Keller Williams “Red Day” – WOW

Koinonia Homes for Teens was blessed beyond expectations this month by Keller Williams Reality’s Big “Red Day!” With over one hundred strong, Keller Williams’ agents and contractors showed up at virtually every home, as well as our school, armed with paint brushes, tools, picks & shovels. With the intent of repairing, improving and beautifying, the Keller Williams’ team accomplished an unimaginable amount of projects. From cutting down several large dead trees to painting complete interiors of our teens’ homes, the projects numbered in the dozens.

More importantly, watching our teens’ response to so many wonderful caring and giving people was profound. To have Keller Williams’ culture of giving back to the community being acted out right before our “at risk” teens’ eyes left no doubt that they were loved and cared for. While Keller Williams came with the intention of remodeling our homes, they actually repaired hearts.

Our gratitude goes out to the Keller Williams’ team on so many levels. It was an honor to meet and discuss the needs of our young people with such a dedicated and responsive group. Their big “Red Day” of community service will have a long lasting impact on the service we provide to our young people.

H5

HFTOH4H3

FreeStyle’s Fashion Bike Parade

FreeStyle's Fashion Bike Parade
FreeStyle’s Fashion Bike Parade

We would like to invite you to participate in our first ever FreeStyle Fashion Bike Parade where you get to dress up and ride for a good cause.

When: September 6 from 5pm-9pm
Where: 1107 Roseville Square Roseville, CA 
Cost: $20 (100% of proceeds go to Koinonia, a local nonprofit)
5-7pm get a new hairstyle and expert makeup tips at our hair and makeup station.
Afterwards, DIY your helmet and bike at our decoration station.
At 7pm be ready to ride with your friends and family to Shady Coffee and Tea for Live Music and a presentation by Koinonia.
Live music at Shady Coffee and Tea by:
Smalltalk
Matt Lewis
Josh Lane

We partnered up with Konionia Homes For Teens, a local nonprofit, because we believe in the work they do for the community.
“Koinonia Homes for Teens is one of California’s premiere adolescent drug abuse treatment programs. Working with court adjudicated youth, Koinonia is serving one of the highest at-risk populations in the nation and always strives to offer more by treating the whole person. From recovery to education and job readiness, Koinonia boys and girls get to take advantage of an extensive set of in-house and community based opportunities.”

2014 Day in the Park

Koinonia Homes for Teens’ “Day in the Park” was an exciting event this year complete with special speakers and live music (a special thanks to Mitch and Tharon of Trukidz and the ‘Rey Y Kaye’ Band providing inspiration and entertainment). Our goal each year is to thank all of the wonderful folks who support our young people throughout the year and we hope we succeeded. Aside from hanging out with all of these fabulous people, the day’s highlight is always the great food provided by George Almeida and the Fuddruckers’ catering truck.

Following lunch, we were privileged to honor one of our graduates with a $1,500 Transition Scholarship provided by Dorian McCoy and the Angels in the Alley. Brianna graduated with full honors from the Koinonia Program as well as the Koinonia Community High School where she was asked to give the commencement speech for Placer County Office of Education’s graduation ceremonies. Brianna will be attending college in the fall.

Even with all of that, still to be decided, was which home was going to claim the bragging rights for the next year as the winners of the “Day in the Park” extreme competition. There were races to win, eggs to toss (and catch), and balls to dodge. Only the strong survive and only the best . . . or maybe the cleverest . . . or could be just the luckiest, win! With great prizes on the line, the competition was fierce.

As the day wound down, our time of reflection was full of gratitude for all those who went the extra mile for the teens at Koinonia. The amount of time spent and treasures given to our kids has ensured quality programing and successful transitions. Again, thanks to you all and may God bless you.

Brianna & Dorian
Brianna & Dorian
Watermelon Madness
Watermelon Madness

Watermelon Winner or Loser?
Watermelon Winner or Loser?
 

Mitch, DeAndre & Alexis
Mitch, DeAndre & Alexis
George to the Rescue
George to the Rescue
Brianna's Scholarship
Brianna’s Scholarship
Too Much Fun
Too Much Fun

Intense Competition
Intense Competition

 

Spread Your Love of Reading

Shannon & Girls
Shannon & Girls

Did you know tonight is World Book Night? No, seriously. It’s an official thing. The goal is to get books into the hands of people who don’t regularly read or have easy access to books. It’s a very cool initiative and you can read all about it here.

