Yelm Youth Share Acts of Kindness

February 15, 2017 | Heidi Baumgartner

Cara Hilde had a customer come to the fuel station kiosk window to set a fuel prepay. Before he could say an amount, a group of five young people approached, said they were from the local Adventist church, explained they were sharing random acts of kindness and offered to pay for the customer’s gas.

“I had goose bumps from head to toe,” Hilde writes. She was so moved by the experience she wrote an email to Yelm Church.

“Even though it wasn’t for me, I just had to … tell them 'thank you,'” Hilde says. “Your group of five made my day so much brighter ... .”

Catching the Vision

The youth group at Yelm Church returned home from Washington Adventist Camp Meeting in 2016 inspired by the introduction of the Dollar Club.

“When we saw the video at camp meeting, we felt inspired by the Holy Spirit to reach out to our community by paying forward simple, random acts of kindness,” the Yelm youth group says in an email. “We, as young people of our church, felt the need to be out there to share God’s love to our local people and to grow together with them. Our world seems to be so out of place right now, and we as a youth group will take a stand for Jesus because action speaks louder than words.”

The very next week, the Yelm youth group — including Ena Uelese, A.J. Uelese, Shelley Uelese and Isabel Groves — presented the church service and showed their church family the value of getting outside comfort zones to share God’s grace in the community.

They told their church family, “We want to introduce Jesus to those that do not know Him and to bring those who already know Him even closer to Him. We want to plant a seed and trust God to do the rest. We don’t have what it takes, but we have Jesus.”

Between July 2016 and January 2017, Yelm youth raised $1,135 for their Dollar Club experience. In early January, Yelm youth went to a laundromat, Walmart, the Dollar Store and gas stations.

“People in our community were shocked and said they heard about these random acts of kindness in other states, but they never thought it would happen in Yelm,” says Lua Uelese, Yelm youth leader. “God sent us to the right people who were really in need in the time right after the holidays.”