What are your favorite summer memories from childhood?

June 20, 2023

What are some of your summer childhood memories? For me, I think of swimming, playing tetherball, pulling weeds in the garden, riding bike and having extra time to read.

For Raquel, who was 10 when I first met her in Bridge of Hope, summer childhood memories include stress, lack of structure without school, and a constant change of schedule. She vividly remembers her mom’s stress, trying to find different places to send Raquel and her brother every week of summer while she worked.

Single parenting and homelessness is always complex but summer adds levels of complication for single mothers who are trying to juggle work, financial stress, housing search and children who are now out of school.

The assumption that summer means positive memories for children is not generally true for families who are teetering on the edge of financial pressure on a daily basis.

Research points to some stark realities for children in poverty. “Parents who are struggling to maintain steady employment and cover the cost of housing are not the only ones carrying the stress of living in poverty. Their children experience it too—in ways that can harm their development.” (2022 Kids Count Data Book, p. 4)

I’m grateful for Bridge of Hope Neighboring Volunteers who are stepping up to the plate in big ways this summer for families facing homelessness. From invitations to go on bike rides and join in on pool parties to trips to minor league baseball games and rides to vacation Bible School. Neighboring Volunteers are helping to create positive summer memories while also filling the void of school schedules.

Neighboring matters. Raquel remembers a Neighboring Volunteer family who included her and her brother in their family membership at a community pool one summer – and it’s a special memory for Raquel, who is now 22.

God can work in beautiful ways through you and me, if we are open to being the hands and feet of Jesus in the world around us. Join the Neighboring Movement. Summer can be a time to put your faith into action by deepening your love for your neighbor facing homelessness.

Wishing you joy and opportunities to live out your faith this summer,

Edith Yoder, CEO


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What are your favorite summer memories from childhood?