Open House Draws New Faces to 18 South at Street Fair

One never quite knows what will happen when attempting to pull off an open house event and give away 100 free lunches. Will anyone who cares about the mission of the nonprofit show up, or will you simply feed the masses of hungry bellies looking for a free bite to eat? I was more than pleasantly surprised with the outcome of 18 South Youth Center’s open house this past Saturday, Aug. 11 at the Red Lion Street Fair.

We handed out 100 free lunch tickets, put up a few handmade signs around the fair, and, of course, had no trouble giving away all of the hot dogs, chips, baked goods, and sodas. What went beyond my expectations were the 25 teens who discovered the center for the first time that day and left with a flyer and a sense of excitement to come back during an upcoming open door night.

Even further beyond my hopes for the day was forging relationships with 5 new potential volunteers who were sincerely interested in helping our cause in any way possible, at a time when we are desiring new faces and fresh ideas. I also was able to continue building relationships with a handful of very new volunteers who came out to help run various activities at the Street Fair on behalf of 18 South.

To top it all off, I met with two pastors who were eager to become plugged into the cycle of what we hope to accomplish through our center. We deeply desire to partner with local churches and become a part of their missions programs as we seek additional finances and crops where we can harvest volunteers and mentors to help steward our organization into the future of God’s kingdom.

Special props goes out to the Giant Food Stores, Weis Markets, and Jerry’s Great Value stores in Red Lion for contributing gift cards to cover the cost of our 100 free lunches!

Like I said, an extremely successful day. I couldn’t have done it without the help of our faithful volunteers and board members. Things are really starting to come together in my new position, and I feel blessed to be a part of God’s work with the youth of Red Lion.

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18 South Youth Ministries
P.O. Box 472
Red Lion, PA 17356

18 South Youth Ministries

18 South Youth Ministries strives to create opportunities for caring, responsible adults with Christian values to build authentic relationships with youth. The nonprofit operates 18 South Youth Center in Red Lion, Pa., which has reached more than 1,000 teens since it opened in November 2007.