Merry Christmas

Tomorrow is the big day. As a child, I looked forward to the gifts with great anticipation. It never failed, as we sat in a sea of paper and toys that the sadness of a favorite holiday coming to a close would drift in. What I began to appreciate in adulthood and missed then, is that Christmas is bigger than that day. We celebrate the LOVE that was born on that day and the JOY He brought us. Those things can be experienced year round and given through the people around us. At Tiqvah we want to wish you a Merry Christmas and remind you that you too can be a source of that Christmas feeling all year long. You can share the love of Christ with others. We leave you with a beautiful example of what that can look like. Janiya, a Sr. High student at Tiqvah, wrote up this lovely insight on the love she feels while at Tiqvah and now has the opportunity to share with others as a volunteer. May it bring you joy and inspire you this Christmas.

“Hey my name is Janiya. I’m 14 years old and I live with my mom, my dad, and my two sisters. I love being with family and friends. I love drawing, writing, and reading. I love to speak about real world problems in our world and I want to be a photographer when I grow up. Most of my time has been in Massillon, but then I moved to Canton to go to school here. I pretty much know everybody that goes to my school and I associate with a lot of people in my school. I have been doing good. Tiqvah has impacted me a lot. It has made me listen more and turn around my actions and behaviors. It has changed my life and my point of view on God, Jesus, and even kids. I never realized how much kids wanted us to read to them or give them hugs and play with them. It made me realize where the love is and it’s at Tiqvah. Everyone’s smiling and hugging and eating. It’s amazing to me. I could never ask more from Tiqvah ‘causeit makes me feel at home and makes me feel amazing. It helped me out on everything and made me happier when I had a bad day. I thank everyone who’s ever been at Tiqvah.”

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Staff Spotlight: Ashley Ruppert, Team Leader

This is not a traditional staff spotlight. We generally ask several bio style questions to help you as the reader better understand the heart and passion of the staff member. But this weekend we had a staff member very near and dear to our hearts have a monumental occasion. Ms. Ashley married her long time love Dominic. We thought we would take this opportunity to lift her up and share what WE love about her and her passion. Ashley joined us five years ago as a team leader and still serves in that capacity. This year, she is our fourth grade team leader (purple team) and thrives in this setting. The example she sets as a mentor and leader has been an inspiration to many of our new staff members. When asked what came to mind when she thought of Ms. Ashley, Ms. Mariah said, “Who I want to be when I grow up”. She explained that she has always admired her at Tiqvah, but getting to hear her and Dominic commit to grow together and grow in their service to others as part of their wedding vows was an inspiration.

Ms. Karla and Ashely were hired around the same time and have worked together for these last five years. When asked what she loves about Ashley, Karla said, “…gives at least 150% everyday. She pours her whole heart and soul into the kids and her role in their lives.  I am not only lucky enough call her a friend but am honored to work with her.”

In order to come full circle, I felt it could be enlightening to gain the perspective of the one who hired her in the first place. Ms. Sarah, our founder, brought Ashley on five years ago and had this to say, “I admire her heart for families and how it has continued to develop all these years. I also really loved watching her and other staff really get into chapel and do the skits. She always made it engaging for the kids.”

Something that was evident in this weekend’s wedding festivities and in reflecting on the impact just ONE of our fabulous staff has had, is that Tiqvah truly is a family. Our staff, kids, parents, and volunteers are all part of the big picture. We celebrate together, support one another, and walk along side each other along life’s journey. Not only are we honored to call Ashley family, but we are thrilled to be able to see first hand the impact she makes on the daily basis. Congratulations Ashley and Dominic! Thanks for being part of the family!

Cause for Celebration by Michelle Humble

Advent calendars around the world were being opened yesterday, trees were set up in their stands, and carols could be heard in homes everywhere. The Christmas season seemed to be made official yesterday. For all of our friends who joined us at Celebration of Hope, there was an extra cause for seasonal cheer. We were all blessed to experience first hand, joy from one of our very own Tiqvah families as they shared what hope and joy means to them and how they find it at Tiqvah. As I sat listening to the students, I have known and loved for most of their lives share, I couldn’t help but feel truly inspired and encouraged. Hope means they are excited for their future, they don’t have to be scared for what lies ahead, and they are loved. These are truths they have experienced with us at Tiqvah. Their mother joined us to express her gratitude to all those who make it possible for her kids to know these incredible truths at Tiqvah. Hearing her excitement for her kids and the opportunities available to them was awe inspiring. To round out the guest speaking, Shelia Mills from encompass ended our time by sharing how the role of counselors from encompass have influenced and encouraged Tiqvah programming for the better and have set our students up for a lifetime of success and hope. You couldn't be in the room without feeling the thrill of hope.

Based upon the response of our guests, they too felt excited by the sharing. There was some incredibly gracious giving that followed the speaking segment of the morning. Our guests mingled, chatted, and browsed the many options for giving that adorned our silver sparkly trees. So many people came to ask which tree housed the areas that had particularly moved them. “I have a passion for high school students, how do I give back in that area” “I met this student in my work at the school, may I sponsor him?” “How can I help meet some of these basic needs you mentioned?” Such great questions to answer as we kicked off the Christmas giving season.