My publisher thought they’d get in on the action and help spread their love of reading as well. Thomas Nelson is incredibly awesome that way. I was able to partner with them by handing out books. I received my box last week and inside I found 12 copies of my very own, Angel Eyes. After I counted the copies, I knew exactly who I wanted to share them with.

Koinonia is a fabulous group home program here in Northern California. Before my children were born, I worked with them and so I knew that at any given time, they’d have twelve girls in their care. This is a population I absolutely love working with, and when I made the call, they welcomed me with open arms. THANK YOU, BILL! And Steph! And Lacey! And Allison! And Mindy!

I got to visit the girls and chat books. Probably my most favorite thing ever. They asked questions and I pretended to know all the answers. They even let me read to them a bit. It was a lovely afternoon and at the end of it, I got to give away twelve books to twelve amazing girls with absolutely no strings attached. I’m thoroughly grateful to my publisher for making that possible.

So, I was thinking, there’s got to be a way to get YOU ALL involved as well. It’s too late to sign up as a World Book Night giver, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spread your reading love around a bit. The authors at Thomas Nelson and Zondervan are officially celebrating for the next week, so there’s plenty of time for you to participate.

WHAT IF … and I’m just spit-balling here, but what if you took one (or two, or twelve) of your used books and you gifted them to someone who just might have trouble purchasing a book on their own? OR what if . . . what if you decided to start a little book group? You and some friends. You could read together, and chat books together, and invite along a friend who has yet to be bitten by a bookworm. Maybe your habit will rub off on them!

There are a zillion ways to spread a love of reading. If you’ve got an idea or would like to share how you plan to celebrate, leave me a comment. I’d love to know what you’re up to.

And happy reading, friends! Books matter. Words matter. It’s a love worth sharing.

“Friends of Leonard” Christmas Party

Merry Christmas . . . it must be time for a party! Once again the “Friends of Leonard,” honoring Leonard Brown and his long-term advocacy for substance abuse treatment in Placer County, put on a Christmas party for the Koinonia Teens. Headed up by Sharon Behren, county personnel from a number a different branches came together to fundraise for the party as well as the Koinonia Arts Program, raising enough for several pottery wheels.

The party itself was a ball, complete with a Karaoke DJ. There was no shyness singing Christmas carols as several teens got up to encourage participation. Emceed by Dan Wesp from the DA’s Office, special speakers included Judge Pineschi, offering words of encouragement to the teens, Leonard himself (the man of the hour) touching the hearts of everyone there with his passion for recovery, and a personal story from Steve Schauer. For the second year, the young people as well as the adults, were mesmerized by Pastor Jody Shorkey’s version of “The Grinch That Stole Christmas.” He begins with the original book in hand but within a page or two, sets the book down and continues on through the complete story from memory. Props, sound effects, and all. Each year, the teens fall dead silent, thoroughly enthralled throughout his perfomance.

This year, we included a Gingerbread House competition between each of the homes. They were incredibly creative and resourceful in their efforts to win “Most Creative” or “Best Technique.” No pressure though, they were only being judged by Superior Court Judge Pineschi, Placer County’s Board of Supervisor Chair, Jim Holmes and Pastor Jody Shorkey. The competition was tight and one of the home for girls took the Most Creative and a boy’s home captured the Best Technique.

A big “Thank You” to all of those who participated in throwing this wonderful Christmas Party for the teens at Koinonia. We can never fully express the impact that these events have on our young people, some that may have never celebrated a traditional Christmas prior to coming to Koinonia. The “Friends of Leonard” team blessed our teens with fun and encouragement while setting the stage for creating new family tradition in their families yet to come.

Ladies Enjoying Party
Ladies Enjoying Party
Ginger Bread Castle . . . Why Not?
Ginger Bread Castle . . . Why Not?

 

Pastor Jody, No . . . The Grinch
Pastor Jody, No . . . The Grinch
Teens Enjoying Party
Teens Enjoying Party
Judge Pineschi with Teens
Judge Pineschi with Teens
Leonard Brown Right Where He Should Be
Leonard Brown Right Where He Should Be
Ginger Bread Loomis
Ginger Bread Loomis
Ginger Bread House Lit Up for Christmas
Ginger Bread House Lit Up for Christmas