After School Program Giving Youth A Safe Alternative

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The Ordinary People Society is doing it through their free after school study program.

They say it will lead the kids to a better and brighter future.

"I drive all the way here from Abbeville, so it's definitely for a cause, "

Thirty minutes...
That's how far Stephen Garcia travels each day to volunteer his time at The Ordinary People Society after school program...
For a reason he says, is well worth it.

"When I'm here, I'm helping kids with their homework, we talk about what happens in school, how their day was. Pretty much we just want to have fun, we want to feel like we are making a difference in these kids lives, " says Garcia.

With the help of volunteers like Garcia, after school Director Rodreshia Russaw says the after school program is gaining momentum.

"It's just growing in number, we started taking 15 and now we're having to almost have a waiting list on the children, " says Russaw.

"As I kept on coming and volunteering, the kids got use to me. I know all the kids by first name basis, they know me. They see me, hey, hi-five, and all that stuff, so I mean, I got a good relationship with the kids, " says Garcia.

As much as the program is growing, Garcia says he's glad he can be part of shaping lives.

"When they come here to the after school program, we are keeping them out of all kind of bad activities and stuff. While they're here, we can say that we are making a difference in a good environment ".

"It gives me something to do after coming home from school, " says participant Makayla Mims.

"I enjoy coming here because we get to play football when we are done with our homework, we eat snacks and we have a lot of social time, " says another participant Malachi Watson.

"You hear a lot of people saying yes they want to do more in the community, they want to help out but eventually they don't actually do it. So right now I'm just putting my best effort into helping these kids with whatever they have to do, " says Garcia.

"A lot of people say the children are our future but really they are our today, " says Russaw.

The after school program is also trying something new this year.

Any moms that need assistance with Christmas gifts for their children can volunteer ten hours with the program, in exchange for having presents delivered to their child on Christmas.

Russaw says they are looking for more after school program volunteers and anyone interested can call 334 671 2882.

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