Youth Posts

A Sweet Sixteen

Written by, Aneta Storvik, Public Relations Coordinator

Lately, God has been highlighting scripture to me on the importance of putting the needs of others above my own – selfless love. In our day-to-day lives it’s easy to only think about ourselves and what we need, but God asks us to be intentional about serving others!

A few months ago,  a development officer came racing into my office telling me about a young girl who donated her birthday to the Mission. Instead of anticipating gifts for herself, she was inspired to have her friends bring some kind of donation for Denver Rescue Mission! This was her 16th birthday too – and she desired to make it about serving others and not accumulating more for herself.

I felt inspired and refreshed to hear that a teenager  donated her birthday gifts, on her SWEET SIXTEEN, to make someone else feel important. This is rare, especially when I remember watching a t.v. show about girls and boys going OVER and BEYOND to celebrate their 16th birthdays.

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I asked Bekah to share her experience…

“This October was my 16th birthday. I was really looking forward to turning 16 because I feel like this year is a milestone. I decided to have a big party with my closest friends, but I already felt like I had all the gifts I needed. My parents suggested that I give back to the community instead of ask for presents. I thought this was a great idea, so I asked all my friends to bring a money donation for Denver Rescue Mission to the party as a gift.

When I saw how many people gave money, and how much money we raised, I was honored and amazed. I was not expecting to be able to give so much. I feel like I made the perfect choice for my 16th birthday. I feel like I followed in Christ’s footsteps, at least in a small way, and I was also able to serve people in need. My family took a tour of Denver Rescue Mission’s The Crossing near Stapleton, and I loved to see all the work Denver Rescue Mission is doing. I am proud to be a part of that by choosing to donate my birthday money to Denver Rescue Mission.”

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— Let me leave you with these words —

Philippians 2:1-4
If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.


Young professionals impact youth

You’ve graduated college and you’re in the beginning stages of your career and looking for ways to give back.  There are multiple ways to volunteer; for Jenni it was mentoring, “I had recently switched jobs and knew that I needed to make volunteering more important in my life.” Jenni has been a mentor through Save Our Youth (SOY) since October 2011.

Jenni and Jonae

There are many benefits to mentoring through SOY. Jenni appreciates the time and commitment that the SOY staff places on matching mentors and mentees. Mentor specialists at SOY ensure that all youth are the ones requesting mentors. Most other mentoring organizations have parents or guardians request mentors – it makes a big difference when the child asks! Thorough interviews with mentors and mentees are also done to make sure all matches are compatible and share the same interests.

Jonae, Jenni’s mentee, enjoys spending time at Jenni’s house. “We did a project from, uh [Jenni cuts in] Pinterest! She did the whole project with me. We went to Home Depot to cut the wood and then we just ‘madge padged’ some pictures onto the wood,” said Jonae.

Drew Witt, another mentor through SOY, moved to Colorado to plant a Church downtown while starting his own painting company. When you ask Drew why he takes time out of his busy life for mentoring he says, “The need, there’s such a need for mentoring. To be able to give back and invest in kids, that’s where my heart lies.”

David and Drew

For Drew and his mentee David, they find themselves doing more ‘guy’ activities. “We had a really good time at the last Avalanche game because it went to overtime. It was 10:00 p.m. and we were going crazy!” recalls David.

SOY makes it a priority to provide all mentors with free resources. Almost weekly, mentors are emailed with FREE ticket opportunities for sporting events, plays or concerts.

There are many other kids like David, who before meeting Drew said, “I really wanted a mentor – someone I can look up to.”

Denver Rescue Mission (DRM) partners with SOY.  When families move in to The Crossing, all the kids between 10 and 17 years-old are informed about the mentoring program. Joe Bermingham, youth coordinator at DRM, believes that the mentoring program is a significant part in the youth experience. “The kids that participate in the mentoring program have a better chance of graduating high school and pursuing college. Becoming a mentor truly impacts a child’s future – it’s incredible to witness the impact,” says Joe.

What would it look like to actually take the time to invest in another life? To get to know them, spend time with them, and to love them? Find out by contacting Sarah Caldwell at SCaldwell@denrescue.org and begin the fulfilling adventure of mentorship!

Written by, David Gauch (Public Relations Intern)