Chicago-Area Youths Raise AIDS Awareness

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The youth group of Wheaton (Ill.) Christian Reformed Church was one of three Chicago-area youth groups to receive seed money from the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) to help them “Embrace AIDS.”

As part of the agency’s “Embrace AIDS” campaign, Randy Hedman of CRWRC presented $1,000 to each group and asked them to use the money to learn about HIV/AIDS, share what they learned, and make a positive difference.

The Wheaton group led a worship service in February and showed the CRWRC film “Living with Slim” to sixth-graders through adults and led a separate program for children. Everyone who attended had an AIDS ribbon drawn on their palm as a prayer reminder.

The Wheaton group also hosted a meal for 100 people. Each diner received an Embrace AIDS bracelet and a prayer card and quiz about HIV/AIDS written by the youths.

Some of their grant paid for the meal. They also prepared $20 “seed money” packets for volunteers, who multiplied the funds in creative ways. More than $4,000 was given back to CRWRC.

The junior-high group of Orland Park (Ill.) CRC used their $1,000 to get 15 kids started in an Iron Man Triathlon. Each participant raises $500 and recruits a friend, so the fund-raising efforts expand (see jointherace.org).

Youths from First and Bethel CRCs in DeMotte, Ind., led a joint worship service and a Christian school chapel service. They hosted an evening event with a CRWRC missionary speaking and raised about $2,500.   

About the Author

Ruth Moblard DeYoung, a former Banner news correspondent and teacher, writes children's books. She is a member of Hope Christian Reformed Church in Oak Forest, Ill. 

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