May 19, 2020
Dear Friend,

Summer arrives with many opportunities to refresh, reset, and relax. And as this school year begins to wind down into summer's pace, MVLF builds more momentum toward opportunities for deeper investment in our area's youth, greater care for our neighbors, and higher hope for our communities.

As we look to this summer, we celebrate all God has done to continue to transform the Miami Valley from a battleground to a playground. And we're excited to see what opportunities He provides us this summer to see Him further transform our communities.
Stories help us remember and celebrate what God has done. And they help us consider and imagine what new things He will do in the future.

Do you have a school-mentoring or Hope4Communities story from this past year? We'd love to share it! Throughout the summer, on our social media outlets and in our newsletters, we want to share stories of God's work, in small and big ways, throughout this past school year.

To learn how to submit a story, click the "MVLF Story Submission" button below. We'd love to hear from you! And don't forget to check out our LinkedIn and Facebook pages for more updates and stories.  
MVLF Story Submission
Miami Valley Leadership Foundation's mentoring momentum continues!

In April, Shannon Todd, MVLF's Mentoring Program Director, introduced an MVLF initiative to help mentors stay connected to their mentees: E-Mentoring. MVLF's E-Mentoring initiative meets mentees and their families where they are during this time: online in their homes.

MVLF mentors jumped at the opportunity. And recently, Shannon organized an E-Mentoring video call between the first three mentors and their mentees. These mentor-mentee matches spent time catching up, hearing about life's recent adventures, and learning more about each other from the comforts of home. And meeting while at home, instead of in school, meant that mentees were eager to show off the people and places they call home. 

"One mentor said her mentee was walking around the house showing her mentor her dogs, her siblings, and what they were going to eat for dinner," said Shannon. E-Mentoring has provided a unique way for mentor-mentee matches to see facets of each other’s lives that could only be talked about previously. Granted, these mentor-mentee matches would have rather met in person, but E-Mentoring has allowed mentees to do more than tell their mentors about their lives; they can show them!

Leveraging Zoom's meeting features, mentors and mentees met together without disruption. As Shannon gathered the group together at the end of the call, she asked if they would want to meet again the following week. Simultaneously, everyone said, "Yes!"

Commenting on the meeting, Shannon said, "Watching the faces of the mentors and mentees when they saw each other for the first time in weeks was so precious! It blessed my heart so much!" And a mentor shared that it was a "Great visit. It was so good to chat and meet the mom as well.... Great blessing! Thank you!"

And more mentors are eager to take part in E-Mentoring in the next weeks. 

Initiatives like E-Mentoring reveal that mentoring continues well beyond the times and places we often assume it can. God has provided an opportunity to connect with students right where they are. And using technology responsibly, MVLF can continue to help mentors invest in the lives of our area's young people.
As we think and research and plan ways we'll continue to invest in tomorrow's leaders today, we also think of all the victories our mentees, their families, and their communities encountered this year. We'll remember the 2019-2020 school year for many reasons. One thing we will remember: the mentee's smiles as they met with their mentors. And we're excited for more smiles soon.
Give to MVLF Mentoring
Our communities' needs go deep, but hope goes deeper. 

And MVLF's Hope4Communities continue to embody and exemplify this. Despite the quarantine's difficulties, Hope4Miamisburg (H4M) and its partners continue to meet monthly--online--to ensure the community's needs are met and that everyone involved is encouraged, equipped, and aligned. The goals for the meeting remain the same, although the setting has changed: connect, build relationships, and work collectively as a team. 

During this month's recent meeting, a glance at anyone's screen would reveal a comprehensive look at all those involved in caring for the community. In addition to MVLF's team, the meeting was attended by those representing churches, nonprofits, and the school district, including local pastors; His Hope, serving those struggling with addiction; Planting Seeds, providing housing and furniture to families escaping homelessness; a local-school social worker; Threads, which provides clothing; BOGG and Helping Hands, which provides food donations and assistance; and school-board members. On one screen, nearly every domain of the city came together to celebrate ways they've cared for the community and to pray and collaborate on future opportunities to come alongside area neighbors and families. 

Among the many stories they celebrated, one included a local family trying to come out of homelessness during the recent quarantine. The family's opportunities were limited. But, working together, H4M and its partners provided this family with resources for housing, furniture, clothing, and more.

"We are better together.... When we work collaboratively across all domains, we meet the needs of the community in a much better way, " said Sarah Pelphrey, H4M's Director.
On May 13, MVLF President, Jay Schindler, joined Leadership Foundations for a town hall on responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The town hall also featured Dr. William Storrar, Director of the Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI), who shared on the new normal for today's leaders and post-pandemic opportunities. 

Jay shared with town-hall webinar viewers how MVLF has navigated the recent challenges by responding to and embracing the opportunities God has provided through this season. He shared ways MVLF has researched, developed, and launched new initiatives, like E-Mentoring, to ensure MVLF continues to equip and enable its staff, volunteers, and partners to transform the Miami Valley from a battleground to a playground.

We're grateful to the Leadership Foundations for inviting Jay to the table, and for the partnership we share with other Leadership Foundations.

If you'd like to enjoy the recorded webinar, click the button below.

Click here for Town Hall
The MVLF Team