Youth Service Day attracts army of energetic volunteers
KEARNEY—On April 21, approximately 150 youth and adults from three Missouri Baptist Convention churches, First Baptist Church, Kearney, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, and Mt. Zion Baptist Church, joined forces with two other churches, Siloam Springs Baptist Chapel and Kearney Bible Church to participate in the National Youth Service Day.
This is the second consecutive year that youth from the area have participated. Previously, they traveled to downtown Kansas City to participate in a similar event with Youth Front. Coming home from one of those trips a couple of years ago, Rob Brewer, the minister of youth at First Kearney, began discussing the possibility of doing more in the Kearney area with his youth council leaders. They liked the idea and launched the event the next year, during which 50 people showed up from three different churches.
This year, First Kearney teamed up with Pleasant Valley Baptist to organize the event and the number of participants tripled. The youth were divided into teams to work on projects at one of the following places: Watkins Mill Youth Center; Watkins Mill State Park; Westbrook Care Center; Kearney Fire Department; Liberty Terrace Care Center; Kearney Parks and Recreation; Family Outreach; Love Inc.; Northland Neighbors; and the Liberty Pregnancy Support Center.
The Watkins Mill Youth Center houses at-risk youth, and the youth who went there to serve were able to spread some light to children who are in desperate need of it.
“That was a great project,” Brewer said, “because our kids were able to interact with these at-risk kids who were in need of some good strong role models. And they did some beautification of the center. They planted flowers and did some landscaping.”
At some of the other facilities, like at the Westbrook Care Center, a senior citizens home, the youth played bingo and socialized with the residents and they spent some time cleaning.
Brewer said that if you’d like to start a similar group in your own area, he’d love to talk to you about how to organize one. The next National Youth Service Day is scheduled for April 26, 2008. You can reach Brewer by calling the church office at (816) 628-5693.