We need you.  The Special Needs Ministry would like to invite you to prayerfully consider being a part of the ministry. There is a place for every age and every gift set. It is an exciting time to jump in with lots of new opportunities this spring! Please contact Stephanie Hunter shunter@creekwoodumc.org to begin the conversation. 

WELCOME TO OUR SPECIAL NEEDS MINISTRY 

The special needs ministry of CUMC seeks to help special needs children and their families celebrate the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a nurturing and safe atmosphere which values integration and removes barriers to church attendance. We want every child to feel included and nurtured spiritually, emotionally, and physically while their families join us for worship. Click here to enroll your child in our program.

Buddies and Peer Partners

There are two ways to help a special needs child through this ministry at CUMC; adults can serve as “Buddies” and youth can serve as “Peer Partners”.

Pairing special needs children with buddies and peer partners will help them participate, to the fullest extent, in our Sunday morning children and youth programs.  

FAQs:

Who can be a Buddy?

You do not need special training with special needs children to be a Buddy.  Any adult who loves interacting with children and has regularly attended Creekwood UMC for at least 6 months can become a Buddy if they are at least 18 years of age and follow these simple steps:

  • Complete Ministry Safe training
  • Complete and clear a background check
  • Complete the Buddy Volunteer Application (including 2 references)
  • Attend a one-hour in-service training with the special needs leadership team
  • Serve at least one hour per month or as a substitute
  • Communicate Scheduling Needs & Changes

Who can be a Peer Partner?

Youth Peer Partners serve a very important role on the special needs ministry team to support the special needs child as a friend for peer interaction and assist the child’s Buddy (if a Buddy is needed).  Any youth at CUMC can become a Peer Partner if they are at least 12 yrs of age and follow these simple steps:

  • Complete the Peer Partner Application along with Parent Consent
  • Serve at least one hour per month or as a substitute
  • Attend a one-hour in-service training with the special needs leadership team
  • Communicate Scheduling Needs & Changes

What are the Buddy and Peer Partner Responsibilities?

Volunteers will serve to provide help to children who need support to interact with others socially, manage toys, crafts, etc. and to be with the children in alternate areas such as our sensory room or playground when integrated activities are not appropriate.

What time is required?

Buddy and Peer Partner volunteers can commit to 1 or 2 hours per Sunday for any number of weeks in the month. If your work or school schedule makes regular scheduling difficult, you can serve as a substitute to be called as needed.

How do buddies get paired with special needs children?

We will work to match children with the most appropriate Buddy and/or Peer Partner volunteer, according to the needs and personalities of the children and volunteers.  

For more information, contact Stephanie Hunter at (940) 453-2442 or smacmillanhunter@gmail.com.

Click here to sign up to volunteer as a buddy.  Students/Teens may click here to complete a youth volunteer application.