Empowering At-Risk Youth

Every Friday St. Mark’s provides a hot meal for Youth Outreach of Hale Kipa in Waikiki. Learn more about this important ministry of empowering the at-risk youth of our neighborhood and community. The following reflection has been offered by the Outreach Ministry of St. Mark’s to explain how it all works.

How much do you know about St. Mark’s primary outreach ministry?

Most of us are aware that our congregation provides weekly meals to a youth program called Hale Kipa - Youth Outreach. However, you may not realize how it works, and why we have made this ongoing commitment.

Hale Kipa is a social service agency which has been working with alienated youth for over 40 years. They have several programs throughout the state, and the drop-in center in Waikiki is their main contact point for the multiple homeless and runaway youth who are drawn to the Waikiki area. Some of these kids have been victims of human trafficking; others have escaped from frightening situations in their homes; perhaps others are just looking for excitement. All are vulnerable to the dangers lurking about the streets of Waikiki.

At the drop-in center, which is open four afternoons a week, the youth can access a wide range of social services, along with donated clothing, a hot shower, and food. This is where St. Mark's comes in. Every Friday St. Mark’s provides a well-balanced, kid-friendly meal of  hot food. Parishioners sign up to bring items listed for the menu each week. These items are brought to the church by Thursday night, when volunteers begin prepping and cooking the food for Friday. Every Friday afternoon St. Mark's delivers the food to Youth Outreach. Other agencies and organizations donate the meals the other days.   (We are told that our Friday meal is often the highlight of the week.)

To further support this effort, St. Mark’s has committed to purchasing new backpacks, so each child can have one before school starts. There is also a need for large bottles of shampoo and conditioner, and all kinds of underwear. Parishioners may donate these items, bringing them to the Parish Hall. Financial donations for this ministry are also welcomed, notating Hale Kipa on the memo line of the check. We also collect clothing for youth, both new and gently used.

The Outreach Ministry Team of St. Mark's is truly convinced that this is a very socially responsible ministry, and we have committed to working with it. Will you help by participating? Please join us!

Submitted by Teena Urban on behalf of the Outreach Ministry

 

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