Campmeeting Earliteens Win Award
Earliteens attending camp meeting last summer in Gladstone, Ore., received an award in December 2008, from the City of Gladstone. Wade Byers, Gladstone mayor, and Frank Grace, Gladstone chief of police, presented a certificate to Rhonda Whitney, Oregon Conference community outreach director, in recognition of the "outstanding community service" provided by the Earliteen department.
The Earliteens, responding to a request from the city, joined other groups to distribute door hangers to all 14,000 residents in one weekend. The students covered almost three times as many homes as expected, allowing the city to finish distribution ahead of schedule.
Byers reminded the Award Dinner audience of Gladstone's tight budget and remarked how this kind of volunteer help supplements the community tax base in very tangible ways.
Monte Robison, Earliteen leader and Open Arms Church pastor, shares the sense of excitement the teens felt as they prepared for this voluntary outreach event. "They were so excited," he says, "to have so much fun helping the community. It was very positive all the way around."
The Earliteens also experienced working with the leaders of the community. After hearing a short pep talk by Grace, one Earliteen observes, "He's pretty cool, for a policeman." About the Earliteens, Grace says, "They were a great group. Wow!"