First off – thank you so much for taking the time to read, pray, and support our middle school students! They worked their tails off to be a part of this trip and collectively raised over $10,000 to be here! Their work this week centers around two organizations:
By the Hand Kids Club – Located around Chicago, BTH tries to provide care to Chicago youth spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Their after school program has been a great success, so much so that the Chicago Public Schools have a thriving partnership with them. This week we are serving with their summer kids program where our students will lead enrichment activities, help tutor students, play games, and build relationships with kids.
Breakthrough Urban Ministries – Found in East Garfield Park, Breakthrough is a long-time Parkview partner and we have only deepened that relationship this week. They work on community building and helping provide safe spaces and next steps for families. Their facility is state of the art and includes its own medical care for residents and neighbors. Our work at Breakthrough is a bit more diverse and we’ll be doing something different each day.
On Monday we kicked off the work at By the Hand and it went great! The students jumped right in even though they just met their kids for the first time. Most of our team has previously volunteered at Parkview Kids Camp and it was amazing to see how their experience at home helped make their experience in the city even better.
This trip has four components: Education, Work, Exposure, and Fun. Breakthrough fulfilled one of our major education pieces by walking our students through their mission/vision, giving us a tour, and helping us understand the history of East Garfield Park. This was a time of listening and reflecting for us.
That’s about it for today. Transportation went smoothly and our students are currently decompressing from a full day’s activities as I write this. Thanks as always for your love and support!
Pray we get some sleep,
Middle School Pastor