Share-LT, a homegrown outreach of Castleton UMC and generously supported by your mission giving!!
Share was begun right here at Castleton UMC as an outreach to teens in our local school district (MSD of Lawrence Township). In 2013, as part of our Fruitful Congregation Journey, the CUMC mission team connected with the community and other churches to see how faith organizations could be a blessing to the schools in our neighborhood. Through that process, we became aware that at in the 6th grade many teens “age out” of the fun and inexpensive camps and programs that are available to families with younger students. This often leaves teens isolated, bored, inactive and sometimes hungry when school is not in session.
Once we understood how this was impacting teens in our community, we set out in partnership with other local faith organizations and community partners to create space for teens to flourish, mentally, physically and socially beyond school hours. In the summer of 2018, 5 years after that initial meeting, Share hosted a total of 56 students (avg. 35/day), for 25 meetings. We have moved from an all-volunteer organization to the safety and consistency of hired and trained leaders who understand our youth. We have provided meals, kept students active and engaged in the community by learning and volunteering and we have connected students with job opportunities, provided references for scholarships and created a place that feels like family. In addition, our program has been evaluated by the Marion County Commission on Youth receiving high marks in all categories some of which include: providing a safe and supportive environment and student engagement.
Today, we exist as a non-denominational outreach of CUMC supported by local churches, temples, businesses, and other philanthropic organizations. We are SO VERY GRATEFUL for the faithful mission giving of our loving CUMC members who have such a heart for outreach and service.
We would not exist today if it were not for the generous gifts of your time and talents and for the church organization as a whole that is willing to work with such a diverse group of partners to bring these opportunities to youth and their families. Additionally, Castleton UMC provides accounting help, donation of facilities, and operational help and support, so we are also supported by your tithes and offerings as well!
Amid, much negative press around the United Methodist Church, Castleton UMC continues to reach out with love to the local community through volunteerism, Faith Promise giving and infrastructure support through our tithes and offerings. Our compass has never shifted from LOVE and we will continue to minister to a community in need alongside partners of all faiths and from all walks of life. Share is so grateful for this and we are excited to continue in outreach together long into the future! We have so much in store for youth in our community!!