We are incredibly thankful for all of you who have partnered with us whether it be yesterday or throughout the year making an impact in students lives. We pray that the experience would be as much an encouragement to you as it is to us. Enjoy some snap shots of yesterday’s excitement!

Tiqvah Puzzle Piece by Lesley Doan

There are a lot of pieces to the Tiqvah puzzle. One of those pieces is our Board of Directors. Tiqvah is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) and the board of directors is the governing body of a nonprofit. Our board of directors meet formally once a month. During board meetings different committees take turns reporting out. The board works with the Executive Director to make Tiqvah the place God has intended it to be.

Over the past few years Tiqvah has made some changes and so has the board of directors. For the past three years the board’s president has been Julie Gonzalez. Julie has invested countless hours and has poured so much into the organization. Julie has helped in supporting the hiring of a new Executive Director and has ensured that all policies and procedures were in place as Tiqvah grew. With her exit as president I felt it was important allow her to share some words with us about her experience with Tiqvah:

In Spring of 2015 I first began serving at Tiqvah serving meals at dinnertime. Around this time God was prompting me to take classes in non-profit fund development. I began to take those classes December 2016 for 6 months to receive a professional certificate in it. Around the time I started taking the classes I had also begun to volunteer weekly at Tiqvah in one of the classrooms. I loved being around the kids and saw on a weekly basis how important this ministry is. As I began learning more on fund development for non profits through my classes I began to share the things I was learning with the Founder/Executive Director and shortly after my classes started she invited me to join the Board. I didn’t have to think and pray too long on this because already in my heart God had given me a passion to serve the students at Tiqvah in whatever ways I could. Back when I signed up for the classes I was taking I didn’t know why I was taking them, but the moment I was asked on to the Board I knew exactly why. Joining the Board of Directors was so exciting to me because meant I could help Tiqvah at with the bigger picture of who we are as a ministry as well as help be part of setting and living out the vision of where God wants to take it.

One of the most amazing things I’ve seen in the almost 3 years of serving on the Board of Directors is how God is the one driving this ministry and how he always provides, sometimes in miraculous ways and sometimes in ordinary ways. My faith has increased tremendously as we have followed his lead. From the way God provided an awesome new Executive Director in the perfect timing when our Founder stepped into a new and different role, to providing financially when a need was there and we didn’t know how to meet it, to bringing on several new Board members the past two years who possessed the exact skills needed to drive the mission and vision of Tiqvah forward, and many other ways. Another thing I’ve seen is how much of God’s love the staff at Tiqvah pours out on to the students and how they are willing to go the extra mile for any need the families have. All you need to do is spend a few hours onsite or talk to several of the parents and you can see how much love is present for not just the students but for their entire family too. It’s also been very beautiful to watch how God has been bringing each year more people to join in the mission in a variety of ways simply because they have heard the call and followed through in obedience. From the weekly volunteers who are very committed, to the volunteers who come and serve meals on a regular basis, to the drivers who help transport the kids home safely, to the volunteers who run the clothing boutiques and pack snack bags, and on and on.

It’s been such an honor to serve this incredible ministry as a Board member. Serving in a variety of ways at Tiqvah has been as big if not bigger blessing in my life as it may be to others that I have been serving there. I encourage you to pray and ask God, is there a way you may be calling me to serve for the first time or in a new way at Tiqvah, and if there is, take the step. You won’t regret it!


Julie has played a huge role at Tiqvah and this past year the board of directors has grown from three members to eight! Our current board officers and members are:

Darci Knight (President), Jo Wheeler (Vice President), Christina Schiltz (Secretary), Josh Weber (Treasurer), Julie Gonzalez (Member), Matt Shamblen (Member), Yago Gonzalez (Member), and Rebecca Wolfe (Member)

Our new president, Darci Knight, joined Tiqvah’s board about a year and a half ago because she feels the hope we give our students is very important. She is passionate about helping improve the lives of the next generation. Over the past year Darci has seen God bring a bigger audience and awareness of Tiqvah to the community and that excites her. When asked what she is looking forward to most about being our new president she said “as Tiqvah grows I’m ready to be able to take on the bigger view, with a bigger approach while maintaining the quality of care and support we give our Tiqvah students.”

All of our board members are invested in Tiqvah. They spend time learning about the organization, they help with our fundraising events, some volunteer during programing, they share with their friends and family about Tiqvah, they donate and/or sponsor Tiqvah students and events, and they pray for everyone at Tiqvah. Their love and support is very much appreciated and critical as we work to carry out the mission and vision of Tiqvah. Our board of directors are a very important piece to our Tiqvah puzzle!

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Bumblebee Work Ethic by Karla Dennis

Looking at a bumblebee, it would appear there is no way that it should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its chubby little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway. This is an example of the perseverance we want to champion at Tiqvah. 

It is one of our traditions to go on field trips once a month.  Some of them are for good behavior, others are for those with good grades.  We have come to recognize though that some of our kiddos work really hard, always have their homework and stay focused and on task to finish it with us.  Yet their report cards do not reflect the hard work we see at Tiqvah.  We want reward these bumblebee-like students who are successful in our book!  So we have renamed our (formerly) Report Card Field Trip to Academic Bumblebee Field Trip. 

