Goal of this Life Night
This night will help teens recognize the face of Christ in persons who are home- less. It focuses less on the “why” of homelessness and more on the “who.” The ultimate goal of this night is to challenge teens to donate items for their local homeless shelter and to make an ongoing donation of their time in service to those in poverty in their community.
About this Life Night
This is our fifth annual “give It Away Now” Life Night. In 2008 we collected 300,000 pounds of clothing for donation to charities. In 2009 we collected 200,000 canned food items for local food pantries, and the following year we raised over $200,000 to help build wells that are now providing clean water to people in Africa. Last year, we collected over 100,000 baby items to help mothers and children who could not afford the basic necessities. As a community we have helped give clothing to the naked, food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, and have helped uphold the dignity of all human life. This year we are challenged as a community to serve some of the most marginalized in our society – those who have no place to call home. This year’s project is two-fold: to both collect needed items to donate to local homeless shelters, and to get teens to commit to service hours at these shelters.
There are many misconceptions and stereotypes that exist among teenagers (and adults) about people who are homeless. These ideas can lead to an attitude that individuals who have no home are “worth less” than people who do. This Life Night will help teens see the real human story behind the people who struggle
to find shelter. The night begins outside in the church parking lot with a small group challenge to build a shelter out of items a person could find on the street. The Proclaim breaks open the activity and presents teens with the call of Jesus to welcome those who are “strangers,” and includes an opportunity for a witness talk from a representative from your homeless shelter or a person who has experi- enced homelessness. During the Break teens process the talk and witness and are challenged to commit time during the coming semester to service. The closing prayer focuses on teenagers adopting an attitude of love to people they meet on a daily basis – especially people who are marginalized or whom they struggle to love.