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GEMS Adjust to Pandemic

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

gems5GEMS (Girls Everywhere Meeting the Savior) is adapting its ministry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit has created a resource called "GEMS on the Go." It's an activity box that counselors can bring to their girls, and includes a badge and a craft.

GEMS has worked to serve clubs that might be operating in one of five scenarios: in person, online, at a distance where meeting in person or online is not possible, a hybrid solution, or activities led by parents or guardians in the home. The GEMS "Friended" theme this year has a 1950s look to it, so one club had a 1950s-themed, physically distanced club kit pick-up party in order to distribute the resources to the kids — and from there they will continue to gather virtually.

GEMS was founded in 1958 by Barbara Vredevoogd in Grand Rapids as a Christian Reformed Church ministry to young girls. Today, GEMS are for girls in 1st through 8th grade, with age-appropriate material used at each level. GEMS clubs primarily meet in churches, but they also gather in apartment complexes and elsewhere.
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Author Information
Paul R. Kopenkoskey
Author: Paul R. KopenkoskeyWebsite:
Paul R. Kopenkoskey is a full-time freelance writer and editor for an assortment of publications including Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Business Journal, and Faith Grand Rapids magazine. He has completed his first novel with the working title, Karl Beguiled. He and his wife, Barb, live in Wyoming, Michigan. They have three children and five grandchildren.

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