New City Neighbors has a very small staff. To accomplish all that we do, we rely heavily on volunteers. So far, this year has been record setting in terms of volunteer participation. We have had over 180 volunteers donate more that 2,400 hours of ministry time! This is incredible.
We had volunteers show up to our numerous Urban Farm work days and spend time in the cold, rain, and dirt to make the farm better and prepare it for ministry.
We had dozens of volunteers come throughout the summer to read to children in Breaktime, help kids bake in the Bakery, and chaperone field trips all across West Michigan. We had some incredible volunteers who dedicated their time and resources to teach art, lead music, and direct activities.
We had a core group of amazing gardeners who dedicated extra time in the garden to make it look incredible, and more importantly help out a few of a gardeners who struggled with serious health problems.
We had people showing up on a weekly basis to donate meals to kids who attended EMS/180, help kids with homework, lead them in singing and Bible study, and play games with them.
We had godly women showing up to GEMS to love young girls and point them to Christ.
We had people who showed up to hang out with our high school students and love them through trying years.
We had high school students who came to 180, Breaktime and the Bakery to give back to the ministries that made a difference in their lives.
We had a dedicated board that met regularly to direct the ministry and help lead it to grow.
I could go on and on but I hope you can see that we had volunteers who gave a lot to our ministries this summer. More than that, they invested in children, found creative ways to come alongside them, and kept pointing them to Christ.
I want to tell you something. The kids who come to our ministries often don’t come because of the ministry. They come because of the adults who invest in their lives. When a volunteer is missing, kids will repeatedly ask about that leader. They love the volunteers because the volunteers love them. In many ways, this is the love of Christ at work.
To all our volunteers out there, I want you to know we are very grateful for you. Thank you for giving your time and energy to invest in children. Thank you for loving kids like Jesus loves you. Thank you for being present in their lives. Thank you!