“Waiting List.” For those who have heard these words you know how painful they can be. They were for me when I received that letter from Duke University my senior year of high school. Even though it was my second choice I didn’t like being on the outside—excluded. These words are also painful to say. I have had to explain to several children (15) and their parents that we do not have room for more students at any of PTM’s afterschool sites. One kindergarten boy (pictured right) waves to me every afternoon when I drive PTM’s bus to pick up his neighbors. Each day he asks, “can I come today”? I sadly reply, “not yet” and hope that one day soon I can share with him and his mom that he can now come.
Most parents with children on the waiting list know about the good opportunity for academic help that PTM’s afterschool programming offers. They know that PTM provides safe places where they do not have to worry about their children. They know that children at PTM have fun and like being at PTM. But most parents do not know of all of the other benefits of PTM—PTM Life, Breakfast and Bible Study, Lunchmates, Calvin House, High School Small Groups, SaLT, Fun Friday, and Springbreak in the Marketplace. It’s this combination of opportunities for spiritual enrichment, academic development, and life-changing friendships that make PTM so special and a “waiting list” so painful. Hundreds of people have invested thousands of dollars and hours to grow PTM. I believe God has given PTM much…and much is expected.
In order to add more students, PTM will begin in the Spring of 2013 looking for a partner to host another site—or find a creative way to expand the number of students we are serving at our current sites. Thankfully, we are in a stable position to take this step, but it will take increased commitments from volunteers and donors to add in a sustainable way. For more information on volunteering, you may go to the volunteer page of our website.