Mentorship is the greatest gift you can give someone. To pass on your values, your skills, your beliefs to another person is a true treasure. Cindy Klick is the Youth Director for St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch. Every year, she organizes the church youth group to volunteer for Extreme Community Makeover. “We try and volunteer at least five times per year,” enthusiastically explains Cindy.
Cindy believes that volunteering is very important for the youth because it develops a young adult’s character. “When you learn to serve and get to know people whose life may be different than your own, it teaches them that they are more alike than different. By helping others, they grow themselves,” explains Cindy.
Interestingly, when volunteering for ECM the young adults really like to do the projects covering up graffiti. “I suspect it’s because the kids can admire the artistic ability, but they also can understand that for the common good, removing the graffiti helps the appearance of the neighborhood,” explains Cindy. “In this way, they can identify with the graffiti artist, and yet also identify with the neighbors.”
St. Andrew United Methodist Church has a mission statement that is very much in-line with Extreme Community Makeover’s goals. They want to strengthen neighborhoods and serve the common good. So, it is a no-brainer for Cindy that ECM is a great fit for her youth group. “Volunteering with ECM has given me an opportunity to help develop each student’s character and also get them to live out the wider purpose of the church community,” explains Cindy.
Since volunteering, the kids have become more grateful for what they have in their own life. They are less likely to take things for granted, and they also realize that it’s the little things that matter most. Volunteering for a day may seem little, but in reality the kids can see that it makes a big difference in the lives of those they serve. “The students now have a life of purpose. They’ve learned that it’s less about them and more about the other people around them,” Cindy says. Cindy is thankful to have passed on the gift of gratitude and the gift of purpose to her students. Taking her time as a youth director / mentor has instilled values in these young adults that they will never forget.