Youth Service Project Update April 15, 2020
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your support and contributions to the First United Methodist Church of Santa Monica’s Youth Service Project. During a service project, youth experience a service leadership opportunity that makes a difference in our world and gives youth the opportunity to explore their faith in light of this.
Sadly, our youth service team is faced with a time unlike any we have experienced before. The COVID-19 crisis is continuing to evolve quickly even while we all work to do our part to “flatten the curve.” At this time, based on recommendations from national health officials, the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) has made the difficult decision to suspend their summer volunteer programs. This means we will not be going on our YSP summer trip from June 20 to June 28, 2020.
For the first time in ASP’s 51-year history, volunteers won’t be serving during their most impactful months. ASP shared that it was one of the hardest decisions they have ever made and that it was done with prayerful deliberation to remove any threat of the virus spreading further. I invite us to keep ASP and the Appalachian communities who benefit from this ministry in our prayers. You can view their announcement video here.
However, we are excited to let you know our team has worked very hard on raising funds. We have raised close to $5,000 to date. We would like to use a portion of the funds to continue supporting ASP during this time. We hold out hope for a more local service trip later this year. Beyond that, we look forward to using these funds towards next year’s service trip.
We know that God has plans for us beyond COVID-19. During this time, the youth service team continues to be faithful, to hold onto patience, courage and faith, and to seek God with our whole hearts. Thank you for your continued prayers and support of our youth.
Tricia Guerrero, Pastoral Associate for Family Ministries
Youth Service Team 2020
Support the YSP by purchasing one of these fancy insulated water bottles (while supplies last). Pay online or see the Sunday Hospitality Table.
“Appalachia Service Project is a Christian ministry, open to all people, that inspires hope and service through volunteer home repair in Central Appalachia. Our vision is to see substandard housing eradicated and everyone who comes into contact with our ministry transformed.”
WHERE: Appalachia Mountains (location will be assigned in the Spring)
WHO: Leaders: Adam Guerrero, Dan Stirling, Emily Payne, Maddy Ing, Tricia Guerrero
WHEN: SUSPENDED June 20th – June 28th, 2020
WHAT: We will be working on home repairs for people with limited financial resources.
WHY: Jesus tells us that we are called to love others and to be a light for the world, through our service work we spread hope, love and embody God’s grace.
Watch this video to learn about ASP and what we’ll be doing.
ABOUT THE YSP
Each summer, a team of youth and adult volunteers from First UMC Santa Monica take time out of their summer vacations to go on a week-long mission trip. During the trip, youth learn about themselves and build relationships with people from all over the U.S., they learn teamwork and how to use power tools, and they are given the opportunity to help people to gain a safe, warm, and dry home to live in through their work. This service leadership opportunity helps youth to grow in their faith through serving others. We collaborate with reputable youth-centered service organizations, and while the location of the trips varies each year, the mission remains the same: Be in community and of service to those in need.
A LOOK BACK: YSP 2019 Sierra Service Project
Youth Service Project – Radio Feature
While the youth were on their trip, the local Smith River Community Radio station did a feature about the service project, and First UMC Youth Emily Plukas was part of the group that was interviewed. Listen Here
A LOOK BACK: 2017 YSP Appalachia Service Project
In 2017, the team worked with Appalachia Service Project in the Appalachia Mountains at the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. They repaired homes in a small rural community for people with limited financial resources.