I got to spend my Saturday morning at one of my favorite charitable organizations – YMEN.
Here is a blub straight from their website to explain what they are all about –
Researchers from Jawanza Kunjufu to Na’im Akbar agree that society must make a greater effort and focus more resources to reach African-American boys ages 10-16. Even with the recent growth and revitalization in North Lawndale community, we face serious challenges in the areas of community safety and academic underachievement, particularly amoung our African-American young men. In the past four years, over 10,000 North Lawndale boys were arrested and placed into the juvenile court system. According to Congressman Danny K. Davis, 70% of all adult men in North Lawndale ages 18-45 are ex-offenders. Homicide is the leading cause of death among African-American men between the ages of 15-24 years old. In Illinois, there are more than 10,000 more African-American males in prison or on parole than are enrolled in college. In North Lawndale, less than 35% of African-American young men graduate from high school, and less than 5% earn a bachelor’s degree. If African-American young men are essential assets of a healthy community, more must be done. Reaching African-American youth is a life or death proposition.
At YMEN, we have been a community leader in providing significant resources and holistic youth programming, including academic support, leadership development activities, community service opporutunites to young men in the North Lawndale community.
Every month where there is a fifth Saturday my church The Chapel – Hinsdale ventures into North Lawndale and prepares a meal for those who are less fortunate. Last weeks church service was all about using your talents to serve others. Well my talent is cooking so I am so glad that I get to use it for more than just cooking in my own house or in restaurants. It’s great to use a talent for something so much greater. I must give credit where it is deserved though – I didn’t have to plan or prep the menu this week! An amazing man by the name of Andre who also attends our church and is also an amazing chef prepared the meal today and I got to sit back and assist!
Andre spent all day yesterday cooking up some beautiful beef. It was DELICIOUS!
I was in charge of mashed potatoes and green beans. It’s nice to have the simple task sometimes haha
And here is my favorite guy from YMEN – Travion!
He helped me with the green beans and potatoes and is an absolute rock star. He’s only 13 but assists at YMEN every weekend. How many people know a 13 year old who wakes up early every Saturday morning and selflessly helps through the afternoon? Hes the sweetest & smartest kid I know and is a definite YMEN success story. This kid is going to go far in life. He just won a scholarship for writing – so watch out for him. He will be on a best selling book list – I am sure of it!
It was most definitely the busiest weekend we have ever had! Everyone did an amazing job! I am so proud of our church and what we have been able to do and so proud of all the little kids and teenagers that came to help and truly enjoyed themselves.
Another successful Saturday at YMEN with The Chapel