Archive for ‘volunteer update’

July 6, 2019

In-kind donation bonanza!



Clients enjoy an odd donation

Alpaca Market delivers super healthy, locally sourced, organically grown salad bowls, breakfast bowls and more!
 
 Another Client gets a comforter to use in newly found apartment; 

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July 5, 2019

It began with pizza, and grew from there!



Bridge Investment Group, an organization of business executives who give back to the community, recently threw SYM a pizza party! They first planned to drop off the pizza and leave, but they were pleasantly surprised when they met our clients and engaged in meaningful conversation. They spent some time truly getting to know who they were serving, and that bridged a gap between two very different worlds. After they left, our clients were heard commenting about how cool it was for them to do that.


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July 4, 2019

Young Rotarians create ‘hygiene kits’ for SYM clients



Members of the Rotaract Club, UT’s chapter of Rotary International, helped assemble nearly 100 feminine hygiene kits that will be dispersed to SYM clients. The UT students were aided by a donation from the Rotary Club of Historic Brownsville. Rotary and Rotaract pride themselves in “service above self” at home and overseas.

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July 2, 2019

New Community Engagement Person


Meet Tondra, SYM’s new Outside
Community Engagement Person

We have an exciting announcement to share. A young woman whose face is familiar to clients and volunteers is transitioning from a client entrepreneur internship to the position of outside community engagement person.

She is Tondra Daily, a former client who is taking increasingly responsible roles at Street Youth Ministry. “Her new job is to build new relationships,” Terry explained, “so if people have never volunteered, Tondra is here to help make it easy for them. She’s also building new relationships to churches and businesses. There has never been a better time to engage with SYM!”

“I’m very excited,” Tondra said. “I’m really loving my new role. I like people and am a social butterfly, so it’s a huge blessing that I actually get PAID to get to go out into the community and talk to people about what I love: Street Youth Ministry! I DO love the ministry and know it from the inside out in a very personal way, and I feel uniquely equipped to do this. I myself was a homeless client years ago! I have since given my life to Jesus and discovered who I am in Him.”

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April 22, 2019

Fun at SYM


Game night fun!
Since it was started two years ago, Game Night has been a big hit with clients and volunteers alike.
Breakfast taco troupe
Volunteers from Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church thoroughly enjoy themselves as they make food for our freezer.

via Blogger http://bit.ly/2GAfEyz

April 22, 2019

Fun at SYM


Game night fun!
Since it was started two years ago, Game Night has been a big hit with clients and volunteers alike.
Breakfast taco troupe
Volunteers from Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church thoroughly enjoy themselves as they make food for our freezer.

via Blogger http://bit.ly/2GAfEyz

April 22, 2019

Fun at SYM


Game night fun!
Since it was started two years ago, Game Night has been a big hit with clients and volunteers alike.
Breakfast taco troupe
Volunteers from Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church thoroughly enjoy themselves as they make food for our freezer.

via Blogger http://bit.ly/2GAfEyz

April 21, 2019

UT students buy into SYM theory



   An organization of UT students called Friends of Street Youth held a panel discussion last fall to brainstorm ways to help. They included on that panel a recovered SYM client and representatives from other organizations that help street youth.
    The event attracted about 40 students and included a question-and-answer session that lasted two hours, as they sought a deeper understanding and compassion for homeless young adults. The resounding conclusion? Street youth are like college students in many ways, but they have far fewer support resources.
    Newly inspired, the students turned their attention to ways they could help. One project was a clothing drive they held this spring. They put collection boxes in dorms, and more than 100 students donated 355 items with a thrift store value over $1,300. There were tops, bottoms, dresses, jackets, shoes, hats, purses, belts – even a bra.
    We value these and other tangible items like food and toiletries because street youth often come to us first seeking necessities. If we can meet immediate needs, we can encourage follow-up visits, which enable us to begin to build trust and eventually change lives.
    The students’ second project was to form a pen pal club to serve those few clients who become incarcerated. I hesitate to mention this in a newsletter, because so few clients are incarcerated for long. It does happen, though, and the students recognized the value of clients corresponding with people very much like themselves. Many of them already volunteer in our facility, but they wanted something any student could do directly from campus.
    We know from tracking our statistics that 80 percent of clients who engage deeply with us – and that means at least 40 hours of contact and 10 deep conversations with SYM staff – will set and achieve goals that lead to real changes in their lives. That’s about two times more than clients who engage with us less often. We believe so strongly in that dynamic that we update our statistics daily on the front page of our website (streetyouthministry.org).
    We know that our clients are in need, and we are delighted to have lots to share in the way of food and physical things. We also know our clients are short of support, so we want to be their guidance counselors through all the choices they need to make. And we know that most have been deeply hurt along life’s journey so far, so we study hard to be agents of change, restoration and healing with our clients.
    This is the SYM way of doing things — our “theory of change” — and we are delighted that the UT students have learned this lesson.