Last week we took our hard workers who defy their circumstances to Sky Max and Dairy Queen.  A few of our team leaders led an epic game of dodge ball on the trampolines, in another area we saw some flips and skills that amazed us, and everybody had fun in the new ninjamax obstacle course! At Dairy Queen we all enjoyed dinner and ice cream then broke out into an impromptu and loud performance of Go Tell It On the Mountain!!  Luckily the DQ was not very busy at the time, but the few who witnessed it were smiling ear to ear! 

Working hard and displaying kindness will always be rewarded at Tiqvah.  (Singing loudly in public is always optional 😏)

Staff Spotlight: Chanetta Yancey

Every year we enjoy introducing everyone to our incredible staff. Without them, our program would not be what it is today. Strong relationships are a resource we are proud to offer our students. We see first hand the difference it makes to have someone consistently pouring into their life throughout the year. As staff members grow in their knowledge and understanding of each child and their story, our services become more purposeful and impactful. This year we have several new faces on staff and we are excited to introduce one of them to you today.

Chanetta Yancey: Green Team Leader

1.How did you get started with Tiqvah?

When I was in high school there was a lady by the name of Sarah. She had began a program on Wednesday evenings and, I at the time, was so eager to help. Unfortunately, I was too young to drive myself, so I stopped coming and helping. Fast forward 10 1/2 years later. I'm on Facebook after having had a conversation with my husband of two days about finding a job with a cause. I worked for an awesome organization at the time but just felt like I was wasting my days helping a company and not people. I got a notification telling me that there was a new job posted in Canton, Ohio. I began to click it away because I didn’t even know Facebook even posted jobs. Instead, I clicked and it was a job from Tiqvah, and they were looking for team leaders. Immediately, the 15 year old in me that wished she could help was overwhelmed with joy. I sent over my resume, and within the hour Karla emailed me for an interview. Later that week I was offered a chance to go to the zoo with the kids. I enjoyed the kids so much that day, and now I get to see them daily. I am grateful God brought me full circle ten years later. I walk the halls and give hugs knowing where the program started and seeing where God has brought it now is one word: "Mind Blowing."

2. What do you do at Tiqvah?

I am the 5th grade team leader

3. What is your favorite part of Tiqvah and why?

When the children come in from school. They all come in running and overwhelm you with stories of their days at school. But all the love and hugs I get in that time and all the ones yelling "Ms. Netta" makes my day.

4. What motivates you to keep going on tough days?

Knowing that I am doing something bigger than myself. Also, my support system at home and other Tiqvah staff. 

5. What is one thing you wish people knew about Tiqvah?

How great our kids are. How awesome they are truly. We have future doctors, lawyers, fashion designers, coders and chefs. Everything that is done at Tiqvah shows our children that they can be anything. They pay attention to everything and soak it up like a sponge. Like their participation in different enrichments such as coding. I have 5th graders saying they want to make apps to help others someday!

6. What is one thing the kids would say if we asked them to tell us about you? 

I truly believe that eveyone is important. I tell my 5th graders daily "everyone is important". It doesn’t matter what they are wearing, smell like, whether they can do math , can read or what part of town they live in.  It’s not about that, it’s about the person. Oh and also that I can't sing, but I do ALOT!

As you can tell, our staff are the heart of our program. They make it possible to impact our kids body, mind, and soul. Thank you Chanetta for sharing your life with our Tiqvah Family!



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'Tis the Season by Michelle Humble

Now that the ghosts and goblins have hung up their masks, a new chill has filled the air. The sound of jingle bells, the sights of sugar plums, and the warmth that the Christmas season brings is palpable. Some are not as eager and are choosing to savor this season of thankfulness and enjoy some more pumpkin themed products before we give way to peppermint.

Whichever camp you find yourselves in, the one thing that is true of most, is that whether you are thankful or preparing for Christmas, you are also gearing up for giving. This is the time of year we begin to reflect and plan how we will choose to give in light of all WE have been given. Working for Tiqvah has allowed me opportunities-a-plenty to give back both financially and with my time and talents. For all of you who may not work or volunteer for us, we wanted to give you a quick glimpse of the many ways you could partner with us this season and give back right here in your community.

  1. Shop with Amazon Smile: If you are like most, online shopping has made this time of year infinitely less stressful. Now, the way you shop can do more good. Amazon Smile gives back a portion of your purchase to the non profit of your choosing. We would love it if you chose Tiqvah Hands of Hope as you shop.

  2. Facebook Fundraiser: Did you know ANYONE can raise money via facebook for a non profit. Simply write up a status and click the fundraiser button underneath. Type in our name and voila! You have set up a mini fundraiser to get your friends and family involved. Not only are YOU being generous, but you are giving others the chance to do so! How great of you!

  3. Celebration of Hope: I of course am quite partial to this option as it is the best of both worlds. You will get to hear from our kids and enjoy a delicious brunch, as well as, be presented with some tangible ways to make donations that support programming and dreaming for our future at Tiqvah. You can reserve your spot for this event on our events page or by clicking here.

  4. Year End Giving: If you plan to do some year end giving before the tax cut off, the simplest way to do that, aside from our event, would be to visit our give page and make your one time donation there. If it is easier, click here.

