We are sitting in the youth building here with pancakes cooking — we made it through Saturday! We split into groups for the morning and afternoon to work on servie projects around the area. Everyone's day looking a little different, but some things were all constant: we worked on projects in the morning, broke for a lunch of sandwiches, chips fruit, worked on some more projects in the afternoon, and took showers to make it back by late afternoon. Here's a bit of what each team was up to (named after major league Philadelphia teams):
Team Soul: This small team went to a local pregnancy crisis center called 'Amnion' that provides free ultrasounds, checkups, counseling, and parenting resources to individuals and families with unplanned, untimely, or unwanted pregnancies. There, they painted a nurses' room and sorted diapers into bags. They finished their day taking showers in their leader's college apartment.
Team Eagles: This large team helped a man named Ondrej move from an apartment to his new house. They brought boxes and furniture to fill two moving trucks. Partway through the morning, half of the group went to Ondrej's house to remove garbage from his garage into a dumpster to make room to bring the boxes and furniture into the house. After they had lunch, the first truck arrived. The afternoon was spent unloading both trucks. They finished quickly (by then, there were 12 middle and high school boys and five leaders) and split off again, with half the group heading to the church to move chairs into the attic, and the other group helping Ondrej trim trees. They showered at the homes of some local families
Team Phillies: This team picked up trash before going to a facility that packs bags and provides relief work for Syrian refugees. The facility has sent over 70 shipping containers of clothing and supplies to the refugee camps, and this group helped them get them ready for their 73rd container.
Team Flyers: This team spent the morning cleaning around the youth building where we're staying. They were also given a few tasks by church administration people, like sorting through giant stack of sheet music. Later, they went to a program called 'Music Together' at a local senior center.
Team 76ers: This team made signs for the approaching Night to Shine event, a night of celebration and fun for kids and teens with special needs. The local event is looking at having over 500 students with special needs attending! They then helped in the kitchen for a while. They washed and dried plates, filled communion cups, folded napkins, and did lots of helpful things to help the church organizing people.
When everyone got back, we had some free time before dinner (baked ziti, mac & cheese, pulled pork, and veggies). We had a time of worship and teaching by Chris.
After dinner, we had a bit more free time before coming together for a building-wide game. Several things were happening at the same time: leaders were trying to tag students, but could only move while giving compliments. Meanwhile, four other leaders were hidden around the building with slips of paper for anyone who found them. Plus, all the lights were off. It was a ton of fun! After that, the middle schoolers headed to bed while the high schoolers stayed up for a bit more time.
Now, we're cleaning the building before heading over to church. Happy Sunday!