The River Hills Community Church youth group made it a mission to help at home.
About 12 children split into three groups, spending June 17-19 working throughout Lake Wylie.
“Youth don’t have to go on exotic trips to make a difference,” said Martha Stein, church outreach team leader.
During the three days, they spent time at The Crossings in Steele Creek, Palmetto Pregnancy Center in Lake Wylie, Tender Hearts in York, Clover Area Assistance Center in Clover and other locations.
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“We aren’t spending thousands to go to Honduras or Haiti like we have before,” said Marcy Little, church youth director. “This year we decided to focus in the community.”
Martha Park, who helped coordinate the mission events for the week, said “Our church gives financial donations for local missions. The community decides to be the hands and feet of Jesus and volunteer locally.”
The Crossings at Steele Creek, a senior living facility at 13600 S. Tryon St., was the first stop the morning of June 17 led by Little. Vanessa Van Slambrook, Tori Herberger and daughter Kaity Little led a devotional prayer and an activity.
“It feels good to help people here,” said Van Slambrook, 17. “It’s nice seeing things you did in the community. You don’t need to travel the world to make a difference.”
Paneen Froneberger, a frequent visitor and Marcy Little’s mother, led an activity with youth and seniors answering questions about their favorite things. The lesson being taught was “regardless of where you are, where you live or how old you are, there’s always something you have in common. Talk to them. Find what you have in common and build a community,” Froneberger said. “When you are in a community with other people, life is better.”
The last mission of the day was to Palmetto Pregnancy Center at 6393 Lake Wylie Road.
“We are blessed, we are in this together,” said Lorrie Domin, director at the center. “The community has been supportive and encouraging. I love seeing youth groups come in. Seeing the young girls giving back, serving and growing in their community is empowering.”
The girls sorted and organized diapers, books, clothing and gifted ultrasound packages.
“It’s fun to help people and it feels good to make people happy,” said Olivia Fife, 12, as she helped put together gifts at the center. “And to help them have enough as I do.”