Page 13 - The Vine - Summer 2017
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        CALLED TO SERVE

        by Harvin Moore, as told by Marilyn Gore







        When I lived in New York right after college, I was involved   session at the school. The church also provides a prayer
        in the East Harlem Tutorial Program. I'd take the subway to a   partner, who never meets the child but just prays for him.
        walk-up brownstone in East Harlem, where kids would come   There are many ways people can serve God and improve
        in the evening to study and have a safe, quiet, happy place   our society and the people around them, and change things
        to hang out, study, and learn. These kids were very poor and   for the better. Public service is one of them. When I heard
        came from broken homes in a dangerous neighborhood,    about Kids Hope, I felt the same tug as when I heard about
        and the fact that somebody in a suit from Wall Street cared   Communities In Schools, and when I heard of East Harlem
        enough about them to get up there every single week to help   Tutorial. It’s been a thread, I guess you'd say, that I've had all
        them get through school meant a lot to them. That was my   the way through my adult life.
        fi rst exposure to volunteering in public education.
                                                               The biggest ministry I've been involved in, and I do think a
        When I came back to Houston I was looking for something
                                                               ministry is the right word for it, was my service on the HISD
        similar, so I mentored at Communities in Schools in an
                                                               school board. I got so many things done, but in the short run,
        alternative school in the basement of Foley’s downtown for
                                                               it often felt like nothing was getting accomplished. It takes
        kids with diffi cult backgrounds. Soon after that, a person
                                                               both passion and patience to do anything in education. When
        named Wendy Kopp asked me to help her new organization,
                                                               you change something, it may be a very long time before you
        called Teach for America, by visiting their classrooms in HISD
                                                               see the outcome. Whether it's Kids Hope, changing a child, or
        schools and reading to the kids. Not long after that I was
                                                               serving on the school board, changing the system, it doesn't
        introduced to two education entrepreneurs, Mike Feinberg
                                                               happen overnight. In ministry, the opportunities may be far
        and Chris Barbic, who had recently started programs called
                                                               between, but if you’re at it long enough they add up.
        KIPP and YES. Both programs later turned into a new type
                                                               It is very important to give to other people, not getting
        of school called charter schools, and I was on the founding
                                                               anything in return other than the joy that you're making a
        boards of both of those schools. And six years later, in
                                                               difference. Give somehow in your life. Put aside signifi cant
        November 2003, I decided to run for election to the HISD
                                                               time to give, to share, and give it an opportunity to grow as a
        Board of Education. I won that election and three others,
                                                               part of your life. If it really isn't a fi t, after you've given it some
        serving a total of thirteen years, and fi nally stepping down this
                                                               time, switch to something else. But don't stop giving. It is very
        January.
                                                               important to your soul, and to your health.
        For six years, while on the HISD Board, I worked with Kids
        Hope, a national, non-profi t that focuses on fi nding members
        of participating churches like St. John the Divine to help                   Read more Stories on Change online
        kids in local schools who need mentoring support. The                        at sjd.org/stories.
        commitment for the mentor is a once a week mentoring
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