On June 12, we were so excited to finally kick off our TORCH Summer Flex program! We began our day with an icebreaker led by our college interns, TJ and Bernadette. It was easy to tell that the students were outgoing and happy to be a part of the group from the start of the day.
For this week’s event, the students first visited Launch Ministry in Chaska. Launch Ministry is a faith-based non-profit organization, created to help adults between 18-29 years old that may be struggling with unemployment, homelessness, or any other challenge a young adult going through life on their own may face. The center provides clothing, faith guidance, career counseling, meals, a safe place to sleep for a few hours, and much more to whoever walks in the doors. The center is usually open Monday to Friday, 2-5pm.
While at the center, Stephanie Friant, the center’s director of their woman’s program and volunteer coordinator, explained the lives of those who come to this center to us. She explained that often, young adults come from broken homes that are not safe or supportive, are left to find work and a home with no documentation or guidance and have little faith or confidence in themselves because of their situations. However, Launch’s motto, “Homeless, not Helpless” is a wonderful example of how the center views young adult’s potential rather than labeling them by their past hardships.
The students worked hard after Stephanie’s emotional explanation of the reality of homelessness. From painting pillars in the center of the room, to organizing the center’s community closet, to putting together bags with necessary toiletries, students happily helped with a variety of tasks for Launch. When finished with their work, students painted rocks with inspirational messages for whoever may come into the center to enjoy. The Torch group plans on leaving decorated rocks at each location where we do service as a sign that we have been there and are praying for those we help serve.
Stephanie gave each student a list including details of how they can help serve again in the future. Families are always welcome to cook a meal or purchase take out for community meals on Tuesday/ Thursday nights, and donations are always helpful for the ministry.
After leaving Launch Ministry, students headed over to Grand Slam for an afternoon of fun. After eating lunch, students split off and spent a few hours playing arcade games, laser tag, mini golf, bumper cars, jumping on trampolines and swinging in batting cages. The students had a wonderful day of service and fun- we are so excited for our upcoming event and look forward to spending time with some new faces and old!
For anyone interested in donating, cooking a meal, or volunteering for Launch, please visit https://www.launchministry.org/donate/ or call 612-564-0838