Wednesday, July 16, 2014

CSM Detroit Pilot Group a Success!

Our first CSM Detroit pilot group was a huge success! We hosted 34 high school students and leaders from St. John's, MI and they experienced a meaningful week serving in a variety of ways around the city. The majority of the group went to Detroit Rescue Mission as their anchor site in the afternoons, an organization that provides services to 1,800 individuals in need and serves more than 3,400 meals to the hungry and homeless in the city every day. We were able to be a huge blessing to them by cleaning out their basement, organizing their clothing donation room, and doing various other tasks that the ministry wouldn't have had time or resources to do in their daily routine of caring for so many people in Detroit.

We stayed at Hope Community Church, our very gracious housing partner for the summer, and got to thank them for their hospitality by weeding and doing various other maintenance tasks around the church. Some students had the opportunity to do a huge yard clean-up for several neighbors down the street from Hope, one of them being a woman who we invited to share her beautiful, powerful testimony with our whole group during a nightly debriefing session. 

The Capuchin Soup Kitchen was another site we had the privilege to serve at. Our students worked hard to sort items in their distribution center, namely a lot of clothes and potatoes! Afterward, we got to visit with some new friends at the soup kitchen and eat lunch with them. 

The group served at two different urban gardens as well, Earthworks and Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision, and learned about the huge urban farming movement currently happening in the city. We got to plant squash, weed gardens, and harvest black raspberries. 

YouthWorks-Detroit put on a fun event for our group and their summer interns Tuesday night that we all enjoyed. We got to participate in a Ceilidh dance (pronounced kay-lee), which is a traditional Scottish and Irish dance. One of YouthWorks-Detroit's interns from Scotland taught us how it's done and we all learned some new moves! Some of the other interns were able to share their experiences in Detroit this summer with our group. 

With this stellar first pilot group under our belts, we are so excited for future groups to come serve in Detroit!

- Emily Hoffmann, CSM Detroit Site Coordinator

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