May 26, 2011

Area High School Students Encouraged to say ‘YES’ to Week of Service in Saginaw

Youth Encounter Service (YES) is accepting youth applications for the weeklong service camp. Those in need of minor home repairs are also being sought.

SAGINAW — The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw is looking for a few good young men and women to participate in a weeklong service camp that allows high school students to learn about and fight poverty, while reaching out to the poor.

Youth will spend five days of their summer vacation, June 19-24, sprucing up yards and making minor repairs to four homes selected in the city of Saginaw. They will even get some help from the Most. Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, who is expected to spend time working at each location during one of the project days.

In addition to mowing lawns, trimming bushes and painting, YES participants will spend part of the week volunteering at various outreach organizations in the community. Evening activities include guest speakers, prayer and reflection on the experiences of the day.

“YES offers participants an opportunity to learn more about human dignity and the effects of poverty on their neighbors. Daily prayer and reflection help the young people develop a better understanding of their Catholic faith and the social teachings of the Church,” said Terri Grierson, Director of the Office of Christian Service.

“We have been taught that to find who we are we must give the total gift of self,” said Mark Graveline, Director of Youth Ministry. “The virtue of generosity leads us to God's plan for our lives. Students don’t need to travel out of the country or even their own community to do mission work and see Jesus in their brother or sister; the YES program has been providing this opportunity for our young people for many years.”

Those in need in the city of Saginaw, and unable to make necessary home repairs, may apply to have their home selected for the effort. Projects need to be such that they can be finished in one week and may include yard work, painting, and limited construction — such as fixing entry doors and locks for safety or installing new steps. Applications for home repairs may be picked up at any Catholic parish in Saginaw.

The YES program has been in existence for more than a decade and its success is due in large part to its dedicated volunteer supervisors, Nicole Bakos and Diane Seidel. Information and applications for those interested in participating may be found by clicking here.

YES is one of many ministries and programs supported by the Catholic Services Appeal.

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