Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Everything's Better When We're in it Together

This summer has been phenomenal!  
We had about 200 kids come through Joel’s Place to play games, skate, bike, scooter, go to concerts, do community service and so much more.

The success we experienced this summer was possible through the cooperation and collaboration of our many community partners. I’d like to highlight some of the impact these partnerships have made the past 3 months.

Food Service Program: Our partnership with the Boys &Girls Club, Literacy Council and The Fairbanks Community Food Bank made it possible to serve an average of 500 meals and snacks per week throughout the community!

Random People Who Care: A group of volunteers committed to service projects every Monday throughout the summer. They coordinated with agencies, churches and individuals in need of assistance to bring groups of young people to serve in the community. We had 21 young people serve in different projects such as planting our garden, painting some of the nursery and children's rooms at Bethel church, cleaning a neglected section of Birch Hill cemetery, helping a widow with yard work and doing basically whatever was asked of them. 
At the end of the summer, the youth were treated to an unforgettable day of horseback riding and zip-lining at Dry Creek Community!

Bone Builder Backpacks: Throughout the summer, we provided 178 kids with healthy snacks and easy to prepare meals for the weekend. This major effort came together through the efforts of the Fairbanks Community Food Bank, who collected and stored the food for us over the spring, to The Landing Church, who collected enough healthy food each week to keep the backpacks filled, to Fairbanks Resource Agency who provided the volunteers each week to pack the bags to some individual volunteers who faithfully loaded their vehicles with boxes upon boxes of food and took them to The Salvation Army, Birch Park Summer Program, Joel's Place, and Christ is The Answer Church for distribution. And finally, Spirit of Alaska Credit Union who, along with The Landing Church, provided school backpacks for each child in the program!

Skate The Park: On August 30th, we held the (hopefully) First Annual Skate The Park event at Pioneer Park. over 200 people came out and joined the Joel's Place Ride Team, the Fairbanks Rollergirls and Jr. Derby, and a university-affiliated sportsing team, that can not be named. This was the brainchild of Glenner Anderson from KWLF, who allowed us to tag along and turn it into a fundraiser and outreach for Joel's Place. It didn't rain, there were only 2 injuries and tons of families made donations and had a blast skating the park!  

The youth at Joel’s Place see that our community cares about them and is willing to invest in them. They are given opportunities to give back. It’s a win-win.

We are so incredibly grateful for our community partnerships, for the volunteers and donors who help us keep the doors open and help keep Joel’s Place rolling!