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January 23, 2019

I AM GRATEFUL…



I am grateful for the shape of my life. I am grateful for the ways that I am gifted. And even though I am often jealous of other people‘s gifting, I am glad to be me. I am grateful that I have found a vocation that is just right for me. 
It combined so many things that I love: solving problems, teaching, learning new things, trying new things, helping others, relating to the outcast, orchestrating an amazing machine with lots of moving parts, crossing cultural barriers, and sharing good news for a better world.

I am grateful for the people I journey with. I love my family of origin. I love the legacy they have given me. I love the family that I created with my wife. I look forward to the possibility of loving families created by my children. I love the community that I have created In my various workplaces. I love the community that is being formed in the ministry to homeless young adults. I’m grateful for my church family—groups that form For worship, discipleship, service, morning, celebration, and discernment. Each is unique and a blessing.

I am grateful for money, but I am more grateful to be freed from its enslavement on my life. I think it no small chance that God changed me from being employed to create wealth to being called to serve others without wealth, Without the possibility of company ownership, and without further amassing personal wealth. I am truly glad to be dependent. I always was, but it is a blessing to see the literal dependency on the gifts of others to follow my vocation. I am not creating a company that I own. I am not creating a profit. I am not being paid what I am “worth“ by trade or training. I am supported by the gifts of others who have come to understand my calling and want me to pursue it. God‘s blessing in my life is bigger, but is hard to name and earthly blessing larger than the support of so many people for my vocation.
As unexpected as the blessing of support has been, probably the most surprising blessing has come from including 5000 or more homeless broken and simultaneously amazing young adults in my life. They are so interesting. They are so strong. They are so diverse. It is not the reward of serving them but simply the reward of being with them that is such a blessing. The things they have taught me. The things they have made me think about. The glimpses of life that I can never fully understand but that I could also never experience myself. They have added a richness to my life that was completely unexpected. The blessings dwarfs any gratitude for accomplishment Or even growth that could come from serving.

I cannot write about gratitude without mentioning my sweet and amazing loyal companion, Rosie. That God would create a relationship between a man and a beast of such depth boggles the mind. Truly do know the love of a dog is to learn something of the unconditional love that God has for us.

I am grateful for the rhythms of life. For day and night. I used to bemoan that there wasn’t enough time in the day until someone pointed out that it was beyond arrogance To force everyone else to endure another hour just because I felt like I didn’t get enough done. I am grateful for the rhythm of a week. Often it feels as if Monday through Saturday is some type of marathon. But somehow I cross the finish line into Sunday and into worship.

There I am refreshed and rejuvenated and somehow ready to run into the next week. I am grateful for the rhythm of the seasons. I try to enjoy the cold of a cold day, the heat of a hot day, and everything in between. They are exactly as created and I was created to experience and indeed live in them. And I enjoy the rhythm of the calendar. Birthdays passing. Holidays celebrated. I have come to see the wisdom in the ecclesiastic calendar. The beginning of the year without vent. The celebration of Christmas. Preparation for Easter. A risen Lord. Pentecost. Life with the spirit. It all feels right. 

