Our eighth year has proven to be our best year so far. We have been overloaded with youth from many parishes joining in on the volunteering events this school year of 2015-2016. Our impact on the London community has been noted and our youth have been moved to compassion while working with our poor and marginalized.
We have had at least 6-8 events per month and many wonderful opportunities for our youth to interact and build community with the poor. We are still holding our 3 regular sites each month, McGarrell Nursing Home, L’Arche Community Living and Ronald McDonald. Our group has been to the St. Joseph’s Hospitality Centre Soup Kitchen 4 times this year so far and each and every time the young people attend, they are so thrilled with their experience that they want to attend again and again. This site fills up quickly when we have it available as an event. The 100 Bagged Lunches we make prior to the P.A. Days are so successful that we can finish them in less than 1 hour, incredible. We also visit the SSVP Store as well when we have an overflow of youth on P.A. Days.
The most moving experience of this year has to be our cleaning of the grave sites of the impoverished soldiers at the “Last Post” area in the Woodland Cemetery in London, Ontario. We had the privilege of scrubbing and cleaning the grave stone and area in preparations of the Remembrance Day Celebrations. The soldier that were laid to rest in this area found themselves in destitute and without means for a decent burial. The Government of Canada through the “The Last Post Fund” donates to these men and women to give them a decent and honourable resting place for eternality. We just felt it to be our responsibility to do our part to respect them for what they gave up for all of us.
We have so many more events this year and many miles to travel in faith with our young people. We are truly blessed with the energy and generous hearts of our youth and parish supporters but we are most grateful to the parents who share with us their children, giving us the opportunity to make them into Disciples of Christ. We all must say YES when we are called to serve, and to do this with love, respect, justice and joy.
God bless, in Christ Lil Mulder – Youth Adviser