Aug 3, 2012

How Our Clients React to Volunteers

Street Youth Ministry spends a lot of time and energy working with volunteers. Sometimes we wonder if an employee would be easier, but when we listen to how volunteer impact our clients, we are always convinced it matters.  


We recently started our summertime fellowship event called Cookin' It Up. Sponsors plan a meal, bring groceries, and help lead our clients in making the meal. No one eats unless they participate and it's really fun. During the 1.5 hour event, clients take turns prepping, cooking, and washing. While they aren't doing that, they play guitars, play games, and just hang out. The reaction is wonderful. 


We have heard various versions of this comment from clients. "It really makes me feel good to see volunteers coming down here and doing this with us. Brave Christians willing to stand in the gap between homelessness and the church gives me confidence. It inspires me. It's what makes a difference in my day." Another client stated afterwards, "This activity really filled me up. It satisfied me. And I don't mean food. I mean in my heart. I haven't felt this way in a long time. Drugs and alcohol don't do this, but connecting with people does." 


So we will keep fostering, grooming, and encouraging volunteers. We know the needs of our clients as well as anyone. It is our calling to share this understanding and to call to the church to come minister to these street-dependent young people. No matter what your shape or passion, I bet we can find a way to allow you to be a blessing to our clients and to be blessed in the process. 


If you want to sponsor one of our upcoming Cookin' It Up events, we would love to hear from you. We have openings in August. Please reply for more information. Our first sponsors were a family of four, including teenage children. It worked out great for them. The clients made breakfast one week. The next week they made pulled pork as part of a Fourth of July party. You can keep it simple. Just pick something you love to make! 


Other volunteer opportunities can be found on our website.


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