The results of a new study are both startling and sobering. A poll from The Impact Genome Project and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research—conducted between March 25 and April 15—found that some 46 million Americans, or 18% of U.S. adults, say they have "just one person or nobody they can trust for help in their personal lives," such as emergency child care needs, a ride to the airport or support when they get sick. In addition, 28% say they have only "one person or nobody they can trust" to help draft a resume, connect to an employer or navigate challenges at their jobs.
This disconnect, noted The AP in a piece on the poll results late last week, "raises a key barrier to recovery from the social, emotional and economic fallout of the pandemic."
Youth For Christ has long reached out to communities of youth across the country with genuine and ongoing connection and impact. Youth For Christ's parent life ministry in the Denver area, for example, recently began its first Stroller Derby (formally known as Stroller Club) with several teen moms and a caring adult leader. They met at a local park, a central location for the young moms.
Megan Kuka, site director of the Denver area YFC Parent Life Ministry, said, "We were having a great time on our walk, chatting and giggling, until the littles found the park. The moms were more than willing to stand in the hot sun while their children went down every slide over 10 times and played tag with one another. We stayed well hydrated, and we had enough snacks to keep the little ones running! This was thanks to all for the prayers, support and help in finding enough strollers. The moms had a great time splitting 'watch duty' and enjoying each other's company."
The YFC group will continue providing Stroller Derby as a way for the young moms, their children and the caring adult volunteers to gather together and interact throughout the summer—helping the young moms to understand that they can trust other reliable individuals within their communities.
Added Kuka, "I'm excited to continue to walk alongside the young moms in their journey and help them create the best lives they can for themselves and their children."
Under Kuka's leadership and the help of a "dream team of volunteers," YFC's Parent Life Ministry in Denver continues to reach young moms with the grace and love of Jesus Christ.
Jacob Bland, YFC's president and CEO, said, "Megan, her team of volunteer mentors and thousands like them across the USA are faithfully engaging 11-19 year-olds at these pivotal moments as the hands and feet of Jesus. We are committed to uncovering God's story of hope in the next generation—making sure that kids know that they are not alone, that there is a God who loves them and who is for them. The Bible says that 'children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him'—as Psalm 127:3 tells us."
"Kids today typically have many connections, yet feel more relationally isolated than ever before," Bland added. "This is a tremendous opportunity to serve the next generation. To reach YFC's goal of engaging 1 million kids annually, it will take over 200,000 volunteers who care deeply about the spiritual condition of youth. ... We're on a mission with volunteers who want to make a difference, to share Jesus with others in natural and authentic ways and to reach the overlooked through meaningful relationships—and we invite you to join us."
YFC has chapters impacting thousands of communities across the nation that seek out and serve youth from all walks of life. Many teens are silently struggling through a variety of challenging issues, and now they see the living power of a loving God.
YFC has been a pillar of missional ministry since 1944, when the Rev. Billy Graham served as YFC's first full-time staff member. Since then, YFC has continued to be both a rural and urban ministry on mission, and it is always about the message of Jesus. YFC reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ and commitment to social involvement. Youth For Christ operates in over 100 nations and has more than 140 chapters that impact communities across America.
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