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Wesley Monumental Youth give sweat equity to serve their community


By Allison Lindsey, Advocate contributor 

Soaking up one of the last weeks of summer vacation for youth at Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church meant serving God and giving sweat equity for the kingdom through their Local Missions Week.

Around 30 middle and high school students and their adult volunteers spent a week doing service projects around Savannah. They sweated through hot days and put in hard work as they put their faith into practice.

“The Local Missions Week is great for our students because they get to learn about all of the needs right here in our own community and discover ways that God can use them to help,” said Rev. James Owens, Director of Student Ministries at Wesley Monumental UMC in downtown Savannah, Ga.

One of their projects was part of a unique community collaboration with Family Promise of the Coastal Empire, an organization that partners with local groups and ministries to address family homelessness, and Design For Good, a program of the Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD). Design for Good assigns SCAD students with community organizations for revitalization projects in areas of the city. 

For this project, SCAD students and Wesley Monumental students assisted with two houses that will be used by Family Promise to house transitionally homeless families. The youth helped build a deck on each one and helped paint one of them. This contribution paved the way for SCAD students to use their creativity and talents to create a fun outdoor space for families to enjoy. {WTOC News in Savannah shares about the partnership}

In addition to building and painting the deck for these transitional houses, Wesley Monumental youth volunteers also painted an old church building that will be used as a community center for seniors and children. They also contributed to Wesley Monumental’s food donation and refugee ministries by sorting and delivering items. 

Owens shared that volunteering right there at the church was an added bonus for his students.

“They also got to be a part of missions efforts that our church is involved with, in an on-going manner,” said Owens. “The students and our awesome team of adult volunteers served enthusiastically and made it an awesome week!”

Family Promise is a national non-profit organization that offers a holistic approach to family homelessness. United Methodist congregations throughout South Georgia partner with the Family Promise’s program through the rotational shelter model in which families experiencing homelessness are temporarily hosted by different local congregations each week and are provided with a safe place to stay, meals, and assistance in meeting their needs. Another model known as the static housing model offers families the opportunity to stay at the same location while they are part of the Family Promise Program. 


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