Nicole Schwartz is a Service Adventure participant who serves with Family Kitchen. She is originally from Elkhart, Ind. and attends Silverwood Mennonite Church (Goshen, Ind.). Photo by Theresa Wolf.
ELKHART, Ind. (Mennonite Mission Network) – The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies awarded a grant to the Johnstown (Pa.) Service Adventure unit, showing confidence in and appreciation for its work in the neighborhood.
Johnstown has hosted Service Adventure participants serving 10-month terms for the past 15 years. This commitment to the community earned the Service Adventure unit a $1,000 grant to help support a Service Adventure participant during their term. Funding for Service Adventure comes from host and sending congregations, donors, participants, and the service placements, but additional funding from grants is always welcome.
“This will allow one of the team members to work for an agency that is unable to [support] a volunteer, but could definitely use our help!” said Theresa Wolf. Wolf and her husband, Rob, lead the Service Adventure unit. Although this is Theresa Wolf’s first grant-writing experience, she hopes to continue writing grants to further the work of Service Adventure in the Johnstown community.
The grant will help support a Service Adventure participant in the Family Kitchen, a ministry of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul and the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank. Each day, the participant will help serve a free lunch to anyone at 231 Bedford Street, as well as help to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables to the Produce to People ministry.
The community’s need is one reason that the Wolfs have a passion for partnering with the community to address food issues. “We spend many nights talking about food choices, reading labels, thanking God for people who gave us good meat or fresh veggies to enjoy,” Theresa Wolf said.
Loreen “Sis” Link, the Children and Youth Ministries director at New Day, an area nonprofit, is impressed by the growth she sees in Service Adventure participants who serve there. She appreciates how the participants help with vacation Bible schools, have a membership and volunteer at the YMCA, and “come alongside [New Day workers] as [they] host family nights.”
“It’s not just that they come in and [serve]; they come to be part of the community,” Link said.