Nicole Reeder: Helping Children

Nicole Reeder: Helping Children

Soon after they were married, BBC&S alumni Nicole (Medina, 2006) and Carl Reeder (2005), both graduates of the Specialized Ministries program, realized their mutual love for children was drawing them into a unique ministry. Nicole Reeder

During a trip to Hershey, PA, Nicole and Carl discovered Milton Hershey School, a private school for children from Pre-K through 12th grade who are from lower income or underprivileged homes.

Along with their two children, Josiah (4) and Faith (3), the Reeders now live on the campus of the school where they are house parents for 12 middle-school-age boys.

We are surrogate parents to 12 boys. We do everything that a parent would do. We take them to school, we prepare three meals a day, we help them with their homework, and we give lots of encouragement and lots of hugs.

We have a very organized home; we have a system. The boys wake up at a certain time, they check in with us, and we do our devotions. They know their schedule each day and they like that consistency because they come from homes that don have stability. We found the more organized we are, the better our house runs.

We have a great big house, and we all live together. Every boy has a room. When they are up in the middle of the night, we are there with them.

The boys live here all year.They have the option to go home on breaks, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, for example. Some stay because the family can't afford for them to come home. The school has programs and activities for the kids that stay.

We are able to share our faith with our kids. That was something that attracted us to Milton Hershey School. We can really have an impact. The kids attend chapel every Sunday, and right now my husband is doing a Bible study with our boys in the evening once a week. It is really neat to see how God is working at the school.

Josiah recently asked me "Are these all my brothers?"He was 2 months old and Faith was born while we lived here. They don't really know anything different. They do like it. We are off during the day from about 8:30 to 2 every afternoon, so we have some down time to give them some special attention.

Juggling 14 kids and the responsibilities that come with that is a challenge. I try to make sure they all get individual attention and that we are not selling anyone short. It is also hard when they go home for breaks because some of them go back to some pretty bad situations.

Our greatest reward is we know we are doing what God wants us to do. Even before I came to BBC, I was not sure what God wanted for my life. To know we are in a place where God has placed us and that we'rere glorifying Him is very rewarding.

The education here is phenomenal. Everything is hands-on. We have farms on campus where students are able to work hands-on with the animals. We also have a horticultural center and an automotive center. Kids who maintain a certain level of academic achievement and behavioral standards get a scholarship to their college of choice.

I enjoy playing outside with the boys. Yes, they are teenage boys, but they still have fun. Its stuff like that I love, just the simple things.

We have been blessed by having students come back to visit us. They say that a lot of the kids that have come through here really don't grasp with the school has done for them until after they have moved on. One of our former boys recently wrote about us that while he was here we really helped him get over being homesick. We knew we were there for him but we didn't know how much we had an impact on him.

Contact information

Learn about Milton Hershey School here

Learn more about the Specialized MInistries program at BBC here.

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Posted on: 9/27/2011 4:48:56 PM

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