It’s hard to believe we are only 4 months away from our Summer Missions Trip to Give Kids the World. A trip of this magnitude requires a lot of planning, and I am happy to say the plans are moving forward on schedule! Plane tickets have been purchased, rental vehicles have been reserved, and the house we will be staying at has been rented.

Though the experience at Give Kids the World is invaluable to our youth and youth sponsors, there is, unfortunately, a significant cost involved in a trip like this. In anticipation of this, the youth have been hard at work raising the funds needed. I am very proud of their efforts, and I am happy to report that they have already raised $6,000 for this trip through events like our Fall Bazaar, Taters ‘n Talent, and a disbursement from our Permanent Fund. We have some exciting new fundraisers planned over the next few months, so keep an eye on upcoming newsletters for details!

Participating in fundraisers is only a part of how our youth are financing their trip. Missions work and helping others starts at home, and our youth will be earning money towards their trip to Give Kids the World through volunteer hours here at Hazelwood and out in the community. They will each receive $5 per service hour worked ($10 per service hour if it is something promoted through our church), up to a total of $400 per person. So far, the youth have turned in over 200 service hours during the last few months! Those hours were spent ringing bells for The Salvation Army, helping out at Hazelwood during All-Church Work Days, running camps for kids, working with the homeless, and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. These service hours come from their involvement with Hazelwood and other groups like 4H, sports teams, Student Council, and National Honors Society.

Give Kids the World is an incredible experience for all involved, and our youth know this trip wouldn’t be possible without the support of the congregation. It’s not just your financial help that is appreciated; your prayers, kind words, and listening ears mean so much! Our youth are our future, and we have the privilege of helping shape that future through the faith and values we impart. Please join me in encouraging our youth to keep up the great work!

~James Petty