Today is Blog Action Day. This year’s theme is “The Power of We” where bloggers around the world are sharing stories, reflecting on, or whatever they feel about the power of the grassroots movements in their communities and around the world. Very powerful stuff for sure as everyone shares from their own perspective!

Here I want to focus on the needs of the community in which I live and serve.

I live in a town with high levels of unemployment, out-migration, poverty and drug and alcohol abuse. There are families in this town with a long history of being “one of those” families where the name alone will keep you from getting anywhere in life. It’s a vicious cycle for many families… and their kids.

It would be so easy to turn your back on a town like this. It would be so easy to say “God has turned his back on this town” and walk away.

But I’m here to say it’s not true.

The churches in this town are continually looking for ways in which to offer hope and healing to the people of this town. Admittedly we are behind in this action. But not everyone is.

Community C.A.R.E.S. Youth Outreach (CCYO) has been working with the young adults in this town for 12 years. It’s a organization that has never had core funding, meaning it has never been able to hire anyone full-time, it’s all project to project funding. It means that bills often pile up. It means running programs from a run-down school. It means working with young people where you never know where some of them slept last night.

But lives have been changed by the programs offered through CCYO.

And things are changing.

After a year of being unable to run programs due to lack of funding… a year of seriously questioning the future of CCYO and if it can continue to exist… a year of wondering if anyone actually cares for the young adults in our communities… things are changing.

For. The. Better!

CCYO is in the process of purchasing another school building recently vacated by the school board. Various levels of government are taking serious interest in the programs and future direction. Local businesses and organizations are looking for ways in which to partner with CCYO to provide a brighter future for our town.

We are coming together to make it happen. We are coming together as a community to provide for the needs of our families. To help break the cycles of poverty, violence and addiction which threatens the lives of our children.

We need your help too.

Let’s keep the momentum going and growing. Let’s work together to make this town a safe place for all ages, all classes, all genders, all lifestyles.

We can make a difference. When a community comes together strongly to make a difference in the lives of those around us, people can see a way out of the cycle. They know when there is hope they can leave the pain behind. They know the world is a better place, and it will be a better place for their families. We can offer this open hand, this hand of hope, which helps lead someone to a better place.

It’s the Power of We.