Last summer CAN-DO Missions, a national organization that provides congregations with opportunities and funds for specific missions, sent a team to volunteer at Bokenkamp Children’s Shelter, to help with an array of tasks and maintenance chores. Their efforts were a big help to the staff, and went a long way toward making the emergency shelter feel more like home for the residents, who are all unaccompanied refugee children and teens from Central America.
Can-Do Missions sent another group this summer, this time hailing from Pierce, Nebraska. A hardworking and inspired youth group of six teenagers and two chaperones came to help out at Bokenkamp August 2-9. During their stay they worked on an assortment of projects around the shelter, including putting the finishing touches on the school building and purchasing shelving and totes to organize the donation room.
And (with a little inspiration from Pinterest), they added a splash of color to the shelter by spray-painting benches and metal folding chairs bright and cheerful colors. From traditional, utilitarian tan to red, purple, and blue!
Before their arrival, the group had fundraising events to help pay for their trip and also collected clothing to take to Bokenkamp residents. They also brought flowers for me (the director of volunteers) for my help in directing the team through a list of “home improvement” projects.
A special thanks to CAN-DO Missions and the visitors from Zion Lutheran Church in Pierce for giving their time and hands-on labor – which was truly a labor of love for our young residents.