Thank you to all of our donors, sponsors, and partners for supporting Stone of Hope Youth these past years. The COVID 19 pandemic has changed the way we do life as a society. For many families, the pandemic has been a burden to health, careers, and finances. Many have lost loved ones and friends. We pray for all who have struggled this year. On the other hand, many have flourished during the pandemic finding new opportunities to serve and to make an impact in ways never foreseen. During the pandemic, Stone of Hope Youth has been blessed beyond measure. Our team has brainstormed and implemented new ways of reaching our SOHY boys and their families. Thanks to you we have also surpassed our financial goals for 2020. This has been a big blessing as we were able to experiment with new activities for the boys and ways to serve their families because of your giving. We are very grateful to God for you. In our director and board meetings we like to mention that the economy and pandemic is NOT our source but God is. We feel God has put in your heart to give to this great organization and we thank you!
We have changed our elementary mentor platform for this year from in-person, to online ZOOM meetings. As we moved to online we experimented with different ways to organize our meetings so that the boys never lose focus. We decided to begin every online session with fun starters to break the ice, and every week they get a different starter. Our starters have been activities such as online bingo, Scattegories, 2 truths and a lie, Pictionary, and many more. To make these even more engaging, the boys have opportunities to win prizes such as $5 gift cards, puzzles, and more.
During our second portion of our online mentor sessions we focus on life skill scenarios. We focus on topics such as bullying, acceptance, integrity, etc. Most times we will watch an inspirational video and other times we will have a short devotional. We then give the boys and mentors a list of real world engaging questions that pertain to the topic. Our third and final portion of the online mentor session is the one on one ZOOM break out with a mentor. During this time the mentor asks the mentee about their week and how life is going. This break out has proven to be essential as the boys tend to open up better during one on one sessions. During the one on one, the mentor eventually goes over the topic questions with their mentee. Once one on one time is up, we press the button on ZOOM to bring everyone back to the main hub. We always finish by praising each boy and sharing at least one positive from the one on one session. We make sure that every kid feels affirmed and great about themselves after every session.
For our middle school boys, we have been fortunate to be able to meet in person for a large part of the year. During our in-person mentor sessions, we break up the boys in 3 groups and rotate them to 3 different stations. Each station is comprised of 3 leadership activities that focus on the topic of the day such as integrity, honor, listening, etc. From October to January we took a break from in person as the governor mandated that there be no after school programs. This worked in our favor as we utilized our time for visiting our SOHY families at their homes. In October we received a little over $40,000 from the COVID CARES ACT Grant from the government. We were able to help our SOHY families and other families in the West Valley Community with bills, rent, furnaces, groceries, glasses, and much more. This grant came at a perfect time as some families were on the brink of being evicted from their homes. We are happy to say that from October to December we spent all of the $40,000 on families needing assistance. It was a big undertaking but we were grateful for the governors mandate so that we had time to help these great families. God’s timing was perfect as we went back into mentoring soon after.
During the first quarter of 2021 we have been able to run one mini camp and one service project. In March, we took the boys up the mountains for our first Snowshoeing Mini Camp. Snowshoeing was a first for all the boys and most of the mentors. The weather was perfect as the boys got to snowshoe during a light snow storm. It was work getting up the mountain but the boys loved it. The boys learned that to see beauty in things you have to work at it, whether it is relationships or dreams. The positive work you put into it, the greater reward at the end. Once we finally got down the mountain we pulled out the sleds and sledded down the mountain multiple times as we waited on parents to arrive. It was a great time for all! Second quarter we have an Indoor Rock Climbing mini camp lined up.
In March, Stone of Hope Youth began a new long-term service project. The boys built the first SOHY Community Garden. This has been a vision from David, our Director of Mentoring, for a long time. A large number of our boys came and worked wonders. They built a very large garden box and framed the greenhouse for shelves. They learned to till the ground, measure dimensions, work with the drill, and fill pots with soil. They worked extremely hard and were very excited to see the final results. The boys felt good knowing that the produce grown goes directly to their families and that they have a large part in contributing to their household. They also loved consuming the donuts, juice, Gatorade, and pizza during our work.
