KiDs Beach Club® has taken a leap of faith this year. Since the founding of the ministry in 2003, we have purchased over 66,000 Bibles and gifted them to preteens across America in the public school system.
Under normal circumstances, KiDs Beach Club® hosts an annual fundraiser event, Bibles for Beach Club Benefit Dinner, to offset the cost of these Bibles. This event has historically been held at the Texas Motor Speedway where participants have enjoyed rides around the track before relaxing with us for a delicious dinner and hearing inspiring messages from our guest speakers.
While this event has always been an exceptional treat for our guests and staff alike, having fun has never been the main goal of the Bibles for Beach Club Benefit Dinner. Rather, the goal is to raise the much-needed funds to get these Bibles into the hands of more and more kids each year.
This year, we were thrown a curveball with COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of our in-person event. Our Bibles were ordered and on their way, so we still needed to raise the funds tosupport our mission of spreading the gospel in our schools.
Every year at the benefit dinner, we receive generous and critical donations that make our gift to these children possible, but this year we were faced with the question of how to pivot around the inability to host our event live. We needed to get more creative in how we would continue God’s work.
Undersanting the COVID-19 restrictions placed on large group meetings, we stepped out in faith and decided to move the entire event online in an event called, Rise UP 4 KiDs! You can watch the hour long online virtual celebration by clicking here.
We dove into re-imagining the event to be a user-friendly and enjoyable experience for our supporters. We planned multiple gift card giveaways, fun trivia games, and more interactive events for our guests to participate in. George Barna graciously agreed to remain as our guest speaker for the virtual event, just as he would have been in-person.
We also included a segment from our founder Jack Terrell. The stage was set, and we eagerly awaited the evening which would kick off this year's Rise UP 4 KiDs event.
Finally, the night of Sunday, August 30th arrived. With a prayer that our event would be well-received far and wide, we went live, streaming both on KidsBeachClub.org and on Facebook. Throughout the evening between 400 and 600 hundred people viewed the event with many giving generously to help our efforts.
The audience participated in the interactive portions of the evening, and we heard a lot of approving comments.
The entire event lived up to our highest expectations and was an inspiring, successful, and fun evening.
But the highlight of the evening was the gifts of $222,550 to our Rise UP 4 KiDs fund! The night was a roaring success, but our work is not over yet.
The Rise UP 4 KiDs campaign continues in September to reach our goal of $500,000. And we need all hands on deck to reach that necessary amount. That's why we need your help to assist in our ministry and to help get Bibles and the good news in the hands and hearts of kids across the nation and now even around the world.
You can explore how easy it is to become a fundraiser as part of the campaign by clicking here.
We’re praising God for what He has done and continues to do through generous gifts from our faithful supporters like you!
Published on Sep 16 @ 5:33 PM CDT
These wonderful men and women are often the unsung heroes of the entire KBC family. From engaging with the kids, to being the responsible adult when things don’t always go according to plan, they are the ones truly making Jesus cool in school!
This year has been a roller coaster for us all, but KiDs Beach Club® is making big moves so we don’t lose ministry momentum. The game may have changed, but our goal remains the same.
This year we will continue to deliver Bibles to all our clubs so that every Beach Club will have access to the Word of God, forever. We are in the process of creating a network quality TV show called "Beach Club at HOME! which will allow all of our Beach Club students and their friends to watch from the comfort of their own homes. These 24 weekly episodes can be seen by simpling logging on each week to kidsbeachclub.org/online.
An exciting technological feature will provide our church partners to maximize their outreach possibilities to track student attendence and continue to communicate as the students continue to learn from home. This new technology will allow them to contact the parents of anyone who logs into Beach Club at HOME!, assisting these churches to minister to every student. By doing this, we ensure our new students won’t feel as though they have been overlooked or forgotten.
These changes will be an upgrade that will help further bring the Gospel to each and every child who attends Beach Club. The stage is set. The Bibles have arrived in our warehouse and are ready to be shipped to our students as they participate in Beach Club at HOME! or in person at some public schools.
While many of our KBC volunteers await for the public schools to open up to after-school activities so they can continue to serve the Lord, there is a new way to help us continue to make Jesus cool in school.
Please consider joining us as an online fundraiser. It's very easy to do! Learn more by clicking here. This is a way everyone can stay involved and help to reach more kids for Jesus.
We need your support to ensure that every boy and girl in Beach Club can receive a Bible of their very own. We’re nearly halfway to our goal already, and your partnership in this simple fundraising effort can help us cross the finish line.
The time to act is now as the Rise UP 4 KiDs campaign continues through September. If you would like to help us in our time of need, click here.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” —Jesus
Published on Sep 16 @ 4:49 PM CDT
Five years ago, an idea entered First Baptist Church of Burleson in Burleson, Texas—an idea that would change not only the community, but how the churches in that community unite to accomplish feats that no single church could hope to accomplish. This idea was hosting a Beach Club.
