world.

As for the World Vision Twin Cities warehouse, the helpers left us with a better organized school supply area and big smiles on our faces!

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Twin City YEP Youth in Washington D.C.

After months of training, the eight YEP youth in the Twin Cities attended the “Youth Empowerment Summit,” this past July. This week-long trip to Washington D.C. connected Twin Cities’ YEP team with other YEP students around the Nation. One hundred and twenty total attended and were privileged to stay on the George Washington University Campus.

During the summit, these building leaders received personalized coaching and mentoring from World Vision policy advisor, Adam Taylor, and through workshops, led by youth experienced in advocacy. Examples of workshops include “The Power of Spoken Word” and “You Tube Justice.”

Previous YEP graduates, now working as World Vision advocacy trainers; President of World Vision, Richard Stearns; and actress in the movie, Freedom Writers (2007), April Hernandez—were a few of the speakers and teachers during workshops and events.

Media projects—short film clips made by each YEP team, were shown during each meal. During the day, students participated in workshops and one-on-one training. During the evening, team-building games and recreational activities like bowling and pool were enjoyed.

A favorite memory included a team exercise led by Derek Greenfield. All the students and staff held hands in a circle with more than 100 people. The goal was to squeeze the hand of each person within 23 seconds. World Vision, Twin Cities’ Youth Development Associate, Merci Rocha, was at the end of the line. Her job was to yell “Aflac!” as soon as she felt her hand squeezed. Not only was each person’s hand squeezed within 23 seconds, but Merci precisely imitated the duck for Aflac insurance. She was well known for the rest of the trip.

Thursday was the big day at Capitol Hill. YEP youth visited both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The students had practiced for hours prior to this day to speak to the two senators: Al Franken and Amy Kloubachar; and three representatives: Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, and Erik Paulsen.

World Vision,TwinCities’ Students Lucina Kayee and Borisha Perkins had the privilege of sharing their story to a broad audience. Borisha volunteered her story on the IMPACT Panel with David Johns. Lucy shared her story with Richard Stearns, World Vision reporters, and was featured on Fox News, July 14.

WVTC Yep Youth, Lucy, speaking with Richard Stearns, President of World Vision

During the last night, students dressed up for the formal gala, a night of photos and jazz music—a night to be recognized. YEP youth received certificates of completion. Scholarship recipients and youth-choice awards were announced. Borisha presented a thank-you plaque to David Johns for his encouragement when she volunteered her story during a YEP workshop.

“I have never had a male figure who makes you feel like you’re up to their level,” said Lucina Kayee of Richard Stearns. “We’re on the same page, we’re partners together. I think that’s what World Vision is all about.” Lucina was one of two delegates who gave their reflections following the keynote speech of Richard Stearns.

During the Summit, the YEP youth made plans for moving forward upon returning home for this fall. The YEP graduates will engage middle-school youth in advocacy and leadership training.

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Meet Kirsten!

Name: Kirsten Melvie

Role: Warehouse Specialist, since August 3, 2010.

Why did you choose to work at World Vision? When I chose my major in college (Sociocultural Studies), I chose it because “I wanted to work for an organization like World Vision”.  I love the work that World Vision does and the method it uses to carry that out. When I saw the Warehouse Specialist position open, I was intrigued as it would allow me to be a part of getting more help to kids…and drive a forklift :).

What is something that makes any work day better?   My favorite days are Essential Supply Distributions.  We get to serve, talk, and pray with our partners…and there’s lots of cookies and coffee! I also work with volunteers and I love those days as well…they always have tremendous amounts of energy (maybe from the cookies and coffee again??) and their willingness to serve is so encouraging!

What are some of your hobbies? Running, biking, going on weekend road trips, and playing with Quincy–my pet hedgehog!

What is your favorite verse/life verse? Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.  “Plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a Hope.”

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