Michigan Youth Create Blankets for Local Mission

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Ken VanderLugt has never had to push his student ministry group at Southern Heights Christian Reformed Church when it comes to serving their community in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Students from the Southern Heights CRC made 16 blankets for the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission.

(Photo by Ken VanderLugt)

So when the group’s eight members started discussing plans for what they would accomplish in 2012, VanderLugt wasn’t surprised when the ideas started flowing.

One project stood out.

The eight-student group chose to create blankets to warm people who need assistance.

Students started with two pieces of material, cut the edges, and then tied the two parts together.

Within five hours, six students and two leaders had made 16 blankets.

The next day they delivered the blankets to Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, where students learned not only how their creations would be used, but also how the mission serves people who need assistance.

“I think they were surprised to find out what happens there,” VanderLugt said. “They knew the church gives money to the mission, but these kids really seem to have a heart for those less fortunate than them.”

Said Emily Meinema, 17, “It was really cool when we saw their faces when we brought the blankets in.”

The blanket-making mission is only the latest project for SMASH (Student Ministries at Southern Hills). After planning and raising enough money to go on the group’s first short-term missions trip in several years in 2011, the eight students will continue to serve in the new year.

The group plans to take a mission trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota this summer. VanderLugt said the students have taken the initiative to not only suggest the trips, but to also raise the needed funds to make the mission trips a reality.

“This group always seems to be right on board when it comes to serving others,” VanderLugt said. “There’s never any hesitation.”

About the Author

Jeff Arnold is the Banner’s regional news correspondent for classes Kalamazoo and Lake Erie.