Volunteers ready to CRASH for local mission projects

In June of 2012, a passionate local youth group will take community outreach to a new level as they host more than 400 mission workers from across the country for five days of service and fellowship.

Coastal Point •  Submitted by Christina Wilson: Members of CRASH pose for a group photo during a previous project effort.Coastal Point • Submitted by Christina Wilson
Members of CRASH pose for a group photo during a previous project effort.

CRASH, the ever-growing youth ministry at Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church in Ocean View, will partner with Group Cares, an organization that coordinates work camps, to repair and rebuild 75 to 80 homes in Frankford, Selbyville and Dagsboro. The Colorado-based company, formerly known as Group Work Camps, will send staff to the sites to help run the mission week alongside church volunteers.

The students and volunteers of CRASH (Creating Revolution And Saving Hearts) have been going on out-of-state mission trips for more than 30 years and have worked with Group Cares several times.

“This time, we had a desire to bring the mission week here to work on homes in our area,” said Christina Wilson, youth ministries coordinator at Mariner’s.

After working with the Indian River school board for over three years, the church staff was able to arrange accommodations that will enable them to host their annual mission trip here in Delaware.

“We’re very appreciative of the school board being so open to community outreach,” said Wilson of the agreement to house the 400 workers at John M. Clayton Elementary School.

The goal of serving the area through home renovations is twofold: the youth members want to invest in their community through fixing homes, and through building relationships with the residents they house.

“So many people have asked, ‘Why travel when you can help your own people?’” said Christina Trager, an Indian River High School graduate. “It will be really cool to serve our own community.”

Many of the older CRASH members, including Trager, will help during the mission week by preparing food and delivering supplies to the sites.

Many of the homes to be repaired belong to elderly, disabled or underprivileged residents and need to be brought up to code.

“It’s amazing how many people are living at and below the poverty level locally,” said Wilson. “We want to help people in our own area, really reach out to those struggling in our community.”

Each day during the work camp, youth and adults from across the states will build friendships during morning worship, devotional time at the work sites and evening services.

In order to successfully execute such a large community outreach, the CRASH youth members are working diligently to raise $40,000 to cover the cost of housing, food and building materials.

On Sept. 9, 2011, they will hold a golf tournament at the Salt Pond in Ocean View, which will begin with a shotgun start at 8:15 a.m. A cart, breakfast and lunch will be included in the $50 cost, and tee boxes will also be available for sponsorship. To purchase a tee box advertisement, contact Christina Wilson at (302) 519-2993, or for more information contact Marilyn Adams at (302) 541-4773.

On Nov, 11, Mariner’s will hold their annual Trail Run at the Assawoman Wildlife Refuge at 1 p.m. Professional run coordinators will facilitate the timing and awards for the 5K run and the 1- and 3-mile walks. Food, activities and a kiddie run will provide entertainment for the whole family. For more information, or to participate, contact Bill Lord at (302) 745-6899 or Mandy Savage at (302) 249-0467.

All proceeds from both fundraisers will directly benefit the 2012 mission week.