I just finished my first session at the ServiceUnites 2018 Conference.

The two presenters are from faith-based organizations and work with youth on a daily basis – not just with one-time service projects and mission trips but in developing ways for service to be a part of life.

Theresa Winnett is the Founder of Teach One Reach One Ministries and approaches service from an Educator’s perspective.

P. Kelly Baldwin is the National Director of Youth Programs for HOPE Worldwide and works with large, diverse groups of youth volunteers.

The highlight of their workshop was to cover how to best plan for and prepare youth for service projects.  I could really relate to what they shared.

For planning – it goes beyond planning the logistics but planning for the “why” of doing the service.  You must make sure this is communicated to the youth.  It also goes beyond “it helps people” or “it makes me feel good.”  If youth know the “why” then the service if more effective,

Also, to get more buy-in from the youth – have them help plan!

For preparing – there are a lot of things that must go in to preparing youth to serve.  We never want to create a “me vs. them” mentality so find ways to prepare the youth for this. It could include empathy training, language “what to say, what words not to say” training, and going over certain policies.

Lastly – Reflection is KEY! I loved that the presenter said, “reflection helps clear up any misunderstandings.”

Both organizations offer some AWESOME resources for anyone that organizes service projects for youth!

Teach One Reach One – great downloaded resources of all kinds

HOPE Worldwide – I will be checking out their HOPE Scouts program – Never too young to serve!

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