You Don’t Know What You’re Missing
By Catherine Finch
Kim Pickett has always enjoyed serving children in whatever way she can. She loves being a mom and grandmother and serves in children’s ministries in her church and has served in college ministries. When Kim began volunteering with Children’s Hope at Baptist Homes for Children, OKC, it felt natural. Her husband, Mike Pickett, had worked with high school and college students before, but working exclusively with young children was a new concept for him.
“This is kind of new to me,” said Mike. “But I fell in love with the ministry when I visited the OKC campus for the first time. I realized a lot of these kids did not have a male influence to look up to, and it was impressed upon me that I could be that male role model for them. It is a lot of responsibility, but I love it.”
Children’s Hope was developed to help single mothers who may have limited or no support or resources and provide an opportunity to develop a solid foundation for herself and the children in her custody. The goal of Children’s Hope is to help families become productive and more self-sufficient by providing a safe, stable and nurturing place to live, while equipping, assisting and teaching important skills that support both the mother and the children.
Mike and Kim have known about Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC) for many years. Kim’s mother was actively involved with OBHC, and Kim has served on the OKC-BRT Style Show committee for the past fifteen years.
“The Style Show led me to the OKC campus,” said Kim. “Being able to plug in and fall in love with the kids with Children’s Hope naturally led us to want to be grandparent figures here on campus.”
“Kim started volunteering and I joined her once I heard there was a need for men to come and invest in the lives of the kids,” added Mike. “As soon as I joined her on campus, I caught the vision of what God was doing here at OKC, and I was hooked.”
The Picketts’ passion for the ministries of OBHC has spread across multiple generations. The couple likes to take their grandchildren with them to shop for clothes for the Style Show, and they also enjoy bringing their family on campus and showing them all aspects of the ministry. It is important to them that their family sees the importance of ministries like Children’s Hope.
They have volunteered with Children’s Hope since the very beginning of the program on the OKC campus. Mike and Kim saw the importance of mothers having the opportunity to stay with their children and lead a successful life. In the past 10 years, Children’s Hope has helped more than 300 families and impacted more than 550 children.
“For me, I was blessed to grow up in a Christian family who supported me,” said Mike. “There are some stories here at Children’s Hope that can lead you to tears; there are some really tough situations. Many of the moms and families have no one to turn to. It means the world to us to provide a support system for the moms and their children.”
“Children’s Hope is all about trying to break the cycle of an unstable life for the moms and their children,” continued Mike. “It is all about showing the love of Christ, providing a Christian influence and setting them up for success.”
Every Monday evening, Mike and Kim show up at the OKC campus and watch a classroom full of children while the moms attend classes on budgeting and running a house as a single mom. During the hour-and-a-half the couple spends with the children, they may play in the campus gym, have an activity planned or watch a movie. Whatever they do, they always show up and share the love of Christ with the children in their class.
Kim loves to see the impact of the education and classes not only on the moms but their children. What the moms are learning in their classes shapes them into healthy, prepared parents, and their children’s situations improve because of the education their moms receive.
“When the moms are learning and growing, their kids are also reaping the benefits,” said Kim.
Before Mike retired, he would still make time to come and volunteer every Monday night. “It is so rewarding and worth it to come on the days even when I am exhausted,” said Mike. “I would love to challenge men to just come and be a positive male influence on these kids. It is so easy to love the kids, and I know it is something that our Lord and Savior would want us to do.”
The Picketts encourage those interested in volunteering to visit the campus or volunteer at least once or twice. They guarantee seeing the impact of the Children’s Hope ministry will motivate involvement and a love for the moms and their children. They also mentioned the Heritage Room at the OKC campus as a way to spark interest in the ministry – it is a beautiful, thought-out room detailing the fascinating history of OBHC with visuals and artifacts.
“It’s not hard – just come and love on the kids for an hour-and-a-half every Monday,” said Kim. “You don’t know what you’re missing.”
Thank you to Mike and Kim Pickett for the way you have poured into the Children’s Hope ministry of the OKC campus. Your impact spreads across the lives of many.