Youth for Youth in Kansas City
After the long winter months, the youth of rural Kansas (Hays and Manhattan, KS) were finally able to drive to Kansas City to meet the homeless youth. They used to serve and support the homeless youth regularly, until the harsh winter made it unsafe to drive almost every weekend. Throughout winter, some of the volunteers from the rural areas had continued to provide long distance support to the homeless youth by daily calls and online services. Thanks to technology, they were also able to provide rides and meals despite the distance!
On the first weekend of April, four youths from Hays and Manhattan drove to Kansas City to surprise the homeless youth whom they had not seen for a long time. To add to the fun, it was a birthday weekend for two of the rural youths. They humbly decided to share their birthday celebration with these displaced youth, who by now had become a part of their family!
Gifts of clothing, skateboards, Tibetan singing bowls and other goodies were taken to surprise these youth as a warm gesture. The expression of these displaced youth when they got the beautiful surprise of a warm visit, gifts and dinner celebration was indescribable. Love was palpable between them. At the same time, the pain of not being able to meet frequently due to the distance also brought tears to their eyes. The rest of the weekend was spent taking the youth out for shopping and fun activities like riding electric scooters in a park. The youth from rural Kansas also served breakfast to approximately eight youths who were at the emergency homeless youth shelter. Kind, encouraging words were provided along with freshly prepared bagels, cream cheese, pastries and orange juice!
Over time, the volunteer youth have realised the importance of connecting with these displaced youth mentally and spiritually. Although physical help is also required, maintaining a bond of trust is much more important. The food and gifts provided may be forgotten over time, but they will not forget the good times spent together! By just being there as trustworthy friends, the rural youth have provided a lot of hope. Trust, love and care are the basis to continue youth for youth support - physically, mentally and spiritually.
Rural Kansas youth celebrating Birthday Dinner with displaced youths