I’d like to make a special appeal for some of our high school boys.
I’ve planned a spring break trip to Orlando which will include a day at Disneyworld, a day at the beach, Florida sightseeing and a visit to Bethune Cookman (an HBCU in Daytona).
This is a group of four boys who have been with us since the fifth grade, some younger. This year they will be completing their sophomore and junior years in high school. We typically do a high school spring break trip every few years as a reward for consistent attendance in our activities and to stoke interest in post high school opportunities such as college, trade school or some other job training.
This group is different. Our teenagers who have come to high school since Covid have had a particularly difficult path. The effect of distance learning on our youth has been devastating. Our young people have often been left on their own to continue their education at home, with no direct adult supervision. The best case scenario is that they’ve fallen behind, the worst case scenario is that they’ve given up. In every case there have been significant gaps in their education. The motivation to work hard at school in many cases has evaporated.
Another hardship is the communities in which they live. Since George Floyd things have been more perilous for our youth outside on the streets than they have been for many years. There are simply no boundaries, or respect for age when it comes to crime, gangs and violence now. Hopelessness and boredom abound. Our young people are tempted each and every day by the lure of gang involvement and criminal behavior that results in frequent street shootings and car theft.
This group of boys live right in the middle of all this, yet have resisted the temptation to give themselves fully over to despair. For that reason, I am planning a trip unlike our usual spring trips. I want to make a special memory for them, and allow them to have an experience of childhood which eludes many children here. Will you help?
I’m asking for a contribution beyond your usual giving. This trip will be more expensive than usual, including transportation, lodging, food and attraction fees. Any amount you can contribute would be appreciated. Thank you for your partnership with us in loving Christ’s children!