Students in the OCC-Villagebrook summer youth program are both serving and benefitting from the service of a local church! Providing a positive, educational environment over the summer where service is emphasized is just one way Outreach supports students and vulnerable families. Check out what’s new:

Five students from the Villagebrook Teen Council gathered for a morning of service on June 24 at the Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry, hosted at Villagebrook Apartments in Carol Stream. Marissa Sabio, Villagebrook Program Coordinator, says the day was an opportunity for students to have a positive impact on their community. “Many people complimented their efforts in distributing water bottles, providing reusable grocery bags, and helping carry groceries to residents’ apartment buildings,” she says. “One older adult resident said, ‘It’s so good to see them spending their time helping people.'” This year’s council, newly formed in the days prior to the event, is again made up of sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students. They will now use their leadership skills and creative abilities to plan their next event, Summer Basha fun social activity for Villagebrook middle-schoolers.

Thanks to volunteers from Wheaton Christian Reformed Church (WCRC) for hosting the 3rd Annual Fun in the Park at Villagebrook! Fun in the Park is a weekly opportunity each summer for WCRC to reach out to Villagebrook in service and love. The church brings tutors to the Villagebrook classroom every week during the school year and Fun in the Park allows volunteers to continue relationships with the community throughout the summer and involve more church members in service.

Fun in the Park kicked off on June 20, providing five different stations of “weird science” including singing wineglasses, dancing raisins and elephant toothpaste. Twenty-eight Villagebrook students and parents enjoyed participating in the indoor and outdoor event. Other fun events planned include movie making, minute to win it games and geocaching at a nearby park. “The Villagebrook students really look forward to this now-annual event, knowing their tutor-friends will be back,” says Marissa. “They encourage their neighbors to sign up and participate with them. The WCRC volunteers are always enthusiastic, caring and supportive of the students and Outreach’s work at Villagebrook. I’m so thankful for them.”