December 26, 2017

Youth project will descend on Houston to provide help, books and other good works

Whether they’re working at food banks, urban farms or in distressed communities, thousands of young adult volunteers will engulf the Bayou City next year in a tangerine tide.

That’s when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America dispatches its every-three-years Youth Gathering to Houston for one of the nation’s largest public service efforts.

As other American cities have learned: You will know them by their orange shirts and good works.

Next summer, an estimated 30,000 young adults from across the country will convene in Houston to demonstrate their faith through hundreds of service opportunities. About 25 percent of projects will happen in Acres Homes, Gulfton, Near Northside, Second Ward and Third Ward – the five Complete Communities targeted for uplift by Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Details about the Gathering were presented to the Houston City Council in August by the conference’s Houston-based project manager and members of the Emancipation Economic Development Council’s Faith in Action work group, one of many community partner organizations.

“We plan to do minor home repairs, community gardens, graffiti abatement, painting the homes, murals, landscaping, window washing, power washing, mulching, trimming, lawn cutting and a myriad of other services,” said Chris Spellmon, the Emancipation work group co-chairman. “We are anticipating that when the teams leave Houston, they will not only have made a contribution to this city, but also have acquired some knowledge about the rich history of this great city, its diverse neighborhoods and its great people.”

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