How Our Ministry Began
Bouncing Back is an outreach ministry aimed at helping children whose parents are divorced or divorcing. The ministry began in 2011 under the auspices of Family Service of Chester County, and was adopted by the St. James’ vestry as an official outreach project in 2015.
Bouncing Back was originally designed as a living memorial to everything good that came out of the marriage between Donald and Katherine Harting, which lasted from 1945 to 1973. Donald was a pediatrician; Katherine loved literature.
As of December 31, 2018, Bouncing Back had shipped more than 2,800 books to help children in 49 of the 50 United States, as well as 13 foreign countries. As soon as an order of books is shipped to Rhode Island (the 50th state), all ministry volunteers, church staff, and donors will be invited to a celebration.
Bouncing Back offers four different age-appropriate books about divorce for children, from preschool through high school. The ministry’s name reflects its goal to foster resiliency by offering comfort and consolation to children suffering from divorce-related grief.
The ordering page is linked here and books are shipped for free.
The map below shows where books had been shipped at the end of 2018.
In early 2019, Bouncing Back received notice of a grant awarded by the Church Periodicals Club (CPC), which is an organization affiliated with the Episcopal Church. Founded in New York City in 1888, the ministry of the CPC is to supply books, magazines, tapes, videos, and computer programs free to those who cannot otherwise obtain them. CPC has a children’s division, called Miles of Pennies, which made the award. The grant enabled Bouncing Back to replenish inventory of Dinosaurs Divorce, its most popular title.
Ways for members of St. James’ to support this ministry include:
- Pray for children of divorce, and for the many adults (teachers, therapists, parents, grandparents, etc.) all across America who are actively trying to help them. It is especially appropriate to remember the children during the prayers of the people on Sunday morning, when we pray: “Comfort and heal those in sorrow, need, sickness, or any other trouble. Give them courage and hope in their distress, and bless those who minister to them.” Quietly name the children before God during the period of silence that follows.
- Make donations to St. James’ and designate the funds to benefit Bouncing Back. If donating cash, place bills in an envelope and write “Bouncing Back” on the outside. If donating by check, make it payable to St. James’ and write “Bouncing Back” in the memo line, or place it in an envelope marked “Bouncing Back.” All donations go directly to either purchasing books for the children or to pay postage expenses. You may put your offering in the collection plate or mail it to 409 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335, Attention: Bouncing Back.