First Baptist donates van to Kids First Center

Kids First celebrates receiving a new van donated by First Baptist Church during a Sept. 25 family board game day hosted at Kids First by the church. (Contributed)

Kids First celebrates receiving a new van donated by First Baptist Church during a Sept. 25 family board game day hosted at Kids First by the church. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – First Baptist Church of Alabaster recently donated a van to the Kids First Community Center to be used for the center’s adult education and workforce development program.

The church presented the van to Kids First during a Sept. 25 family board game day hosted by the church at the center. During the event, attendees circled the van and prayed for it, said Kids First Director Cindy Hawkins.

Hawkins said the center, which is located off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Alabaster, will use the van to provide transportation for adults to travel to classes and training workshops.

The adult program represents a step toward expanding the center’s offerings in the community, she said.

“Our community is so blessed to have caring agencies that will step out on faith to uplift and provide for those in need,” Hawkins said. “After 17 years of helping in the Simmsville area, I feel the needs have changed. I now have children of the adults who were 16 years old when I first started 17 years ago today, and they need jobs, cars and a decent place to live and a good church home to raise their children to be productive members of our community.”

The adult class is called Bridge of H.O.P.E., which stands for Helping Our Parents through Education, and offers free literacy, GED, job interview training, resume development, parenting skills classes, drug awareness classes and more.

“Our goals with Bridge of H.O.P.E is to encourage adults through education by connecting caring people of diverse backgrounds and providing resources-training to inspire and produce working members of our society,” Hawkins said.

The first Bridge of Hope class, which is a residential carpentry class held through a partnership with Shelby County Community education, started on Sept. 27 at the Shelby County College and Career Center in Columbiana. Visit HOPE1.org for a list of upcoming classes and locations.

Bridge of H.O.P.E. is in need of volunteers, teachers and donations. To volunteer, call Kids First at 706-9467 or 994-8300.