clothes closet yfc

“Clothes Closet” Builds Lasting Relationships

November 4, 2021

story

Youth For Christ reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ, and commitment to social involvement.

From YFC Juvenile Justice Ministry to YFC City Life Ministry, we are prepared to meet youth at any stage of their lives to create meaningful relationships with them.

YFC Siouxland has developed an innovative and creative way to reach young people. YFC Siouxland envisions engaging 2,400 overlooked 11 to 19-year-olds every year in authentic Christ-sharing relationships through 500 Christ-centered leaders. One strategy YFC Siouxland uses to achieve this vision is through their new “Clothes Closet” initiative, which provides free clothes, coats, shoes, hygiene products, and other goods to youth in need. The project, which relies on generous donations from the local community. It not only provides a service to youth in need of necessities, but also gives teenagers a place to go to build vital relationships.

“Outreaches such as the Clothes Closet provide a unique opportunity for YFC staff and volunteers to come alongside youth and make them feel seen, valued, and heard. By providing a means to cover their basic needs, such as clothing, hygiene products and other necessities, we show young people that we care about them and their wellbeing. This can open the door to deeper relationships, both with us as mentors and with Christ.”

-Jacob Bland, President and CEO of Youth For Christ USA

Kimberly Petersen, a YFC Siouxland volunteer said, “There are many requests I hear while volunteering at The Clothes Closet, and hidden in their outward statements are the real needs they are seeking. ‘Do you have an extra-large hoodie because I am going into placement,’ becomes, ‘I need security in this uncertain and scary time in my life.’ ‘I don’t need anything, I just came to bug you,’ becomes, ‘I don’t need physical items—I just need you to listen to me and spend time with me.’

“Our YFC kids come with various needs, and we are working hard to listen to all of them.” -Kimberly Petersen, a YFC Siouxland volunteer

“I have been volunteering at The Clothes Closet for almost a year,” Petersen continued, “and there has never been a night of ‘no needs’ even if clothing isn’t taken. The Clothes Closet is a place where kids are safe to say they don’t have a way of getting something they need. It is a place for our kids to come and spend time talking about the things that they are struggling with, which allows us to come alongside them to make them feel seen and understood.”

This unique outreach to youth goes hand-in-hand with YFC’s City Life ministry. City Life teams aspire to see deep change in local neighborhoods and communities. As a relational, holistic, community-based ministry, City Life teams raise up indigenous leaders from the young people living in local neighborhoods. YFC continues helping young people realize their worth and uncover God’s story of hope in their lives.

 

Photo by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash