As part of my plan to practice thankfulness and generosity, I’m going to try to feature a few local charities on my blog before the year ends. If you’re looking to invest in some worthy causes, hopefully these features will give you some good ideas.
Today, I’ll be sharing about Young Life in Bend, Oregon.
Young Life is a 75-year-old, international organization whose mission is to introduce adolescents to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith.
That mission is carried out largely by volunteer leaders who spend massive amounts of their free time going out to where kids are, building personal relationships with them, winning the right to be heard, and sharing their lives with them.
In Bend, I think we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 volunteer leaders this year that are impacting the lives of hundreds of junior high and high school students.
Those volunteers are trained, equipped and encouraged by a small Bend-area staff which consists of 2 part-time area directors, one full-time staff associate, and a part-time admin. There’s also a volunteer committee that supports and encourages the local area staff.
I’ve been involved with Young Life for years, both as a volunteer leader down in Southern California, and now, I’m helping out on the committee side as the Treasurer for Young Life Bend.
You may have seen some of the Young Life Bend staff, volunteers, and kids out at the Deschutes County Fair. They’ve been running the Beef Booth there for years. It’s one of the ways that they raise funds for the area.
You may also have gotten a taste of Young Life if you made it out to the Young Life Laughs fundraiser at the Tower Theater at the beginning of November. It was by far the most fun I can remember having at a fundraiser, I can’t even describe it. You really had to be there.
There are a variety of ways that you can support Young Life in Bend. If you want to make a financial contribution as part of your year-end giving, you can do that here: https://bend.younglife.org/Pages/donors.aspx. Monthly, recurring gifts are especially appreciated since they help give some predictability to the budget.
By-the-way, your donations to Young Life Bend may be tax deductible if you itemize, and Young Life currently has a 4-star rating at Charity Navigator.
If giving financially to Young Life doesn’t fit your situation, but you still want to be involved somehow, there are plenty of opportunities to put your time and talents to work.
You could be a volunteer leader, or you could join one of the teams that supports the leaders at each high school or middle school, you could help the Taking Donors Seriously team as they seek to raise the annual budget, or you could join the committee to help support the local staff.
If you’re looking for a way to get plugged in, go to https://bend.younglife.org/Pages/contact.aspx and contact Steve Fox, the Senior Area Director.