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REPORTING · 31st March 2011
Walter McFarlane
Terry Runions and Tim Coleman from the First Baptist Church took the stand at the City Council Meeting on Monday, March 21st to talk about Serve 2011, a summer program which they will be hosting from July 10th-16th.

“Serve is an annual summer event for teenagers, it is an opportunity for many of our young people from Canadian Baptist Churches in Western Canada to come together,” said Coleman.

“During this time, we [assist] the community in which we are staying [with] work projects, providing practical help with no strings attached,” said Runions. They will be looking for significant support from the local church.

Members of their congregation will be organizing logistics including accommodation, work projects and catering. Their church will provide prayer support, transportation, supplies and help. They will also coordinate with other local leaders.

The event will bring hundreds of teens into the community. It will cost the teens $200 for registration which will cover meals, accommodations, rentals and service fees.

“Volunteers pay to help others,” said Coleman. “Teenagers want to do something to change the world.”

“Maybe those who participate in Serve will believe they have made a difference in a life of another person or city,” said Runions.

“Maybe they will gain a sense of satisfaction for reaching out beyond themselves and giving to a complete stranger,” said Coleman.

There will be a 100 day countdown sign in Kitimat and a float in the Canada Day parade. The students arrive on Sunday afternoon, July 10th and a Welcome to Kitimat Celebration. During the week, the youth will go to prearranged sites to carry out their projects. Following dinner, the teens will have worship and teaching. The groups will leave on Saturday morning.

The work the teens will do include; painting and facelifts to local business and church buildings, clean up around the community, repairs at camps and helping to clear district trails.

Not for Profit groups, such as the Food Bank, the Animal Shelter, Churches, benevolent and community groups, which serve the elderly, handicapped children, youth, hungry and needy, will be given priority. Projects which are beneficial to the district and community will be considered. Projects which are visible to the community, such as local businesses, will also be given consideration.

“Anyone who needs an instant labour force, 5 to 25 hours, can contact Pastor Tim at the church,” said Runions. “Help us identify worthy projects that you think would benefit our community. The deadline for this is May the first, 2011.”

They asked Council to include promotional material and send a representative to the opening celebration. They estimated 200 teens will be coming to Kitimat and they will be put up at the Riverlodge.