Arlene Holland became a member at First Baptist Church of Burleson with her husband after years of teaching in a California school system. She quickly began volunteering in the Sunday school classrooms but was not too eager to return to a regular school teaching position. Yet when she heard the church was starting a Beach Club, she knew she could help and volunteered to serve.
The church partnered with KiDs Beach Club® the first year with one club, but they soon found themselves hosting two clubs in two different elementary schools. However, after two whole semesters, the church made a startling discovery.
“There are a total of 10 elementary schools here in Burleson, and the folks at KBC told me that there were two other churches attempting to host clubs of their own,” Arelene says. “And so between the three churches, we now have clubs in four of the ten schools.” Just like that, the First Baptist of Burleson, Fort Worth First Church of the Nazarene, and Burleson Bible Church—becoming a united front of sorts—invaded the public schools of Burleson, Texas. The Beach Club volunteers from all three churches began meeting regularly to discuss plans and events, and to inquire how they all might help and support one another.
The impact of KiDs Beach Club® did not stop there. The staff at First Baptist of Burleson kept up the momentum and reached out to other churches in the area to see if they would be interested in supporting clubs of their own. They also talked with the school principals, many of whom were interested in having a Beach Club at their school if they could find a church partner.
This ministry momentum was becoming a force in Burleson until a certain virus erupted. Did COVID-19 complicate things? Of course. Did it stop them? Absolutely not.
Arlene and the rest of the First Baptist of Burleson team, along with their brothers and sisters from Fort Worth First Church of the Nazarene and Burleson Bible Church, saw the pandemic as an opportunity instead of a burden. They began brainstorming how to turn this time, which the vast majority of the world regarded as a pandemic, into a possibility. When the schools announced they would be going digital, the churches began holding their clubs online. Together they took advantage of what KiDs Beach Club® was offering with Beach Club at HOME!, six online episodes to provide students a sense of normalcy, even though they were now learning at home.
As kids began watching, they started inviting friends from other elementary schools. Soon the word began to spread as the clubs expanded beyond the traditional physical walls of each school. Now they have children from several other elementary schools engaging online, giving a unique opportunity for other churches to get involved at those other schools. This group of churches is truly taking community ministry to a whole new level, and they didn’t let financial concerns hold them back during this season. When the question of financial stability arose in a recent meeting among the churches, they decided there was only one thing to do. As Arlene puts it, “Our church is blessed in that we put the word out and God provides, and so we have always said in all of this, let's not let money be the issue, God's gonna provide that one way or another.”
Together they are rising above the COVID-19 obstacles. Instead of arguing over who’s in charge or disputing over ministry “turf”, these churches have set a precedent that the entire Christian community can and should follow. Just as Christ said in Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.”
“After the meeting last week,” Arlene says, “all the churches wanted to join together and agreed, ‘Yeah, let's conquer Burleson! Let's see what God can do.'" KiDs Beach Club® is privileged to be part of what God is doing, especially during this pandemic in Burleson and beyond.
Published on Sep 16 @ 4:40 PM CDT
Anna Whitney and her team at Bellevue Baptist Church have gone above and beyond the call of duty in supporting their Beach Club during these peculiar times. Anna’s journey began when she joined Bellevue Baptist Church and started helping in the ARISE2Read non-profit ministry connected with the church.
ARISE2Read helps second graders learn to read while evangelizing at the same time. This effort was an amazing opportunity to reach the hearts and minds of the children in their community. Still, they knew they could do more and began searching for innovative ways to get connected with more families and churches in the Memphis community.
After observing several different club options, they loved the quality of the curriculum and the support systems of KiDs Beach Clubs. They partnered with KiDs Beach Clubs and kicked off two new clubs in Cordova and Frazier elementary schools. Both clubs began with around 30 students and grew from there.
Over the course of the semester, Anna had the opportunity to build relationships with most of the kids. On the first day, Anna noticed one young boy who clearly loved KiDs Beach Clubs: “I asked him to pray before we left, and one thing he said in his prayer was, ‘Lord, thank you that no one got shot today.’ And that was a wake-up call. To hear the kids talk about where they come from, it just made us realize that these kids need the Gospel more than ever!”
The school community began looking upon these new clubs with great interest. “What's interesting is a ton of school principals are interested and want to start it up,” Anna says. With the community behind them, and many local principals eagerly hoping to help expand the clubs to their schools, things were looking bright as both KiDs Beach Clubs roared into the spring of 2020!
But then they hit a roadblock with COVID. When the entire nation shut down due to the Coronavirus, Anna and the team began calling each of the children’s parents to check in on the kids in the clubs and make sure they and their families were doing well amidst the chaos.
