As we get ready to mobilize 25,000 teens and their leaders to do service this summer, I am struck by the fact that communities still need more volunteers. Week after week, we get calls or emails from new communities who are asking and pleading with us to come alongside them in serving the people of their city or town. They tell us that YouthWorks would bring the positive presence that they’ve been hoping for and have such an impact in their community.
Do you remember our equation of Youth + Communities? We have seen evidence of the amazing things that happen when God brings youth and communities together! There is a powerful and undeniable intersection of mutual exchange, where teenagers experience the world from a different perspective and grow closer to God. At the same time, communities teach us about their assets and receive additional volunteers to support them in continuing their mission.
A few weeks ago, we postponed the launch of our first summer site in Phoenix because we noticed that we only had seven people committed to going. Closing a site at YouthWorks is one of the hardest and most gut-wrenching things we do. A site closure is often met with tears and extreme disappointment because we have spent time with the people of a community and comprehend their need for volunteers. We feel their heartache when we say that we can’t come, and we grieve together.
The 66 communities we are committed to this summer need you and your teenagers. There are also over 50 requests from more communities around the country who would like YouthWorks to show up.
A few on the list include: Fort Myers, Fla.; Key West, Fla.; Charlotte, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; Parkersburg, W.Va.; Albany, N.Y.; La Porte, Ind.; Easton, Mass.; Marion, Calif.; Evansville, Ind.; Huntington, W.Va.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Erie, Pa.; and Des Moines, IA. The list goes on.
This is Kingdom work and we want to do more of it! We need more people who will serve for the sake of building God’s Kingdom here on earth. Just as Jesus told his disciples what to pray in Matthew 9:37, I am asking the Lord of the harvest to send out more workers into His harvest field. I’m praying that He will send you and your youth!
—Erica Schimelpfenig, Executive Director, YouthWorks
featured photo credit: @specialdeliverysandiego