It was a cooler day in downtown Steinbach. And without the heat, rain, or smoke, some might even have called it a perfect lunch hour, as many came to another Taste of Summer charity barbecue in front of the Steinbach Credit Union.
Wednesday’s beneficiary was Youth For Christ Steinbach and Youth Worker Allen Penner could not be happier with the amount of $ 1,874.55 donated today.
When asked where this money would go, Penner replied, “Anyone who came to buy hot dogs, drinks, fries and donated, all that money goes straight to our. Impact Fund. This is the fund where, if we have a walk-in party and needto get food for the kids who haven’t had breakfast. It is straight out of the Impact Fund and we make sure they have food. Or, let’s say you know the skate park is well used. Sometimes we have to fix the ramps. You know, there is a simple way to make sure the skate park stays in good shape. Thus, all donations go directly to helping young people.
Penner goes on to say that at YFC Steinbach it’s really about bonding. For every YFC staff member, one-on-one time with each youth is very important.
“Last year there were times when we weren’t able to do the reception center, but we still made sure we were in contact with the young people who really needed it. In December and January we saw a lot of young people going through really intense mental struggles, so we were showing up to them a lot around that time. There were a lot of young people we were dealing with with suicidal ideation and so it got a bit intense in January, but the summer was better. It was nice.
And when it comes to building those one-on-one relationships, YFC staff have had the opportunity to be really creative. Penner explains.
“Yesterday some of our staff took some kids out fishing which was really cool. And one of our youngest actually stung the bigger fish. They think it was about 36 inches long or something, so they’re going to fry it.
When it comes to making connections, Penner says:
“We were able to do some sort of drop-in almost all the time, which is really good. Now the reception center is starting to feel like it’s back to normal. There are a lot of young people coming out and we got to have tons of really good conversations. An interesting thing is that we are now able to serve food again and this is the best connection.
Penner explains how YFC Steinbach survived financially during the pandemic.
“This year promises to be just crazy. You know, every organization had to change a lot of things and it’s the same with us. But one thing that’s been really great is the support from the community. We didn’t have to think about where the funding will come from because people are generous. “
YFC Steinbach is a certified member of Youth for Christ Canada. An international, non-denominational Christian ministry which, for over 75 years, has passionately engaged young people to live their full potential as designed by God.
The last Taste of Summer 2021 charity barbecue will take place on Wednesday next week, we will be accepting your donations for Eastman Special Olympics.