Finally I am grateful for perspective. Whether it’s focusing on tiny things or stepping back to see the big picture. Whether it’s looking externally or looking inwardly. Whether it’s looking to the physical world or into the spiritual realm. There is an order And a beauty and a wholeness. It is good. But the fact that I can twist any of it for my evil purposes keeps me humble and grateful for forgiveness. Jesus loved me first. He was willing to give up even Godhood to save me. And heal me. And restore me. This is why I believe. This is why I behave – at least to the extent that I manage to behave. This is why I follow. And this is why I serve. 

via Blogger http://bit.ly/2CJkHtk

January 23, 2019

I AM GRATEFUL…



I am grateful for the shape of my life. I am grateful for the ways that I am gifted. And even though I am often jealous of other people‘s gifting, I am glad to be me. I am grateful that I have found a vocation that is just right for me. 
It combined so many things that I love: solving problems, teaching, learning new things, trying new things, helping others, relating to the outcast, orchestrating an amazing machine with lots of moving parts, crossing cultural barriers, and sharing good news for a better world.

I am grateful for the people I journey with. I love my family of origin. I love the legacy they have given me. I love the family that I created with my wife. I look forward to the possibility of loving families created by my children. I love the community that I have created In my various workplaces. I love the community that is being formed in the ministry to homeless young adults. I’m grateful for my church family—groups that form For worship, discipleship, service, morning, celebration, and discernment. Each is unique and a blessing.

I am grateful for money, but I am more grateful to be freed from its enslavement on my life. I think it no small chance that God changed me from being employed to create wealth to being called to serve others without wealth, Without the possibility of company ownership, and without further amassing personal wealth. I am truly glad to be dependent. I always was, but it is a blessing to see the literal dependency on the gifts of others to follow my vocation. I am not creating a company that I own. I am not creating a profit. I am not being paid what I am “worth“ by trade or training. I am supported by the gifts of others who have come to understand my calling and want me to pursue it. God‘s blessing in my life is bigger, but is hard to name and earthly blessing larger than the support of so many people for my vocation.
As unexpected as the blessing of support has been, probably the most surprising blessing has come from including 5000 or more homeless broken and simultaneously amazing young adults in my life. They are so interesting. They are so strong. They are so diverse. It is not the reward of serving them but simply the reward of being with them that is such a blessing. The things they have taught me. The things they have made me think about. The glimpses of life that I can never fully understand but that I could also never experience myself. They have added a richness to my life that was completely unexpected. The blessings dwarfs any gratitude for accomplishment Or even growth that could come from serving.

I cannot write about gratitude without mentioning my sweet and amazing loyal companion, Rosie. That God would create a relationship between a man and a beast of such depth boggles the mind. Truly do know the love of a dog is to learn something of the unconditional love that God has for us.

I am grateful for the rhythms of life. For day and night. I used to bemoan that there wasn’t enough time in the day until someone pointed out that it was beyond arrogance To force everyone else to endure another hour just because I felt like I didn’t get enough done. I am grateful for the rhythm of a week. Often it feels as if Monday through Saturday is some type of marathon. But somehow I cross the finish line into Sunday and into worship.

There I am refreshed and rejuvenated and somehow ready to run into the next week. I am grateful for the rhythm of the seasons. I try to enjoy the cold of a cold day, the heat of a hot day, and everything in between. They are exactly as created and I was created to experience and indeed live in them. And I enjoy the rhythm of the calendar. Birthdays passing. Holidays celebrated. I have come to see the wisdom in the ecclesiastic calendar. The beginning of the year without vent. The celebration of Christmas. Preparation for Easter. A risen Lord. Pentecost. Life with the spirit. It all feels right. 

Finally I am grateful for perspective. Whether it’s focusing on tiny things or stepping back to see the big picture. Whether it’s looking externally or looking inwardly. Whether it’s looking to the physical world or into the spiritual realm. There is an order And a beauty and a wholeness. It is good. But the fact that I can twist any of it for my evil purposes keeps me humble and grateful for forgiveness. Jesus loved me first. He was willing to give up even Godhood to save me. And heal me. And restore me. This is why I believe. This is why I behave – at least to the extent that I manage to behave. This is why I follow. And this is why I serve. 

via Blogger http://bit.ly/2CJkHtk