Academy 4

Arborlawn is excited about a new opportunity to serve locally: Academy 4. Academy 4 is a leadership mentoring program for 4th graders, and is an easy way to make a real impact - even if you have a lot on your plate. All it takes is 90 minutes once a month. 

We provide you with 

  • Training

  • Easy to follow mentoring curriculum

  • Fun activities to enjoy with your 4th grader

All you need is the eagerness to serve! The 90 minutes you spend will be one of the most rewarding parts of your month! 

Arborlawn’s challenge is to provide 100 mentors - one for every 4th grader at Westcliff Elementary! We also need club leaders and other support staff.

For more information, visit academy4.net/mentor.

Contact: Kelly Soter-Gunn: kelly.soter-gunn@academy4.net 


Kids Hope USA

A team of Arborlawn members volunteer as mentors to students at Fort Worth’s J. T. Stevens Elementary through the national organization Kids Hope USA. Mentoring takes only one hour each week, and the positive changes made in both the kids and the adults is beyond measure. 

Mentors undergo a one-day training program that equips them to provide the most quality experience to the children.

We are currently recruiting mentors for the 2018-2019 school year.

Contact: Shirley Watkins: grammyshirl@att.net or
Laurie Ryan: laurieryan@gmail.com


Bridge to Housing

Arborlawn is beginning a partnership with Catholic Charities of Fort Worth ("CCFW") called Bridge to Housing.  A brief summary of the program - CCFW provides caseworkers and a host of educational and life development services with the goal of helping those in poverty find a path to self-sustainability.  However, research has shown that intervention efforts are more effective when one can eliminate the threat of housing insecurity while starting a program.  Arborlawn is partnering with CCFW to help finance accommodations and provide mentoring to a client, as well as offer a church home for spiritual support. 

This is a new concept for both CCFW and Arborlawn.  While we were working on fundraising efforts, CCFW was experimenting with two other churches that are engaging in the program.  They are in the midst of retooling their internal client offerings and adjusting the target client audience based on their successes and failures of these preliminary runs.  With the benefit of that experience, we have now finalized a contract setting forth the respective responsibilities for all parties involved and the necessary qualifications of a prospective client.  

CCFW will be handling the training of Arborlawn members for participation in this ministry.  They are in the final stages of crafting training materials in two areas:

(a) topic-specific individual mentors (addressing specific topics like interviewing and careers, parenting, budgeting and personal finance, spiritual needs) who commit to work with a client regularly over an extended period of time; and 

(b) larger Sunday School classes who want to provide various occasional support to a family (broader occasional needs like babysitting, help with homework, gifts for kids on Christmas or birthdays, recognition/rewards for clients who achieve accomplishments set by the caseworker or achieve milestones at work).  

CCFW anticipates that their training materials will be finalized in January. 

With respect to (a): CCFW will provide us with a working list of generic "Mentor Categories" for our consideration shortly.  We will publish that list when we get it and seek 5-10 individuals who would be willing to tackle a topic as a mentor.  Mentor Categories will vary and be dependent on the needs of a given client.  CCFW will provide our mentors with more in-depth training at a time to be determined in February.  There will also be background checks and other CCFW protocol similar to our "Ministry Safe" training. If you are interested in potentially serving as a mentor, please contact me and we can discuss specific Mentor Categories you may be equipped and willing to serve in.    

With respect to (b): We will schedule a two week series during the Sunday School hour in February.  Tentatively, on February 10 Chris Mesa will discuss the spiritual aspects behind "why" Arborlawn is doing this.  February 17 will be a formal training led by CCFW representatives to help our Sunday School classes offer meaningful assistance that does not wind up as enabling or hurtful help.   If your class is interested in serving in this ministry, we invite your entire class or a representative from your class to join us for this series.  

Finally, we anticipate being ready to take our first client in March.  At that time, we'll have a list of immediate needs to furnish an apartment and get the client initially set up in our program.  

Thank you for your patience and support! It is exciting to be moving forward, and doing so in an intentional way that is thoughtfully geared toward successful outcomes. Please keep CCFW and our future clients in your prayers.


United Community Centers

Arborlawn supports the mission and work of United Community Centers, Inc., (UCC) a distinctively United Methodist organization in Fort Worth comprised of three community centers: Polytechnic Center, Bethlehem Center, and Wesley Center.

A highlight of Arborlawn’s involvement with UCC is our annual fundraising event, Styles & Smiles Fashion Show. Volunteers from Arborlawn also help staff the Clothes Closets at the centers. The UCC was formed by local United Methodist Women more than a century ago and continues to serve the neediest residents of our city today. UCC programs empower individuals, strengthen families, and enrich communities.

Contact: Joanne Bittiker: kjbittiker@sbcglobal.net


Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP)

Established in 2004, the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) is a Houston-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. PEP has pioneered innovative programs that connect executives, entrepreneurs, MBA students and interested volunteers with convicted felons both in and out of prison. An intensive 9-month, faith-infused character development and entrepreneurship boot camp (utilizing volunteers as teachers and business plan consultants), re-entry programs (transition houses and mentors program) are proven solutions for preventing recidivism, maximizing self-sufficiency and transforming broken lives. External research by Baylor University demonstrates that PEP’s recidivism rate is less than 10% for its graduates as compared to 40-60% of prisoners that have no involvement in this type of program.

PEP has recently expanded its program to the Sanders Estes Unit of the Texas Department of Corrections located a few miles east of Alvarado in Venus, Texas….a 30 minute drive from AUMC. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available including direct program involvement with the prisoners in prison as well as after they have been released including encouragers, executive coaches, mentors, spiritual leaders, and other roles. For more information, visit pep.org

Contact: Joy Dister-Dominguez: joy@arborlawnumc.org


Habitat for Humanity

Arborlawn members provide sweat equity and dollars to support building projects through Trinity Habitat for Humanity. Volunteer work includes construction, cleanup, and food preparation. Arborlawn has helped build seven Habitat homes.

Contact: Patricia Johnson: pj2000@sbcglobal.net