  5. Gifting a Gift: I have some difficult to shop for family members. They either have everything they need or are just low maintenance people who really don’t want a lot of things. These folks are perfect candidates for giving the gift of giving. You can either sponsor a child for them, make a one time gift in their name, or come to our event and donate there and receive an ornament of thanks to give to that person. This is a creative and thoughtful way to double your giving power this Christmas season.

I hope this giving guide has provided you with some great ideas for the coming weeks. If you should have any questions regarding these gift ideas, please comment or contact us through the website and we would be happy to assist you. May your Thanksgiving and Christmas season be warm and full of love.

Success! by Karla Dennis

The opening line of our last blog published was “There are so many causes for celebration in life.” In that blog Michelle spoke of our extraordinary kids finding joy in the every day and even in the adverse situations they encounter.  I am lucky enough to witness this joy daily.  Our kiddos sometimes arrive to us tired, frustrated, spent, done!  We are intentional about teaching them how to self regulate, to be able to turn it around.  This is a process and takes it takes time; but once a child has the tools he or she needs, it is priceless!  Then, we celebrate with him! It is hard work for a child to be able to overcome adversity, and it does not go unnoticed at Tiqvah.

We take those kiddos on field trips monthly.  We went to Varian Orchards a few weeks ago and had a blast.  With everyone loaded on the party bus and off for an adventure, I stayed behind to tend to some set up. I could hear the screams and laughter ringing through the hills. It was so invasive that I found myself laughing out loud along with them.  The smiles on their little faces upon return told a great story.  The “rollercoaster” rides after pizza and apples were just as memorable!

Last week we were able to celebrate the success of the Green Team (5th grade) with a Harvest Party!  At the end of each day the team “grades” their day, if it was a good day they add another link to their class chain.  The chain reached the floor which means it was party time! They enjoyed a special dinner and watched a movie!  They are now starting a new chain to earn another party! Way to go Green!

We are now in the process of collecting report cards and planning our next field trip; this one looks a little different as we will be celebrating good grades! A favorable report card earns a spot! You will have to check our facebook page to see where we go, don’t want to spoil it just yet. 😉 In fact, check back often! Our incredibly dedicated team leaders are often taking kids on mini excursions on the weekends. We have two team leaders and two little boys at a Malone football game right now as I write this blog! They sent me a pic, look at those smiles!



Celebrate! by Michelle Humble

There are so many causes for celebration in life. There are of course the most notable occasions; Easter, Christmas, Fourth of July, birthdays, etc. New parents enjoy the celebration of firsts. Baby’s first steps, smile, laugh, haircut, sneeze. You name it, new parents are generally the most likely to celebrate it. Businesses often celebrate successful employees and their many milestones. Schools rejoice over a much needed victory over a rival. Teens become ecstatic over the newfound freedom a license and car provide or upon receiving a new phone. All of these events and occasions are verifiable causes for celebration.

At Tiqvah, we encounter so many reasons to celebrate that we decided several years ago to design an event for our friends to join in the fun. Our kids are extraordinary. They have a great ability to find joy in the every day and even in the adverse situations they encounter. We created Celebration of Hope to showcase the many ways our students find joy and hope. Specifically we allow them to share the ways they get to experience that at Tiqvah. Why keep it to ourselves? Last year we all laughed and smiled as so many of our students agreed that we share the best meals in the city! We also experienced the excitement of hearing how much our students look forward to seeing specific people, namely their team leaders and Ms. Karla, when they come to Tiqvah.

As we gear up for the coming holiday season, we could think of no better way to draw our attention to the meaning of it all. Hope. Hope found in Christ at Christmas; but also the hope we can provide to others.

If you would like to join us this year and start your Christmas season off right, reservations are available now. Click the link below to reserve your spot for brunch, delightful hot chocolate, and of course the merriment of hearing hope lived out.

Celebration of Hope

December 1st, 2018 at 9:30a in the Glenmoor Country Club


Open House

Have you ever been so excited about something you just had to tell others? As you begin explaining yourself you begin to realize that it may not be as clear in words as it is in your minds. This is an experience most staff members and volunteers of Tiqvah are quite familiar with. We do so much during programing and offer numerous opportunities for our kids and families. The best way to really get the whole picture is to see it in action. 

We are so thankful to our new and some familiar friends who made it out for our open house earlier this week. Taking the opportunity to see what it is our staff and volunteers rave about is something we are grateful you chose to do. If you are reading this lamenting a missed opportunity, never fear. There will be many more opportunities to come and check us out. Should you be wanting to volunteer or get involved, that would be a quick way to get a tour and introduced to our program. Our next volunteer training will be October 21st from 2-3:30p at Tiqvah. If you are interested in joining us please contact our site director, Karla, at karla.dennis@tiqvah.org. 

As you look ahead at your calendar be sure to mark down our upcoming events; Celebration of Hope and Evening of Hope. These are great opportunities to hear what we are all about, meet some of our students and staff, and enjoy a wonderful atmosphere at the same time. Reservations are already available for our Celebration of Hope held at Glenmoor Country Club on December 1st. Visit our website and click on the “Events” tab to get more details and make your reservations. 

