Youth actively promote the Gathering’s mission. They participate by: raising money for meal programs at school fundraisers, sharing their unique talents, volunteering on a regular basis and spreading the Gathering’s mission to friends, family and more. I want to introduce you to two of the groups of youth who are helping out the Gathering this summer: YouthWorks and Micah 6:8 Summer Work Camp.
Every summer, YouthWorks—an international organization—coordinates service trips for over 30,000 jr. high and high school students and adult leaders in North America. One of their trip destinations is Milwaukee, where they work at various social service organizations throughout the city, like the Gathering. When they are not doing hands-on service, the youth participate in educational activities, evening gatherings, explore their faith and more.
Every Wednesday throughout the summer, various YouthWorks volunteers serve dinner at the Gathering’s south side site. While volunteering with the Gathering, the groups focus on building relationships. “If you don’t hear people’s stories, you can’t relate and you won’t understand why you’re here,” explained Zach, one of the trip’s leaders.
Morgana, a youth in Zach’s group said that guest interaction was the most important part for her as well: “I am excited most for the face to face interaction. It’s an opportunity for me to be more social,” she explained.
MICAH 6:8 SUMMER WORK CAMP:
In June, a group of youth from three different churches in the Mukwonago area: St. James, St. Peter and St. Theresa Catholic Church, formed the Micah 6:8 Summer Work Camp. Different teams of teens and their adult supervisors worked tirelessly for three afternoons to improve the Gathering’s St. James location—site of our Monday-Friday breakfast program and a Saturday lunch.
Some of the work they did included: scrubbing, cleaning and painting the kitchen’s walls and ceilings; repainting the nurse’s office; repainting an orange stripe to brighten up the guests’ hallway; building and donating a little free library; cleaning closets, appliances, chairs, tables and walls; replacing door knobs and locks and even more!
The groups name is based on the bible verse Micah 6:8, which calls us, “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” The group’s service first approach left the Gathering’s breakfast site looking fresh and clean.