Education

Area Kids Are Turning Into Heroes Through the Help of Amazing Volunteers

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Volunteer Zack Kohn surprises Sophie Osbourne
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Paige Thedinga as Water Woman and Sophie Osbourne, Rec Director
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VBS Director Carol Osbourne ministers to a student, Jake Bowen
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Nick Bené volunteers with recreation team
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Annie Hassen interacts with some students
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Daria Romankow, Nina Burns, Paige Osbourne lead the children in song
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"This week we make heroes!" That's the rallying cry you'll hear from the corner of Mountain and Plainfield Avenues this week.

Nearly 90 kids ages 3 through fifth grade are having the time of their lives as they participate in Hero Headquarters, the enormously popular Vacation Bible School program provided to the community by Westminster Presbyterian Church. With a curriculum that shows kids how to be everyday heroes through Bible stories, music, skits, games, and just plain fun, the week is truly an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.

For VBS director, Carol Osborne, the week is particularly special. Osborne has been intricately involved with the program for nearly 10 years. When asked what keeps her coming back year after year, she said, "This is the Superbowl for me. People talk about it for weeks and then it happens and it's all hands on deck. It's amazing to see so many diverse people join forces for a common goal. It truly is God's work in action."

With over 50 volunteers on her staff, it is clear Osborne is not alone in her thinking. Many of the programs teachers and committee directors were once the program's young students themselves. In speaking with them, the sentiment is unanimous; they come back year after year because they feel VBS is a part of who they are.

Volunteers range in age from 8th graders through mature adults. They teach classes, perform skits, run crafts, serve snacks, and even man the slip-and-slide on the ever-popular Water Day. For one week, many people who typically shy away from volunteer activities come together, don the requisite purple shirt and become leaders.

In addition, every year the Westminster VBS program collects spare change for a worthwhile charity. This year, the mission recipient is the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. When asked why the Soul Foundation was selected, Osborne explained, "This organization has a heart that beats like a VBS heart."

Go anywhere near the corner of Mountain and Plainfield Avenues this week and you'll be sure to feel the energy and excitement. Young and old alike, it is undeniable; leaders are being made at Hero Headquarters. The program commences on Friday night with a 7 pm musical performance for families.

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