Spring Break Service
YC students serve homeless and others in four cities
For some college students, spring break means sunshine and relaxation, a respite from the cares of campus life.
For many York College students, however, spring break is an opportunity to serve.
Each of the social service student groups at YC sent out mission teams over spring break, March 11-17. In all, 46 students participated, serving the poor and homeless in four cities.
Eight members of Delta/Kyodai, along with sponsors Greg '07 and Jaclyn ('08 Coehoorn) Smith, traveled to Illinois over the break. They were hosted by the Naperville Church of Christ and worked in downtown Chicago. Prior to the trip, students collected donations of shoes to deliver to homeless people in the city.
Along with the 25 bags of shoes they donated, they also cleaned, moved furniture, loaded and unloaded trucks, and sorted donated clothing at homeless shelters. They also spent time visiting with families living in the shelters.
Ten members of AXE/Beta and sponsors Susan and Kent VanDeusen traveled to Oklahoma City to join forces with a youth group from Amarillo, Texas. The students were hosted by the Memorial Road Church of Christ and worked at two city missions each day: The Refuge and Cross and Crown.
Sarah VanDeusen ’12 was on the AXE/Beta team. She said the organizations they worked with are doing great things and the YC students were pleased to be able to partner with them. “We did things like planting community gardens, cleaning up roads and yards, packing and distributing food, praying with those that came into the missions, and many other jobs,” she said.
“We also participated in a mentoring program with the high schoolers throughout the week. It was definitely an amazing trip and we all came back spiritually uplifted and excited for God's plans in our own lives.”
Nine from Kingsmen/Omega Phi, plus sponsor Dr. Michael Case, spent time in Littleton, Colorado, working with His Hands Christian Ministries for the third year in a row. His Hands provides food, clothes, and prayers for anyone in need in the Denver suburb.
The ministry was moving into a new location. The YC students transferred furniture and supplies, so that the ministry could continue with minimal interruption. They also spent time visiting with the homeless people the ministry reaches out to.
The largest group to travel was Sig Tau/Theta Psi, who sent 19 students and sponsor Trisha Goben to Franklin, Tennessee (a suburb of Nashville).
Students spent mornings working with Graceworks Ministries, which operates a thrift store and food bank. They sorted food and clothes for the organization. Group member Kellan Goben ’14 says it was a sobering fact to note that Graceworks feeds about 8,000 people regularly—a population close to the size of York.
In the afternoons, the YC students worked with My Own Backyard Ministries, which provides outreach, tutoring, and mentoring to inner-city youth after school.
Goben said that though Franklin is one of the wealthiest cities in one of the wealthiest states in the U.S., there is still extreme poverty, and that seeing it up close was a good reminder to him of those who are often overlooked.
“It was an awesome experience,” he said. “We just wish we’d had more time to build real relationships with the kids.”