BLOC is an acronym for Believing and Living One Christ. With that being said, their mission statement is to love the unloved by bringing Christ into the home through consistency, presence, community, and Christ in us.
You may wonder, “Whose home?”
BLOC Ministries reaches out to low income families of Price Hill in Cincinnati, Ohio. Through their after school program, women’s ministry, art facility, pizza shop, and coffee shop, they give their time to support and care for the families who pass through each of the establishments listed above.
Ministry Spotlight: The After School Program
The after school program mainly reaches out to children from the ages of 4-18 and occasional adults who pass through. There are six after school programs, directed by Chris Staser, that open their doors for a couple of hours each day of the week.
Specific activities slightly differ from site to site, but they normally include basketball, four square, chalk drawing, and indoor game playing. Most sites also have a carpet ball table, a pool table, an arcade game, and video games.
Each site has one or two site leaders who supervise BLOC during the open time. Site leaders make sure volunteers are following the four values listed in the mission statement; consistency, presence, community, and Christ in us. Site leaders expect volunteers to show up weekly, pay attention to the kids, bond with the kids over time, and share Christ’s love with them.
Community at BLOC’s After School Sites
First, volunteers and children get to experience community with each other. Since each site is open three days per week, it allows for volunteers to get to know the children, their family, and their interests.
Next, staff members, such as the site leaders, get to bond with the volunteers. Since staff members are present each day BLOC is open, they get to connect with the consistent volunteers. From my own experience, I got to know a lot of people through volunteering with them. After a few weeks of volunteering, it begins to family setting.
Lastly, full-time staff members get to bond with part-time staff members. Every two weeks, Chris Staser and fellow director Jordan Bunch organize a leadership meeting for all the site leaders to attend. Those meetings facilitate great fellowship through discussing highlights and growing points of the previous two weeks.
What to Expect Next
On April 4th, BLOC staff and volunteers will participate in the block party hosted by Velocity Church. My husband and I attend Velocity Church, so we are excited to see BLOC connect with them in this inclusive way. The whole street will be closed down, making for a safe, family-friendly experience.
Our long-term vision is to spend time with children and families outside of the normal BLOC hours, either by going into their homes or by inviting them into ours.