In the book, “The Story of Kennett: Shaping Our Future One Child at a Time,” Bob George and Joan Holliday recognized several programs, agencies and community figures, who contributed to the youth’s well-being in Kennett Square. Beyond the interviews in the book, there are certain community figures, behind the scenes, who stand out as strong contributors to our children’s well-being. Anne Humes is one of them!
Anne Humes moved to Kendal Crosslands Communities in 1998. Soon after, she learned about Bridging the Community meetings being held bi-monthly around town, and quickly became a faithful attendee.
It was here where she heard about the agencies serving our youth and the opportunities for volunteerism. She told me that her intent was to become involved in something that she hadn’t done before. With her professional work in the psychiatric and social work field in the past, she worked mostly with adults. It was at Bridging that she decided she would volunteer with children.
Her first volunteer involvement was with Camp Dreamcatcher’s summer camp, which serves children who are infected and impacted by the disease of HIV/AIDS. She created art projects for the youth and volunteered for three summers. She reflects on what an eye-opening and meaningful experience it was for her and what a great contribution this camp makes to some of our most vulnerable children.
From here, she got involved in Mentoring Youth in Kennett (MYKE) and took the mentor training to become a mentor at Mary D Lang. This moved into tutoring youth both at Mary D Lang and Greenwood Elementary. She developed warm relationships with the youth and smiles often as she tells stories of her encounters.
At many Bridging meetings , she would bring photos of children engaged in a creative activity that she had developed and implemented to inspire others to become involved. She also took it upon herself to be the “bridge” to her Kendal resident family about the many volunteer opportunities. Anne was instrumental in helping many of the Kendal residents volunteering in the broader Kennett community.
Anne is the first to not want to take credit for what she does; she just wants to share her joy. One day, she showed up at a meeting with a huge box of uniquely designed children’s sweaters, hats and gloves that she and other Kendal residents had knitted to exhibit to the broader community.
Anne had taken on a leadership role at Kendal to recruit residents in making caps, scarves, and sweaters, with each item having a Kendal member that specialized in making the item. After Anne left the community meeting, she delivered the box to Tick Tock Early Learning Center.
Path Stone Migrant Head Start has spoken about Anne’s many hours of volunteerism at their Center; this year it is adding up to nine years. She has the gift of knowing what children enjoy and creates an activity that stimulates art expression, character development and team work. She doesn’t speak Spanish, but communicates through the activity and the kids love their time with “Mrs. White Hair”—their name for her.
Anne Humes is in her 90s now and is slowing down a bit, yet her spirit is as strong as ever. She continues to want to make a difference by inspiring others to get involved. And, the many children she has touched in Kennett Square are not forgotten; she has helped “shape the future one child at a time.”
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