Each year in May as we are winding down the YoungLives school year activities, we try to express our thankfulness to our volunteers. It’s hard. These are friends that have given so much. Have done sooooo much. There really is no way for us to repay them, nor do they ever expect anything in return. But – we reeeeeealllly want to serve them for once. To tell them how much they mean to us, to the ministry, to the Lord. And…so we try! This year, Maria & Laurie – our Santa Ana and Huntington Beach Club Coordinators and couple other team leaders put together beautiful, intimate gatherings.
Laurie – Every month during the school year we get the fun privilege of putting on Club for YoungLives. Club is a party-like atmosphere for teens with a gospel message, music, games, crafts and a delicious meal. Each Club event needs around 30 volunteers to make it all happen. From organizing crafts and games to singing and playing music, cooking and serving meals, mentoring & hanging out with teenagers, and taking care of their beautiful babies. None of it could happen without our volunteers.
On a Saturday morning we had the awesome opportunity to appreciate our volunteers through a beautiful brunch! Our Childcare Coordinator, Amanda offered her backyard for the event. Place settings and chairs were set up in one long family style table providing a cozy atmosphere. The Good Flower Co. provided beautiful flowers for the dining tables and a lovely arrangement for the food table.
We served coffee, juice, bagels with all the toppings, a chia seed pudding bar and delicious homemade quiches from a friend.
It was so nice to get to sit and share a meal with the people that we serve alongside at YoungLives each month. So many great conversations were had and it was just so good to spend unhurried time together.
Each person was also given a cool Young Life Thred Journal as a gift. We could never do enough to show how much we appreciate our volunteers but I pray that the brunch gave them an idea of how loved and valued they are!
Maria – Gather at Our Table!
We gathered at our table to celebrate this past school year’s accomplishments and God’s blessings. My family and I opened up our home and invited the precious volunteers that serve at the Santa Ana Club.
What’s better than a home cooked meal?! My hubby’s specialty is smoking meat, so we served BBQ smoked pulled pork and brisket. We also served delicious antipasto salad and sides. As an added treat we spoiled our guests with a delicious tiramisu, brownies and cream puffs. These volunteers have diligently served and given their time away from home this past school year, and we wanted to make sure they knew how much we appreciate their dedication to this ministry.
As we gathered in our back yard, I felt a sense of fulfillment. The yard was filled with not only my family but also my YoungLives family. Our table not only had a delicious meal but the conversations that filled the tables were full of laughter, great conversations and praise reports. It was a sweet time while we shared some of our favorite stories of serving in the YoungLives Ministry.
Towards the end of the event we gave each of our volunteers a Thred Journal as a gift. Myrna shared how the Thred Journal would be a great addition to our daily prayer and devotion time.
In the past we’ve opened our home to host young teen moms and their families. My heart is filled by God allowing my family to host this year’s Volunteer Appreciation lunch. It is evident that the volunteers have made a positive impact in the teen family’s lives. We have seen lives transformed and this gathering was a celebration of all that God has done. I will say that the fondest memories are made when you are gathered around the table.