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Teens participating in a SERVE project in Port Perry, Ontario, got an unexpected opportunity to put into practice this year’s theme, “Right the Wrong.”

Just before Canada Day (July 1), vandals on a late-night prowl damaged nearly 80 gravestones in one of Port Perry’s oldest cemeteries. The SERVE teens came to the rescue, spending the holiday helping a local monument company restore the toppled gravestones just in time for a ceremony being held the next day.

SERVE is an opportunity for Christian Reformed teens to travel to various locations to spend a week doing service projects. This SERVE group of 50 teens from Ontario, Michigan, and Indiana was hosted by Port Perry’s Hope Christian Reformed Church.

The group was scheduled to be at another worksite, but that project was canceled at the last minute. “Suddenly we had a group in need of a worksite and a community tragedy at the cemetery that needed our help,” said Adelaide DeKoning, one of the SERVE coordinators.

Host team coordinator Ron Bruinsma said the SERVE youths helped restore the community’s hope and melt away the anger. “I think the SERVE team showed that there are still many good kids out there who are willing to get out of their comfort zones and help,” he said.

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