2013 Cordova Church of Christ

Community Volunteer Awards
2013 Honorees
Cordova Church of Christ Youth Ministry
Cordova Church of Christ Youth Ministry
Aaron Redelsperger, 
former Youth Ministry leader at 
Cordova Church of Christ with 
County Supervisor Don Nottoli

Distinguished Service by a Faith Community

Cordova Church of Christ Youth Ministry

From the beginning, people of faith have believed that the faithful will pursue God's work in community with other people - people in the church family, in a small group, and in the world. They believe we were formed for fellowship, and it's only in community that we learn life's most important lesson - how to love. That is a lesson being explored by members of Cordova Church of Christ Youth Ministry as they reach out to teens in our community - with love... and a fork! 

It is sobering to understand that poverty and loneliness is life's reality for a staggering number of students in our community.

Would it shock you to learn that more than three-quarters of students at Mills Middle School qualify for free or reduced cost lunch? It's true.

It's much the same at Mitchell Middle School, where that percentage is 67 percent and at Cordova High School, where it is 65 percent.

We know students from low income homes often struggle with school, with belonging, with nutrition, with life.

Is there a way to address these felt needs, all at once?

Cordova Church of Christ's Youth Ministry thinks so. And they are fighting the good fight with stacks of pancakes, and lots of love.

Each Thursday morning, volunteers at Cordova Church of Christ fire up the griddle and start making breakfast. And from 6:30 to 8 a.m., students heading to Mills, Mitchell or Cordova High can fill an empty stomach and maybe even a hole in the heart, with a hot stack of pancakes and the ear of a caring adult.

During these moments is when volunteers hear about troubles and share in achievements. Organizers have told stories about teens in our community who get up early to chow down on a stack of pancakes, not only to fortify themselves for a day at school, but to return home to get their own sisters and brothers up and ready for their own school days.

Cordova Church of Christ Youth Ministry volunteers are always on the lookout for ways to touch kids in our community and along the way teach young people it not only feels good to be cared for, but to provide care as well.

That's why each holiday season Rancho Cordova comes alive with front yards filled with balloons - a sure sign somebody has been “elfed.” This fun practical joke not only spreads cheer, but raises thousands of dollars that goes to Project 680, another volunteer effort in our community that is meeting felt needs of homeless students. And so it goes.

Look for Cordova Church of Christ members decorating our community Christmas tree, playing with children at Kid's Day and so much more. But when Thursday morning rolls around, there they are -- where the rubber meets the road -- with a hot breakfast and a warm heart for teens in our town who have it a lot tougher than most.

Cordova Church of Christ Youth Ministry, thanks for reminding us that sometimes healing the soul starts with nourishing the body. 

Thanks for remembering that teenagers are people too… with real problems and real needs that may not being met by families who are struggling. 

Most of all, thank you for being an outstanding example of what faith looks like when it takes action and starts flipping pancakes, by God! 

You are showing true faith leadership by walking the talk and leading the way. Our community is richer for it, and you inspire others to do the same and more. 

You might say, when it comes to caring, you really stack up...

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