TurningPoint, Glide Youth Hit the Streets for Global Youth Day

June 17, 2016 | Lonnie Wibberding

On Global Youth Day, which fell on March 19 this year, 43 youth and staff stormed the streets of Roseburg, Ore., to deliver cheer and encouragement to a community still hurting from a mass shooting five months earlier. Although nine people died in the shooting, hundreds still live with the pain of the loss of a friend or family member.

The afternoon was spent taking care baskets to victims’ families and emergency responders in Roseburg. New tears were shed as victim's families realized people they have never met still remember and care. Care baskets were also taken to the first responders throughout the community. In an expression of gratitude, two of the fire stations invited the youth to tour of the station.

The group split into three smaller groups in the morning. One group headed to an Alzheimer's care facility, while another went to a long-term care facility, whose residents rarely get visitors. The third group fed the homeless in a park and distributed care packages filled with personal hygiene supplies, candy bars and socks.

"I was surprised how many children were there [at the park]," says Josiah Buster, a youth from TurningPoint Church. Gerry Washburn, Roseburg School District superintendent, says there are more than 200 homeless kids in his district.

At the Alzheimer's care facility, the youth played games and painted the nails of the residence. Abby Punches from the Glide Church remembers one lady she talked to. "The lady told me, 'You're pretty,'" Punches says. "Then there was a pause as she said, 'I used to be pretty.'" Punches assured her that real beauty that doesn't fade is on the inside.

The last group sang songs and handed out 38 vases of flowers the care facility residents.

When asked by Lisa Buster, TurningPoint Church youth leader, if the youth wanted to do community service projects in addition to Global Youth Day, they answered with a unanimous cry, “Yes!"

If you would like to be involved in Global Youth Day next year, you can find more information at globalyouthday.org.