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Coming Alongside by Michelle Humble

I have been working with Tiqvah for as long as it has existed. One of the many joys of being the founder’s daughter. Over the years there are a collection of moments or experiences with the program that have become my favorite. I know what you are thinking, staff are not supposed to have favorite anything! It never fails that though I claim one moment as most beloved another one comes along and reminds me how many experiences with Tiqvah I cherish. The Clothing Boutique is for sure on my list of favorites. As I reflect about the now 17 boutiques we have hosted, I realize that the truly amazing and lovable part of this event is not just the giving, but the experience of coming alongside. This event is not a demonstration of our strength and giving power. It is not just another opportunity for us to give things away. This event allows us to empower our parents to meet the needs of their families. We get to be spectators of the love and care our families, team leaders, and volunteers share at Tiqvah. It is a true picture of the FAMILY of Tiqvah.

As I walked around with my camera, snapping photos of the joy on faces as they make the perfect find, I got to see 30 volunteers aiding children whose parents could not make it and making sure the space was set up beautifully. I saw parents sizing up their child and holding incredible finds up to insure the perfect fit. I saw moms telling their girls how beautiful they’d look in that dress. Team leaders laughing as they directed students to clothing who got distracted by the immense stuffed animal collection. I saw long time friends and new faces joining together to make one incredible experience. Most clearly, I saw and felt love. There is nothing greater than to come alongside love that is already growing and thriving, add to it, drink it in, and celebrate it. Join us in celebrating another boutique well done. We are thankful to Teri Dillon and her crew who put this together and the COUNTLESS clothing donors who provided the goods. Our staff and volunteers at Tiqvah did a wonderful job going with the flow on a special day and making it a wonderful experience for our kids. And of course, we are thrilled to have welcomed our parents, families, and friends of the community as they shopped and are thankful for allowing us to come alongside and be part of their story. Enjoy catching a glimpse of the day by viewing the slideshow below!

Joyfully Stretching Our Reach by Karla Dennis

Here we are one month in already!  The classes are full, the schedule is full and the staff’s hearts are full!  Adding a classroom and one more day of programming has stretched us in many ways. I believe we may have growing pains, as my sister describes it.  Finding the room for dance and bucket drumming, maneuvering the delicate dance of getting everyone home in the vans, serving 70 meals a night!!  All such beautiful challenges! I have had to get used to the noise level at dinner. I admit I thought it was just a bit too loud at first. However, every night when I look around, I see kids helping one another, playing together as they clean up their tables, hugging and singing goodbyes….. I see family. I now realize the noise is necessary and beautiful.

We have 97% of the kids from last year!  We also have added quite a few new faces and they have become members of our family in no time! It is such a joy to watch new friendships form. We also have new staff this year who are already operating as a team and I could not be more satisfied and pleased! It is a joy watching these team leaders work as I travel throughout the building; checking on this detail, taking this child to get a band-aid, stopping to bust a dance move with this child, leading this child to some quiet time…..  each classroom has their own distinct style with each team leader representing Tiqvah with such love, grace and patience.  We have been blessed with the best of the best! 

I am grateful for the support of our hosts, Christ Presbyterian Church, as they share our vision and strive to fill our every need.  They have found us rooms in the church we never knew existed! Through their support we are comfortable and safe.

I am grateful for the many volunteers and behind-the-scenes supporters who are unwavering in their dedication; to me personally and to me as site director. I love the vision they all share with me. These growing pains don’t stand a chance against God and His faithful servants! Offering Tiqvah to more families for more days is truly a blessing. If you want to come see how it is all possible, don’t forget to visit us during our open house October 10th from 4:30-6:30p.





Plus One by Michelle Humble

Before finding my fabulous husband, receiving an invitation to a wedding always came with a plus one. Finding a willing soul to come and endure the wedding food, slow dances, and usually numerous family members with probing questions was always a tough task. As we plan our upcoming open house we have a challenge for all of our friends. We are challenging you to bring a plus one.

Unlike my previous experience, there won’t be awkward social situations for them to endure or embarrassing family stories. You and your friend will be experiencing the joy of seeing impact in action. You will get to witness the beauty of mentorship in person and the excitement of programming. There will be light refreshments, a cheerful tour guide, and other folks like yourselves who are there to enjoy the experience. You may even make NEW friends who, like you, are learning all about programs that are happening in their community.

Here are some exciting side effects to bringing a friend to our open house.

  1. Someone who has NEVER heard of our program will get to meet us.

  2. You will be given an opportunity to take your next steps of involvement with Tiqvah by getting someone else involved and in love with our program.

  3. Our team leaders, staff, and volunteers will feel the excitement of support as many people come to see the work they do.

  4. You and your friend will have a mutual shared experience that bonds you together and adds depth to your relationship.

  5. You and your friend will discover ways to serve, pray, and/or give together.

Prayerfully consider our plus one challenge as you mark your calendar for October 10th, 4:30-6:30p. Visit our facebook page (link at the bottom of this site) to RSVP to the open house and invite everyone on your friend list. We hope to see you and your plus one there!



Sponsorship by Lesley Doan

According to Wikipedia - Sponsoring something or someone is the act of supporting an event, activity, person, or organization financially. The individual or group that provides the support is known as a sponsor.

