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Meet the Bloggers

David Staal

As president of KIDS HOPE USA, David Staal is filled with passion and experience for reaching kids. As the children’s ministry director for Willow Creek Community Church and at the Willow Creek Association, he led teams that served thousands of children every weekend and supported thousands of church every year.

Despite the large scope of those responsibilities, he looks back at four years he invested as a 1-1 ministry volunteer as having some of the deepest impact on his heart for kids. The same is true for his everyday experiences as a dad – several of which appear in his latest book for parents and anyone who works with kids, Words Kids Need to Hear (Zondervan Publishing, 2008), and Making Your Children’s Ministry the Best Hour of Every Kid’s Week (Zondervan, 2006).

Now after leading a ministry that serves children who attend church, David has focused his heart and life on making a difference in kids’ lives outside of a church setting. In addition to his role with KIDS HOPE USA, David also serves as a senior editor for Christianity Today International.

Prior to his work with children, David started in ministry as Communications Director and Spokesperson for Willow Creek following a 13-year business career. He lives in Grand Haven, MI with is wife Becky, son Scott, and daughter Erin.


dremilyDr. Emilie DeYoung

Dr. Emilie DeYoung serves as the supervisor for child and adolescent counseling for the Winning At Home Family Wellness Center. She holds a PhD in psychology and a master’s degree in social work with an emphasis on child and adolescent counseling. She has been working with families since 1996. Dr. DeYoung seeks to help children understand their inherent worth and remove the barriers that prevent children and adolescents from reaching their potential. She enjoys helping children and teens tackle issues including anxiety and depression, ADHD, adjusting to divorce or blended families, anger control, abuse recovery, and grief. Dr. DeYoung and her husband live in the Zeeland area with their two spirited children.


Training Video & Pics 074Drew Peirce

As the Vice President of Partnerships, Drew leads the expansion team of Kids Hope USA across the country. Working with churches, school systems, church networks, denominations, and other nonprofits, Drew has helped launch over 600 church-school mentoring partnerships in 33 states.

Drew joined the KIDS HOPE USA staff in 2002 after 7 years in youth ministry and upon completing his Master of Divinity from Western Theological Seminary (Holland, MI). Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Drew graduated from the University of Delaware in 1995 with a degree in Philosophy. It was through his experiences growing up and in Christian ministry that Drew developed a passion for equipping the church to be relationally engaged in the needs of its community.

Drew and his wife Patty, a registered nurse in Holland, MI, have three precious daughters, Leah, Hannah, and Kaitlin. He is also a mentor and friend to Dakota, a 5th grader from his church’s partnering KIDS HOPE USA school.

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