We have received great news in the past weeks. We will be able to run our FULL SOHY Leadership Camp in June! This is great news as summer camp is the culmination of all the boys have learned during the year. The first three days are filled with fun leadership activities, fishing, canoeing, hiking/ orienteering, tent camping, and self reflection. We also plan a college tour and scavenger hunt at Weber State University as we want to encourage our boys to envision themselves on a college campus. On our final day of summer camp, we have the boys clean the camp grounds and pack, then we leave for a fun filled day at the Lagoon Theme Park.
Just recently we let the boys know that camp is on for this year and they are incredibly excited! Of course, we will keep adhering to CDC COVID guidelines.
We are very excited for the future of Stone of Hope Youth. We could not serve as we do without your support. Please spread the word about the work we are doing. We are always looking for new monthly donors to keep our ministry going strong. You are making a big difference in these undeserved communities with which we work. On behalf of our Stone of Hope Youth team we thank you for being part of the family.
Founder and Executive Director
Stone of Hope Youth
As of June 19th, 2017, Stone of Hope Youth is now a 501(c)(3) status nonprofit entity!!! This is what we have been waiting for all year! We as a staff have been planning with expectations to start fundraising and seeking sponsors. We are now ready to officially push forward! We are truly grateful to God!
Starting in August, our Mentor Team of Stone of Hope Youth will begin our initiative to find Mentors for the 2017-2018 school year. We are looking for male mentors 21 years old and older with a heart to serve and build into the lives of young men. Once background checks and training are finalized we will match our mentors with their mentees. We believe that consistency and commitment are key to raising children. We require our mentors to commit once a week for a full school year (9 months). We will adhere to and follow the school district calendars and only mentor within the open dates of the School District. There will be no mentoring during school holidays.
Please spread the word to all possible donors. All donations will go directly to purchasing supplies, food, clothes, transportation, curriculum, and tutors for our kids enrolled in Stone of Hope Youth. In addition, donations will go to our 3 week overnight summer camp for our kids and Parent Education Classes for the parents of our Stone of Hope Youth kids.
We have been hard at work planning all year for this to finally come to fruition. We thank all that have believed and continue to believe in the vision to bless and raise up our disadvantaged youth.
Founder & Executive Director
Stone of Hope Youth
Thank you so much for your support of Stone of Hope Youth!
We have been blessed to be able to live in Salt Lake City, Utah and have the opportunity to bless kids who are in need. My wife, Alia, and I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah from Houston, Texas back in June of 2016. We felt God calling us here over a year ago to start a nonprofit for disadvantaged kids. On June 30th, 2016, we closed on our house in Houston the same day we drove out to start our new life here in Salt Lake City.
Fast forward 8 months and now I'm teaching music at a Title 1 school and our nonprofit, Stone of Hope Youth, has been incorporated in the State of Utah as of February 10th, 2017!! We have also received our Federal EIN from the IRS and opened our business bank account!!
We have a great team of dedicated Directors and Board Members that has joined Stone of Hope Youth and has helped make the dream a reality! Below our the names and titles of each.
As we have started, we are praying and believing for many things:
1. For our 501 (c)(3) declaration letter to be accepted and incorporated as a tax exempt nonprofit by March 2017
2. For Stone of Hope Youth to have generous donors and to receive grants to help us in funding our Mentor programs, summer camps, scholarships, and educational events for parents and their kids. Our Goal is $50,000 by July 2017
3. For the kids who will be a part of Stone of Hope Youth that their lives will be changed and that they will become influential leaders in their homes, schools, and communities.
We are working hard and believing for all of these to come to fruition!
Thank you so much for your support and please spread the word about Stone of Hope Youth! We are here to "Speak Life and Change Lives!"
Founder & Executive Director
Stone of Hope Youth
"With this faith, we will hue out of the mountain of despair, a Stone of Hope."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.