When I was growing up our family sponsored a child overseas and I loved getting the letters from her. We received a photos from her and got to see her grow through the pictures. As a teen I sponsored a child in Haiti and got to meet her while traveling there on a mission trip. This was an amazing experience for me but I know that others often don’t get that experience. We pray for these students and send our financial support but meeting them and spending time with them is often not convenient or affordable. When I started working at Tiqvah one of the first things we did as a family was sponsor a Tiqvah student. Our Tiqvah student is now in junior high. We get to write to him, volunteer in his classroom, attend special events and see him grow because our Tiqvah student is only 15 minutes from our house. 

Tiqvah is a non-profit organization (501c3) that offers our program free of charge to students and their families. We are able to do this through grants, fundraisers, direct public support and individual contributions. Last year alone 45% of our income came from individual contributions. This is a huge blessing and one that we must continue to grow in order to reach sustainability and growth. With our financial blessings this year we have been able to:

  • Maintain a teacher to child ratio of 1:13 within 6 classrooms (goal of 72 students)

    • First/Second grade, Third grade, Forth grade, Fifth grade, Jr. High Girls, Jr. High Boys

    • Elementary teachers at 30 hours a week (4 teachers) and two days a week for both Jr. High Girls and Boys

  • Four program days a week for 1st-5th grades and two days a week for both Jr. High Girls and Jr. High BoysMaintain a teacher to child ratio of 1:12 within 6 classrooms (goal of 72 students)

  • Two snacks (including one fresh fruit) plus higher quality dinners

  • Tiqvah graduate mentoring program (Tiqvah Bridge) 

This is where sponsorship comes into play. For those interested in supporting us individually or as a small group or business for an on-going basis we have a program called sponsorship. Through sponsorship you are welcome to choose a Tiqvah student to be your sponsorship child or you can choose to sponsor a “seat” in one of our Tiqvah classrooms. Sponsoring a child or “seat” is rewarding for both the sponsor and the child. The impact your support makes is so much more than food and shelter. This partnership provides an opportunity for spiritual and emotional security.  In other words; Hope. As a sponsor, here are some ways we invite you to get involved:

  • Write to your child.

  • Sign up to volunteer at Tiqvah.

  • Pray for your child.

  • Come to our Christmas and Spring dinners to see your child perform and enjoy dinner with our students.

  • Receive invites to special events like program tours, connect events, and team trainings.  

  • Attend and contribute to our annual fundraising events (5k in the summer and dinner in the spring)

  • Receive Tiqvah quarterly newsletters, as well as, a sponsor only newsletter from your child’s classroom at least 3 times a school year. 

If you would like to help support Tiqvah and our efforts to make a difference in our community and to further God’s kingdom please click on the link below.

The second type of sponsorship offered at Tiqvah is through our fundraising events. Last year 19% of our income came from our fundraisers. Fundraisers are an important aspect of our sustainability at Tiqvah and also a fun way to share our program with friends and family. If you are an area business owner or know someone who would be interested in sponsoring one of our fundraising events (Celebration of Hope on Dec 1st at Glenmoor Country Club; Evening of Hope on March 9th at Cultural Art Center; or 5K at Kent/Stark State in July) please contact Executive Director, Lesley Doan via email lesley.doan@tiqvah.org or by phone at (330) 354-9697. 

Ten years of first days by Michelle Humble

Ten years ago, Sarah Kropf had been introduced to the Edward “Peel” Coleman community center through volunteering there with another program. Students often came to the program from hanging out in the center, playing in the gym, or walking from local homes. As they arrived it became clear that homework hadn’t been completed, snacks were not had, along with many other needs. As relationships formed, Tiqvah Hands of Hope was born. Our first first day was had as we expanded programming to cover three days for a small group of young elementary age students. 

Every following first day it seemed to expose a new need, a new future, a new direction for our kids and their families. We went from first through third grade and expanded through fifth and now find ourselves serving all the way up through high school. We moved from the community center to Sherrick Road Church of God, to St. Pauls Episcopal Church, to Christ Presbyterian. We provided two enrichment opportunities, four, and now as many as we can get our hands on. One of the funniest comparisons is to the dinner portion of our program. The community center we started in had only a small prep kitchen with limited resources. Often times meals were donated or you would find our fearless leader in the tiny kitchen trying to prepare a meal for 30 people using a tiny single stove. Now we pay a food coordinator and have access to a professional grade kitchen. We went from having NO paid staff but several committed and generous volunteers, to now being able to provide six team leaders, a site director, and executive director to mentor our children on top of those incredible volunteers. There have been faces that have been around since the beginning and faces that are new and exciting. 

Through it all there have been some incredible constants. Every first day the students are met with cheers and excitement from the staff and volunteers. They are introduced to a person who will spend the whole year pouring into them, showing them the love of Christ, and walking with them as they gain the necessary tools to succeed in school and life. Our kids are offered resources that go beyond the tangible but include the tangible. 

Above all, God has lead the way and made possible the seemingly IMPOSSIBLE. We were reminded every September of how incapable we are but how strong He is. It never fails that the moment we felt unsure of how things would come together, God told us to watch and learn. 

As we celebrate the first day of programming that happened this week, we are not just excited about all we are certainly going to see God do this year. We also celebrate the past first days that have paved the way for this one to take place. It is hard to imagine that there have been ten, but not hard to imagine the many more God will provide.

