October 22, 2008. Maple Valley, Washington. Finding an apostolate for
a Conquest team is not always as easy as it
looks, but the effort paid off in Maple Valley, where
one club’s inspiration became an initiative bearing promising fruits.
summer, the Conquest boys and their team leaders were brainstorming
about what apostolate to undertake for the year. The topic
of children with special needs kept coming up, and everyone
was enthusiastic about it. So, they approached a local community
center to introduce their club and propose their idea of
running a children’s program for kids with Down Syndrome in
The boys’ initiative was to offer a monthly
3-hour period where families could bring their children with special
needs to the community center for “FunQuest” games and activities
organized by Conquest boys, with dads to supervise. The executive
director of the community center was enthusiastic about the idea
and warmly approved the project.
Their first opportunity to serve came
on Saturday, October 11th. Three families brought their children, who
had a great time playing with the boys. The club
members are now developing a flier to present to the
local school district for additional exposure.
The good news is also
spreading by word of mouth through the moms who brought
their children to that first session. Some of them sent
in comments to the King County Down Syndrome e-mail broadcast,
which reaches about 300 subscribers.
|The “FunQuest” will be held on a monthly basis.|
One of the mothers, Carla
Snyder, commented on the boys’ creativity with the games they
invented for the children.
“It was a great time! All of
the boys totally focused on the kids and played along
with whatever they wanted to do. They were a very
creative group of young men. I’m not sure if even
Cecile’s specialist at her school could come up with some
of their ideas with the play mats. It was very
nice to just let the kids play so I could
have a nice visit with Ruth. Cecile and I can’t
wait till the next one,” she wrote.
Another mother, Ruth
Pomerantz, said: “Zack had a fabulous time at the Maple
Valley Community Center with the Catholic boys’ club playing with
the children! It gives us moms a break to visit
and the children have a wonderful time playing.”
Sheldon Sweeney, the
ConQuest Club President for Maple Valley, said the apostolate was
a good fit not only for the boys, but also
for the community at large.
“We are open to the
direction of the Holy Spirit as this apostolate grows. Fortunately
the Community Center is also open to watching a service
such as this grow and adapt to what can best
serve these children and their families in our community,” he