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The Youth Group Contribution Project

First Baptist Church Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI

An anonymous member of the congregation donated money for the youth to each choose a cause or organization that was important to them and then give the money to that cause. Each youth group member had $50 to use for this purpose, and they spent time this fall looking into causes and organizations and deciding what was most important to them. Some of the kids combined their contributions. In worship on Sunday, December 18, they shared how they used these contributions:

  • Sydney and Zachary Ross (7th grade) gave $100 to help a family whose mother (a single mom) had died suddenly, leaving her 10 year-old son in the care of her young adult daughter. Syd and Zach knew about this family because their mother had been the boy's teacher when he was in first grade. They gave their money to a fundraiser for the family, saying, "We can't imagine what it would be like to lose our mom or dad."
  • Sam Halliday (7th grade) gave $50 to the American Cancer Society for researching and developing a cure for cancer. He chose this cause because his grandmother, Diane Wines, died of cancer in September.
  • Charlie Duke (7th grade) gave $50 to the Standing Rock Water Protectors Legal Collective to help with legal aid for people who had been arrested while protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. He chose this cause because he felt like what was happening at Standing Rock was not fair, and he believes that legal efforts can help.
  • Rob Duke (7th grade) gave $50 to the Foundation for Feline Renal Research to help find a cure for kidney disease in cats. He chose this cause because his cat, Sophie, died of kidney failure in October.
  • Mali Kerschbaum (8th grade) gave $50 to the Huron Valley Humane Society to save animals because she loves animals.
  • Max Halliday and Isaac Thompson (9th grade) gave $100 to the World Wildlife Fund, where it will be used to further efforts to save endangered species and their habitats. They chose WWF because, in the words of Isaac, "it is a travesty for a species to go extinct because of human stupidity."
  • Cal Floyd (11th grade) used $50 to purchase warm socks for our Vespers guests, saying that with the cold winter we're having, he thought that warm clothing would be greatly appreciated.

The youth were excited to have a chance to make a meaningful contribution to something that mattered to them, and they were so grateful to our congregation, and especially to our anonymous donor, for empowering them to make a difference in this way. It was inspiring to hear them share about their hopes and dreams. Thank you, First Baptist, for being a place that nurtures hope and equips people to make a difference.

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