Featured Volunteers – Stacy Rule & the Busy Bees Day Care
Stacy Shanks was born and raised in Kearney, MO. She graduated from Kearney High School in 1990. She married Matt Rule in1993. They have two kids, Alison (26) and Matthew (21). Stacy is an active member of Radiant Life Church, serving in the Hospitality ministy. Stacy has always believed in God but she became a true follower four and a half years ago. She said it made a radical change in her life. Stacy is a birth mother to Nick Bieszczat(27). His open adoption led to volunteering at Liberty Women’s Clinic, a crisis pregnancy center. She is also passionate about working with addicts through Teen & Adult Challenge. This passion has led to her to become involved with Pastor Nick and Andrea DiBenedetto. The two of them share a dream/vision of opening “The Bridge of Hope”, a place to assist addicts with all aspects of rehabilitation and transitioning back into(the workplace or mainstream society).
After Stacy was married, she started working at Small Wonders Daycare. When she was pregnant with Matthew, she decided she’d like to stay home with her children but needed an income. She’s always had a love for children so this led her to opening Busy Bees Daycare in the spring of 1998. She was originally licensed to take care of ten children. She has since scaled back and only has six children on any given day.
The summer of 2018 saw Stacy implementing a “tech-free” summer. No electronic devices were allowed, On rainy days, they would occasionally watch a movie. The rest of the summer was spent outdoors and playing games.
Stacy has changed her curriculum over the past few years to focus on a personal relationship with Jesus, the power of prayer and serving our community. This year, they weeded the community garden at Radiant Life, which provides the fresh vegetables for the food pantry and they made cards with Bible verses and words of encouragement to deliver to the elderly. The children suggested that going to a retirement center and playing BINGO with the senior citizens would be fun. Stacy was apprehensive about it but she contacted Westbrook Care Center and Oak Point of Kearney. Westbrook suggested the idea of the kids coming in and serving the residents root beer floats.
So on Wednesday, June 19th, Stacy brought her “Busy Bees” to Westbrook. The younger ones passed out napkins and spoons while the older ones delivered the root beer floats. They stayed around and joined the residents in answering trivia. Before leaving they visited for a while and prayed for the residents. It was such a fun time for all included that it became a weekly activity. Treats and trivia was born. The daycare provided various ice cream treats and Westbrook provided the trivia.
Stacy feels that we live in such a “me.me.me” culture that’s disassociated by technology. “Kids need guidance in serving people,” she says. “Kids can benefit from the senior citizens and the seniors can benefit from the children.
“It has truly been a blessing having these children come in every week. The residents have looked forward to it,” said Janelle Simoneau, Director of Activities at Westbrook.
With school starting back up, weekly activities are no longer possible. But Westbrook and Busy Bees Daycare are currently working on times when the children can come in and continue to enrich the lives of the residents.
In case you are wondering, the children ranged in age from two years old to eleven years old. Their names are Ellie Switzer (10), Cash Carter (10), Shadley Switzer (8), Georgia Carter (8), Kason Rhea (7), Joey Shanks (7), Jaxon Palmer (3), Grafton Switzer (3) and Quincy Cox (2). Not all of them came every week but each one was a unique blessing.
Westbrook is looking forward to a long partnership with Busy Bees Daycare. It’s wonderful to see children willingly serving others.