Beech Street Apartments in NE Portland presented us with a challenge: they have 32 families with school-aged children, and they needed tutoring and homework help. When this reality was presented to the OAKS women’s group at River West Church, one woman responded in a very spontaneous way!
Marsha Davis had been praying about how the Lord would use her, now that she had retired from her years of teaching Special Needs kids in the public school system. She responded by saying, “This is me! This is what I need to be doing!” And, she didn’t waste any time.
Marsha put together a program she calls “Helping Hands”, and wrangled teaching specialists that she knew, including her husband Kirk. Each week she provides a wonderful dinner for any of the kids, parents and siblings that are hungry, and then forges on with the tutoring. They have math, reading and writing specialists, and have put together games, work sheets and packets to individually challenge and grow their diverse tutoring family, which includes kindergarteners through high school. She made folders for each child so they could bring their homework or reading with them to work on.
Soon after starting, Marsha was presented with a special request: Could she help one of the mothers who wanted to better understand her kids’ homework? This mom of several kids was hoping to take her GED, and struggled trying to grasp what her kids were studying. Marsha immediately went to work creating packets of work for her, and then each week her team devotes individual time with her as she works through those packets.
This is the heart of Helping Hands; the love of Christ, lived out through the willing hands and abilities of the teachers each week. The kids and parents are responding through their openness and eagerness to learn, and their grateful hearts. Many of the parents are also participating and staying to help their own children during the tutoring time.
We are praising God for His provision in raising up an entire creative team and vibrant program mightily at work in the Beech Street families and community!