The Final Countdown by Karla Dennis

Final countdown to kiddos!!  To-do lists are just about all checked off, classrooms are in order….now we wait for the excitement, laughter and crazy that comes with that first bus that pulls up. The first day is one of my favorites all year.  The excitement that we have built up on our side as we have prepared all summer for this day, is uncontainable!  We have prayed and we have prepared - now it’s time to go live! 

This school year looks quite different for us and we couldn’t be more pleased! We have added a class and also have added a day each for the jr. high girls and the jr. high boys; they will each now have 2 afternoons a week. What a joy to be able to offer these extra days. 

We have new staff as well!  As the site director, the process of interviewing and hiring new staff can make me anxious as I hope and pray for the right fit.  God did not disappoint!  I am so excited to introduce to you our line-up of staff. We have Miss Brittany in the kitchen keeping us well fed. Miss Mariah is official now in the 1st/2nd grade classroom (we all know Miss Mariah as she has been a volunteer for a few years). Miss Ariel will be keeping our 3rd graders busy and loved. Miss Ashley is returning for her 5th year with Tiqvah with 4th graders this year! Miss Netta can’t wait to meet her 5th graders.  Mr Chad returns for his second year with our jr. high boys. Miss Kim is excited to work with our jr. high girls.  

We have spent hours and hours in trainings and out in the community this summer preparing for this first day and beyond.  We are so very blessed to have our friends from Encompass Christian Counseling offer us another Trauma and Attachment training. The information they share and the partnership we enjoy with them is priceless.  We are claiming Trauma Informed Care Site this year; this has been a long time coming and we could not have gotten here without their help and guidance. When the Encompass counselors first introduced the concept of being Trauma Informed a few years back, the implementation of practices and a suitable structure is something I have been very passionate about since. I am very proud of these staff members and the way they have all embraced it with me.  

I ask for your prayers as we enter into another year serving the children.  We ask for endless patience and boundless love, for wisdom and discernment and for hallways full of laughter and kindness.

2018-2019 Tiqvah Staff (left to right) Chad, Ariel, Mariah, Karla, Kim, Ashley, Netta, Brittany

2018-2019 Tiqvah Staff (left to right) Chad, Ariel, Mariah, Karla, Kim, Ashley, Netta, Brittany

Faith by Lesley Doan

“What if I fall?” “Oh my darling, but what if you fly?”

Faith is something that has grown in my life over the years. About seven years ago I was in a very low place and through my challenges I heard God’s prompting me to take a step out of my comfort zone. It took some time but I finally listened and the outcome was more that I could imagine. I was able to start a preschool through our current church and God provided the finances, the staff and the amazing students. He defiantly helped me fly! Fast forward to about  two years ago and another situation arose when I was challenged yet again to step out into faith. I was new to the Canton area, I was pregnant with our fourth child and God was prompting me to interview for the Executive Director position at Tiqvah Hands of Hope. God was there again and he has been helping me fly. Through both situation my faith continues to grow because when I don’t let my fear overtake my faith, God wins and he is always there!

One of the things I love so much about Tiqvah is the faith that it was built upon. Ten years ago our founder, Sarah Kropf, decided to step out in faith. She saw a problem and instead of asking what others were going to do about it, she did something. When the locations for Tiqvah were being outgrown or when the bank account didn’t show the number that it needed…she had faith and God showed up and he kept showing up!

As the Executive Director I can tell you that Tiqvah continues to operate by faith. Having faith doesn’t mean we are irresponsible or doing only what we want, it’s listening to God’s plan and allowing him to lead…even if it is WAY out of our comfort zone. I am reminded daily that God has Tiqvah and he has big plans for us at Tiqvah. When we have struggled God has provided. He puts people in the right place at the right time. I pray daily that God gives me the words to say and that he soften the hearts of those I meet to share with them our cause at Tiqvah. 

In the pictures you will see some examples of God’s faithfulness to Tiqvah in this past year alone:

  • 15 iPads were donated to help us during academic time and with teaching our students coding
  • We were in need of another van to transport more students and God provided donors for us to be able to purchase Papa Smurf
  • Volunteers are very critical at Tiqvah and God provided us with some very dedicated volunteers, one teaches yoga to our students weekly
  • We had a company and some individuals to bless our students during Christmas with toys, PJs and a family basket full of goodies for Christmas Break
  • Thanks to some awesome volunteers we were also able to offer an “elf shop” for Christmas where Tiqvah students could pick gifts for their family members
  • Our Celebration of Hope and Evening of Hope were presented a little different this year and God showed up, allowing them to both be very successful
  • And our amazing students, I believe its through faith that these students are entrusted to us at Tiqvah, so that we can share God's love with them!

Like I said, these are just a few examples of the amazing things God has done in just the past year. Moving forward I am reminded what God has said in Matthew 17:20…”faith can move mountains.” Watch out Canton, God is on the move and Tiqvah is with him!

