District of Columbia – United Church of Christ

Youth Service Opportunities Project [YSOP]
(Washington, D.C.)

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Contact: Cassie Kienbaum, DC Program Director
   1317 G Street NW
   Washington, DC  20005
Phone: 202.347.2525 or 202.821.6217
Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/YSOPserve 

YSOP is committed to helping young people become part of the solution to societal problems by showing them how even their smallest actions can make a difference in the lives of others.  YSOP has been a pioneer in the field of service, encouraging community participation and engaged citizenship through direct service to homeless and hungry people.

Projects/Focus: Volunteers work with a variety of organizations in the city.  Sites include direct and indirect service at soup kitchens, food and clothing banks, transitional shelters, and other agencies serving people in need.

Educational/Advocacy Components: By combining meaningful volunteer work with a communal living and learning program, YSOPers provide vital services to people in need and at the same time are able to reflect on their experience and broaden their perspectives.  YSOP staff provides an orientation at the beginning of the program and reflections after each period of service.  During weeklong and overnight programs, volunteers cook, serve and share in a meal with homeless and hungry guests one evening during the week.  Guest speakers offered during weeklong and upon request.

See additional YSOP location in New York City.

Time: Service Day, Overnight, Service Dinner, and week-long programs available year round.

Group Size: Group size requirement varies depending on program.  Minimum requirements are as follows:  Service Day – 10 people, Overnight Work-camp – 20 people, Service Week –  10 people, and  Service Dinner 15 people. Can accommodate groups comprised of 60+ for week-long program.  Maximum number for a Service Dinner is 40. (for large groups, please allow up to one year’s planning).  

Minimum Age:  12 years

Adult to Youth Ratio: 1:5/1/7

Accommodations: YSOP is located approximately three blocks from the White House and offers simple accommodations inside of of the Church of the Epiphany.  Housing includes: an open floor space with a kitchenette (refrigerator, sink, coffee pot, toaster, microwave), shower facilities, and kitchen use for dinner.  Expect to bring your own sleeping bag, pillows and air mattresses.  Please cal for lodging availability. 

Cost: Overnight Workcamp $130, Service Week $185, Service Day $52, Service Dinner $52, and lodging $45 per person per night.

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 Reach Beyond Mission (Washington, D.C.)

Contact: Rev. Mary Lu Johnston
  15907 Braesgate Drive
  Austin, TX 78717
E-Mail:  info@reachbeyondmission.org

Website:  www.reachbeyondmission.org

Biblical.  Progressive.  Inclusive.  Reach Beyond Mission is a theologically progressive youth mission program that goes beyond traditional mission, combing service opportunities with thoughtful and intentional poverty education.

[Programs of Reach Beyond Mission for 2019 are run in Austin, Houston Area & Washington D.C.)

Projects/Focus: Reach Beyond Mission  is a fully planned youth mission experience.  Youth join youth from other churches across the country to explore issues of culture, gender, and poverty in an urban setting.  Participants volunteer at numerous metropolitan area organization and ministries working with people experiencing homelessness and/or food insecurity as well as with people living on low fixed incomes.  Reach Beyond Mission  provides speakers, age-appropriate activities, and a justice focused biblically based discussion guide to help young people explore the biblical, theological, economic, social, and political issues related to poverty. 

Educational/Advocacy Components: It is life-changing when youth are challenged to move beyond feeling warm and fuzzy about helping others and begin to explore how to spend a lifetime changing the system which causes poverty.  It is life-changing when youth begin to recognize that racism, sexism, and all the other “isms” are more than attitudes and that those “isms” have provoked real actions which have left many of God’s children marginalized and disadvantaged.  It is life-changing when youth begin to understand that they have power to make an impact with their votes, through their career choices, and with how they spend their money.

Time:  Washington DC location: Working for Change: Advocating to End Poverty
     June 23-28 (Sun-Fri) grades 8-12; $390.00 per person
     June 30-July 5  (Sun-Fri)  grades 8-12; $390.00 per person
     July 7-12 (Sun-Fri) grades 8-12; $390.00 per person
     July 14-19 (Sun -Fri) grades 8-12; $390.00 per person

Group Size: Maximum 50 participants per week.  Smaller groups will join others from different places and congregations.  

Minimum Age:  Completed 8th grade preferred

Adult to Youth Ratio: 1:6

Accommodations: Food is provided.  Groups are housed at a local church.  All females and males sleep in separate rooms, including married adult leaders.  Showers are available on-site.  Participants provide their own transportation.  Program provides 2-3 trained young adults who will serve as hosts and program coordinators.

Cost: $390.00 per person per week. 

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