You might be a volunteer who spends their time helping teens at youth group or an after-school program. Maybe you focus on helping kids who need to find their place in life or who need help in school. Whatever the case, what you are doing matters. It matters so much.
The enemy will try to tell you that there is too much trouble in our world and that what you do doesn’t matter. He will try to sway you to stop helping teens, or children, or young adults. But today I’m sharing a story from a teen named Bryanna who found hope with a Gospel-centered Children’s Program called Rose City Kids. The people there literally helped to save her life. ~Sasha
What you need to know about helping teens. It could save a life…
Guest Post by Bryanna
About a year and a half ago, after months of confusion and searching and pain, I received my diagnosis. The doctor told me I was depressed. It wasn’t surprising.
After months of my chest feeling like it was collapsing and having the inability to breathe or cope with the anxiety and pressure that I pushed on myself to work harder and harder and be better and do better so I could just be enough for the societal standard that judged you and told you that you were worthless.
I just wanted to be enough for myself. Just once. I stopped caring about myself and my grades slipped and I wasn’t sleeping or eating or doing anything.
Even taking a shower was a chore. Even with a blade tearing my wrists and thighs open and blood dripping from every crevice I created and every time I burned off the top layer of skin with a match just to feel numb or feel something or calm down or breathe, if you asked me, I was fine.
Telling my Story
With all these built up emotions and bloodstained wrists, I needed to confide in someone. I told a Rose City Kids leader trusting that she would keep it to herself, which she didn’t. But if she would have kept that to herself, I wouldn’t be alive today. Rose City Kids is the reason that I made it to the hospital in time when I took 20 Tylenol in the hopes that I wouldn’t have to feel anymore. After 3 days of recovery, I felt like a new person. I couldn’t believe how thoughtless I could have been to take my own life.
The People Who Helped
I had everyone behind me from Rose City Kids. I got back on my feet and found my way. I am currently 8 months free from self-harm and I have the amazing people from Rose City Kids to thank for that. Things are still difficult. Everyday is a constant battle between wanting to hurt myself but not wanting to hurt anyone else or disappoint myself or anyone else. With the help of certain individuals, I have learned my limits and have been able to resist these urges and make healthy decisions for myself.
I am going to tell you right now that Rose City Kids is not just some children’s program. It is home to kids that don’t have a stable one. It’s where you meet your best friends, where you are made to feel special. It’s a place where there are individuals that take time out of their schedule to intentionally invest in and love on children that need it most. These kids are told that they are loved and important and enough. They don’t have to be anyone but themselves. Rose City Kids has been my safe haven for so many years and I appreciate it so much as it continues to be a safe haven for me and many others.
We All Have a Story
Every child has a story that they want to be heard. They all have something in them that may be hard to deal with. They all have something to offer the world and they just may need us to help them see their potential. I want our kids to choose hope because hope is the only thing stronger than fear and the only thing telling them that they need not fear because they are not useless. They are purposeful and powerful individuals, and they are worth so much more than they think and once they know that, there is nothing stopping them. They are Rose City Kids.
At Such a Time as This, we believe that each person matters. We know that God has made each of us with a unique purpose – with a special set of giftings, aptitudes, and even a specific path we had to walk to make us who we are.
Maybe you volunteer or have thought about helping teens and kids. If you have, I hope you leave today feeling encouraged that you are doing a wonderful thing. You are helping others more than you know. If you have thought about volunteering at an organization like RCK – please do. Find out more today and just go for it. If there isn’t a children’s program around you, there are all kinds of places you can make a difference in the life of a child. Perhaps it means volunteering for Awana’s, as a Sunday School teacher, or volunteering at an after school program — or maybe it means something else.
Perhaps God is laying it upon your heart to start a program like this. Please pray about this today and if God is speaking – act in faith accordingly.
About the Author:
Hi, my name is Bryanna. I entered Rose City Kids about eight years ago, at the young age of nine. I immediately fell in love with the program, the leaders and the overall environment that seemed to fill the void in my life.
At the age of thirteen, I took the opportunity to join the junior leadership program and successfully graduated from it two years later with having obtained the necessary knowledge and experience to successfully serve as a leader in my community. I’m now seventeen and volunteer for the Saturday program on the bus and in the theatre, I take part in-house visits and have just this past season started volunteering for our Wednesday tutoring program. I can’t remember a time when Rose City Kids wasn’t present in my life. My life didn’t really start until Rose City Kids became my foundation.
When I first became involved with Rose City Kids, I loved it and wanted to spend every moment inside the theatre walls but beyond loving the environment with children bursting with energy and yearning for attention, it was nothing more than just a children’s’ program. The last year of my life has been a real eye-opener and I can’t overlook or underestimate how amazing and astonishing this program really is.
About Rose City Kids:
Rose City Kids is concerned with helping teens but it starts, usually with kids. Rose City Kids currently runs a number of weekly and weekend initiatives, reaching many children across our city. Role-modeling, building relationships, and providing practical assistance are just some of the keys to how we have effectively broken the cycle of poverty for countless children’s lives. Bi-weekly hundreds of children receive a bus ride to and from RCK, a hot meal and a treat to take home. Each child will also receive a personal home visit from a caring, loving member of Rose City Kids.
This program hosts over 450 children aged 5-11, giving them a place to have fun and make friends. Held every other Saturday, our programs provide children with a fun atmosphere, where they are taught positive attitudes and Biblical teaching. The programs let the kids enjoy games, songs, prizes and food. We teach principles to live by all found in the Word of God. It is a faith-based program that provides help to kids who need it. To find out of more of how this started and how they are serving, go to their website here.
Here are the basics of what RCK believes:
Relationship: We value relationships because we value people. We want to be personally involved in each child’s life. Through relationships we are able to demonstrate accountability and become a vital part in each child’s life.
Dedication: We place value on time and commitment to the children. We aim to be a constant in their lives.
Integrity: Our team believes in being credible leaders. We want to live out what we teach. We want to lead by example.
Quality: We value excellence. We care about the little things and the big things. When quality becomes a value, you raise the bar. Though our program consistently grows in quantity, we never want to become mediocre in the way we do things.
Servanthood: Servanthood is the true definition of leadership. Often servanthood requires sacrifice: giving up time, loving others when it’s hard, doing jobs that aren’t enjoyable…but we value serving others. (Source)