The team then embraced the shift to virtual clubs as KiDs Beach Club® went online. But as they talked with the families, they soon realized they had another problem. Due to the socioeconomic status of many of the children’s families, many kids had no reliable online access.
The innovative leaders developed a solution. They began using KiDs Beach Club’s Hang 10 Summer Reading Program to continue ministering to the children. Amanda headed an effort to send physical copies of the Summer Reading Program along with letters of encouragement and hope to all of their students.
“We believe that even if only one child took advantage of this reading program, it was worth it for sure,” Anna says. These letters were welcomed by both the children and parents, many of whom expressed how incredibly thankful they were for someone to take the time to remind the children that they had not been forgotten.
Building on the momentum of the Summer Reading Program, the Bellevue leaders took full advantage of the free VBS curriculum provided by KiDs Beach Club this year for outdoor ministry. They took the VBS experience to the apartment complexes where the kids lived. They offered 4 sessions each day with 10 kids each.
It required more effort initially, but as Anna says, “We want to continue going out there, simply because we don't want to be that face that showed up for a few days and just vanished. We want to be there to form lasting relationships and make a real eternal difference!”
Anna and the entire team of Beach Club volunteers at Bellevue Baptist Church have been more than teachers or volunteers to their students. They have become an innovative example for others to see that even while in the midst of adversity or tough times, with Christ there is always a way.
“Our hope is that what we did would inspire other churches and ministries to do the same thing. Think of this season as an opportunity, not to think, Well, we can't do anything now,” Anna says. “I truly feel this is opening up more doors of opportunity for the Gospel to go forth. So that is our hope and our prayer here in Memphis, Tennessee, and beyond!”
Published on Sep 16 @ 4:04 PM CDT
What does a retired school leader do after serving for 40 years in education? She volunteers with KiDs Beach Club®, of course!
Patricia Smith began her journey as a teacher decades ago in a local elementary school. One Christmas, she came to realize just how difficult it was to even refer to the Bible in public schools. She had purchased a nativity scene to decorate her classroom bulletin board, yet Patricia was reprimanded for her actions, and she was forced to remove it.
After more than 38 years of service, Patricia retired from teaching in 2014, but she was called back to lead as a principal at West Point Elementary School in Windermere, Florida near Orlando. She and her good friend, Denise, who had served 14 years with her at the same elementary school, led the school in its opening years together.
As the year progressed, Denise began looking for partnership opportunities that they could use to get the Gospel into the schools. Patricia wasn’t too keen on the idea of jumping right into a partnership in the school’s first year, but she left the possibility open.
One day, Denise’s phone rang. It was a KiDs Beach Club® representative calling to inquire if West Point Elementary would like to host a Beach Club.
Denise checked out the KBC website and showed it to Patricia. As they watched the content on the site from videos to testimonials, Patricia made her decision. “The kids looked like they were having fun. They were with their group leaders in a gym and playing, and it just looked so fun.”
She had finally found a way for Jesus to be cool in school.
Patricia worked with the local KBC leaders to plan the club for Wednesdays when the teachers would have a planning meeting resulting in class letting out early.
“The interaction was fabulous because I think we laid the groundwork, and then kids thought it was fun. I didn't hear any negativity about it! I really think some of the parents felt, ‘Ok, this school has a club, something for my kid to do after school,” Patricia says, “and I don't have to get off work an hour early to come pick them up.’”
In the first year, the Beach Club ministered to over 80 children weekly. God's Word was spreading through the school system and touching the hearts of these children who otherwise might never have heard it. After nearly 42 years teaching, administrating, and serving the children via the public school system, Patricia retired.
Some people are born with a desire to serve, and others choose to serve when they witness the importance of the cause.
“I never had that desire to stay involved in education,” Patricia says, “but I knew that KiDs Beach Club® was a way to bring Vacation Bible School back into the schools. So this was an open door, and I chose to stay at West Point and volunteer with the club. In fact, I would like to see it in all Orange County public schools.”
She has been volunteering at the very same Beach Club in West Point Elementary that she was so monumental in founding back in 2014.
As a result of her choice to open the door to KiDs Beach Club®, these kids now have an opportunity to know Jesus, and Patrica can continue her journey as she helps lead these children to the light that never fades, and the love that never fails.
Even though COVID-19 restrictions have prevented many of our faithful KBC volunteers from serving the Lord inside the public schools during this semester, there are many opportunies to serve from home. KBC will be sending all 10,000 of our students from last year, links to watch Beach Club at HOME! One of the areas KBC needs your help during this time is writing notes to these students to encourage them each week! Please pray about it and if you are interested in assisting just click here to send an email to let us know.
Published on Sep 09 @ 3:02 PM CDT