We involve hundreds of volunteers and in-kind donors at Street Youth Ministry. It's in our DNA today as a ministry, although we didn't know how important it would become when we began in 2008. We knew we needed financial donors back them, but we had no idea how much we needed volunteers and in-kind donors, too.
It was a pastor guiding me who first suggested the idea: "Terry, you need find a way to involve volunteers." I couldn't imagine it, but he challenged me. So our first sandwich ministry was born. Since then, volunteers have made 25 sandwiches and now 50 sandwiches a week. That's about 4500 sandwiches in the last two and a half years!
And we have grown more than that. We have food providers, dog and pet helpers, proof-readers and administration helpers. These people keep the ministry supplied and working. In-kind donations total thousands of dollars per month and hundreds of hours per month.
And we have volunteers who come to build relationships. They help us with hospitality, driving, do laundry for our clients, and our very popular mini-mission trip on the street. Each hands-on volunteers is challenged to build a relationship with our clients, showing love and compassion to someone who doesn't expect it!
In-kind donors work at their jobs for an hour or two to provide the average in-kind donation. It's their mission. We think of you as standing beside us on the mission field with the street youth.
Some donors work a couple hours per week for the financial gifts they give so that we can be present. We invite you into ministry and encourage you in your work.
It's important. It matters. It makes a difference. It pleases God. Together we get the chance to love on the street youth of Austin, God's beautiful creations, helping to solidify the Kingdom of God in it's not-yet and still-becoming form. God would do it without us, but we have the great honor to be here.
Volunteers, financial donors and in-kind donors: Thank you for all that you do!