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MAKING A MARK: Woman and her team hold community outreach for kids in Chesapeake

Sarah Brown and her team at Hampton Roads Hope Center are building effective relationships with kids in Chesapeake, one afternoon at a time.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — On school-day afternoons, many students just hop off the bus and head home. But on Thursdays for one Chesapeake neighborhood, the afternoon bus stop is on a different level.

The Church at Hampton Roads Co-Pastor Sarah Brown and her team run a community outreach for kids in Harbour North as part of her church's nonprofit, Hampton Roads Hope Center. 

"We knew it was essential for us to serve our community," says Brown. "And then in 2013, knew that the opportunity was here, that there were so many kids that live in this neighborhood that we really needed to do something for the kids." 

The goal is to help neighborhood parents by creating a positive after-school environment for their children. 

"They end up being by themselves a lot," says Brown. "And they're hungry for some healthy adult interaction. And it's been really amazing to build relationships with these kids." 

Every Thursday and second Saturday a month, the team provides homework help, snacks, and games for the kids. 

But Brown says a few days a month is not enough. 

"Our ultimate goal is to be here Monday through Friday, and to be here just every afternoon," she says. 

"When the kids get off the school bus, they have adults that are here and willing to help them and mentor them. Just be present with them."

Sarah and her team also hold an 8-week summer program, where they provide meals and activities for kids in Harbour North and surrounding communities. 

To learn more, contact Church at Hampton Roads at https://www.churchathamptonroads.com/.

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