Teens Want to do good in their Community!
Teens were everywhere this past week, helping out their neighbors, big smiles on their faces AND no cell phones in sight!! Does it have to take a hurricane to reveal the potential in our teens?
I live down by the beach and although my house was surrounded by four feet of water, our damage was minimal because of the flood codes introduced when my house was built seven years ago. But there was still a lot of mess and work to do. I mentioned to my pastor about my neighbors’ situations, how they had lost most of their belongings as the floods reached the middle of their first floors and how much was needed in the beach area to help them and others clean up and VOILA, Alida Ward of Greenfield Hill Congregational Church sent the word out to the teenagers of her youth group and their families and IMMEDIATELY the teens responded to say “we want to help”!
Check out the video that is making the rounds on Facebook (link attached) showing how much they gave and got back from shoveling sand, clearing out people’s houses and throwing out belongings saturated with water and raw sewage (can you imagine!!!). All with a smile on their faces and a kind word to the home owners who were experiencing their worst nightmare.
I witnessed teenagers helping out, side by side with their parents, siblings, older members of the church AND enjoying themselves. There was NO DRAMA, no cyber bullying, no grumbling, no texting, a lot of laughter but sympathy and empathy too, making connections throughout our community. What a revelation about what works with our kids.
Parents Modeling Good Deeds
I believe that what we saw was parents modeling for their children about what to do in a crisis. There were many Moms and Dads down here getting down and dirty alongside their children. This helped inspire the teens to show us what they can do!!
The previous week, the same youth group of Greenfield Hill Congregational Church made dinners for about 75 local homeless people at Operation Hope. They had no school and no power and they could have slept or texted all day but they came in droves to make chicken casserolei, salad and cookies for those less fortunate than themselves. Why do we not see these stories? We need to make sure they are noticed.
And let’s listen to the messages that our kids are sending us- They like to help people! Can we as adults be more involved in the community ourselves, bringing our children along so they can give and receive and learn from these experiences and their own efforts. Its not all about Harvard or Yale! Its about community. Connecting to one another and being good citizens. lets all turn off our phones for an hour or two each week and help out where we can!