Growing in Trust: Teens and Responsibilities

During my first few months as the director of 18 South Youth Center, I’ve been pleased and humbled to learn how passionate our teens are about this center. The regulars who spend two nights a week with us will come early to help us rearrange furniture or do some extra cleaning after the floors have been re-waxed. They’ll stay late to help us clean up and take out the trash. They’ll volunteer to come in during the day to move in new pieces of furniture, without my having to ask. It’s the little things that make my heart swell.

More recently, we’ve been overwhelmingly impressed with how much we can trust the teens with responsibility. My husband, Josh, who has volunteered at the center since it opened nearly five years ago, experienced a landmark this year at the Red Lion Street Fair. He’s volunteered the past few years to organize a schedule of teens to help him run the dunk tank during the day. This year was the first where he was able to take a break and walk away for an hour or two to enjoy the fair because of the level of trust that has developed between himself and the teens who help him each year.

So for a couple of hours, the tank was managed entirely by 18 South attendees – both current and those who are too old to attend the center anymore but want to be involved and help out in any way they can. This was a huge accomplishment for our youth. They brought in more than $500 in donations that day, and we are so proud of them, their growth, and their commitment.

We owe a special thanks to the Red Lion Area Business Association, which sponsors the dunk tank each year on behalf of 18 South. This gesture does more than raise funds to support our center – it’s providing an opportunity to cultivate trust, responsibility, and leadership among Red Lion’s youth.

I am beyond humbled to serve these teens.

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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.