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A Heart Full by Karla Dennis

Getting ready for the new school year equals endless “To Do” lists.  Seems for every item I cross off I think of two more to take it's place!  Will we ever be ready??  Just when I was beginning to feel overwhelmed, some Angels stopped by with mountains of school supplies and book bags. They then spent a few quick hours stuffing the bags with the appropriate supplies for each grade for our kids.  Now, I am overwhelmed in such a joyful way - what these full book bags represent is priceless.  

I have now spent three afternoons (with a new staff member or two) visiting each family's home.  I take a grade appropriate book bag for each child and sit on the porch with mom as she fills out our paperwork to enroll at Tiqvah this year. It may just sound like 30 minutes to you, but this time is so precious.  The kids faces when I hand them a new (HEAVY) book bag will never be forgotten and the relationships formed and strengthened while filling out paperwork are so special. My spirit has been renewed and my heart is full of gratitude for the families allowing us into their lives and for our Angels that supplied the book bags.  My “To Do” list is now met with a happy, willing, and excited heart! 

As excited as I am, I am also aware that without the help of generous people, we can not do what we do. As the school year approaches, these areas of need have come to my attention.  One such need is for van drivers. We have three vans that we use to take a good percent of our kiddos home at the end of the evening.  We have some very faithful folks blessing us again this year as drivers, but since we have added a day of programming, we are in need of more gentlemen.  The time commitment is one hour a week, (7:00-8:00pm) any day - Monday through Thursday.  

We also are always in need of snacks (chips, granola bars, fresh fruit, etc), toothbrushes and toothpaste.  We go through these items at record speed!!

Lastly, I have a secret Blessings Box that holds gift cards to grocery stores, gas stations, fast food stores, and the like. This box allows me to bless a family from time to time when I hear of a need and it is getting low. The gift cards are most appropriate at $10.00- $50.00 amounts.

If driving, bringing snacks, or donating gift cards are ways you would be willing to get involved, click the button below to let us know. 

All of these areas of need are opportunities for you, our friends and supporters, to take your next step in involvement with us. They are ways for you to be part of the excitement. You can contribute to the fullness our families and students feel when their needs are met, they are loved, and shown how valuable they are. Join us! Click below to let us know how you will be getting involved this school year. 

Purposeful Summer by Karla Dennis

I can’t believe we have only one more week of summer programming! Is it possible that school starts up again in just a few short weeks??  We have certainly made the best of our time with our kids.  Although we are still quite structured in the summer as our kids (and us adults too!) thrive best with that, we serve fewer kids which allows for an impressive student/adult ratio.  We are able to really give that one on one time every child desires and deserves. Another thing we notice is the difference it makes to spend the “good hours of the day” with the kids.  We usually see them after 6 hours of school, they come to us often times tired, hungry, frustrated, etc. and we do our best to turn that around for them.  But in the summer….well, it’s summer!!  Need I say more?  

Ask any of our summer staff what they like best about summer Tiqvah, and I am betting they would say the opportunity to deepen the relationship with each child. The relaxed atmosphere and lower numbers provide the perfect atmosphere to go deeper, to learn more and to share more. We have learned new and exciting things about each child these two months, which translates to our ability to better serve them in the fall.  This is true with our seasoned volunteers as well.  We are so blessed with some really awesome, faithful folks that show up for our kids!  They are there for them every season, challenging themselves to go even deeper. It is what we call a real win-win!

This summer we also had a number of high school students volunteer with us; all exceptional young men and women.  These young people have blessed us in countless ways.  The relationships they have built in such a short time, the unconditional love I see them display and the way the kids respond to these “almost adults” is priceless.

We will cherish this next and last week of summer programming, then we switch gears as we prepare for the new school year.  The excitement that brings is a complete force of its’ own! Although a little time off is always important; to refresh and re-energize, but truthfully - at Tiqvah - we can’t wait for school to start so we can get back at it!

Gathering of Heroes

Most super hero stories have lots of action, adventure, and drama. Inevitably there are many forces attempting to thwart the mission of said hero. This year at our annual Run4Kids 5K our heroes had little to no resistance in their mission. We had over 150 runners; or heroes rather, come out and compete. As they raced along the course we had so many of our friends line the course to cheer them on. Their mission was not simply a run, but to help us raise awareness and funds to support our mission of impacting children's lives - body, mind and soul. 

In attendance were some of our very own students and their team leaders. When it comes to heroism, our staff and students are some of the strongest out there. It was a treat to watch as our kids prepared themselves for the run, hyped one another up, and leaned on the leadership of our team leaders and site director for encouragement. In the final stretch, one of our jr. high boys was just about to be passed by one of our team leaders. As we cheered them on, the student pushed through and pulled ahead solidly. They celebrated together at the finish and we all got a good laugh at the close call. The display of the impact a solid relationship can have in a student's life and how it yields perseverance, endurance, and mutual encouragement was inspiring to all. 

The night was intended for a race, but included all sorts of fun. There was a bounce house, face painting, sidewalk chalk, and a rockin' DJ providing entertainment all evening. After the race, our teams enjoyed some great dancing together as they eagerly awaited the results of the race. Winners were awards some fabulous gift cards and a mug created by specially for them. 

We are so thrilled for all who attended and of course the winners, but it does feel like we were the real winners. As an organization we feel supported, encouraged, and lifted up by the event and all who attended & volunteered. Enjoy looking through some photos of the event and the many heroes in attendance.