Youth Mission Trip makes an impact at The River
Last week, The River graciously had help from a large mission group coordinated with Immanuel UMC Church. The group was composed of multiple churches and spanned different states. Leaders and youth from Jefferson Wisconsin, Plainview Ohio, Brookville Ohio, Lynn Indiana, and Union City Indiana came together for a week-long trip where they worked many different roles here at The River. They had one goal: make an impact.
Youth on this trip got to experience the daily operations here at The River. Many of them learned how we handle incoming donations and shipments of food as well as balancing the distribution of food to our clients. These children ranged from middle school to high school age and had a determination to help. For all the days they were here, it was obvious that they wanted to make a difference.
I saw that this place is a source of outreach; it is more than just food.
Youth Pastor Jerimy and his wife Jami are from Lynn, Indiana and helped coordinate the trip. During the week you could find them helping out with the greeting clients while shopping, helping stock shelves, and even dancing to funky music played over our speakers. “The clients, staff, volunteers, and everyone involved have a servant’s heart,” said Jerimy “getting to fellowship with each other and getting to know people in your own community was so much fun. Whenever I go out and see someone from one of the churches I know we’ll have the connection of serving here at The River. “
Jerimy said that The River helped him see ways to make a difference in his own city. “We’ll take the mission and principle of the MUNCH program into our own community. I saw that this place is a source of outreach; it is more than just food. “
Reagan, a soon to be senior in high school from Union City, Indiana, felt that her trip was “a real eye-opener.” “It was amazing that you go out into the community and hand out food”, she said about our MUNCH program. As she thought about the end of the mission trip, she was committed to making a difference in her own town. “Seeing the way that The River is set up and such a large operation, we can go back to our own city and grow our smaller pantry.” Her hopes for building a better community is something that The River continues to strive towards when working with clients, volunteers, and groups that see the direct change we create.
Katelyn, an incoming senior in Jefferson, Wisconsin, felt that there was a real sense of community throughout the whole mission trip. “We want to help the world become a better place,” she said about why she was on the mission trip. Another fun aspect of her time her was helping with MUNCH. “It was really neat to see MUNCH operate, to be a bright light in their day.”
As Katelyn was leaving, she reminded us that “people everywhere are struggling and we need to help people be aware of this,” she said smiling, “We can start right in our own backyard.”
Make an impact in your own community; Volunteer with The River.