WHAT'S NEW AT THE BEACON
One of the things that's important about running a local youth centre that depends 100% on donations from others is that it should be well run and manage its finances responsibly.
In that regard, God continues to be good to us! Beacon supporters will be pleased about our changes coming this summer.
A NEW DIRECTOR: The first change is in management. Mike Fuller is our new director and I (René Schmidt) will go back to being a volunteer like I used to be. Mike has a great background: he is 30, a happily married dad with good people skills, a history of taking responsibility, is self-employed, has three years background in youth ministry and experience working with challenging adults in a group home. Mike plans to support what is good about The Beacon, but he also brings a youthful outlook and new ideas to our mission.
A NEW LOOK: Our second obvious summertime change will be some ‘free’ renovations to The Beacon. Over its lifetime The Beacon has had many improvements to make it more accessible, safe and kid-friendly. But with our greatly increased numbers this year*, more changes are needed. Thanks to David Green we secured a generous Brian Todd Memorial Grant, so we can make improvements without dipping into our regular budget. Volunteer and builder Don Harnden has created plans and will supervise the following work projects:
1) The Beacon’s ugly drooping ceiling will be removed and the poorly distributed lighting will be rearranged to bring more light to dark areas of the place. The exposed upper area will be cleaned and spray-painted professionally.
2) The Beacon’s small food preparation area will be increased with a moveable food prep table.
3) The back emergency exit door will be replaced.
4) The office will be relocated and made smaller, allowing more room for youth and the games they use.
5) The poorly-flushing toilets in both bathrooms, long a source of annoyance, have already been replaced.
6) The 'Big Boy' table will be rebuilt and recovered.FREE LABOUR: Many of the improvements will be undertaken by work teams from SERVE. (SERVE is hosted by Fellowship CRC in Brighton. For a week in July teenaged Christians from CRC churches in Ontario and Michigan will do supervised work projects in Brighton such as gardening, painting, planting, cleaning or building. This work is done free for seniors, the disabled or for charities like ours.) Don will supervise much of the renovation work at the Beacon. During July and August Mike and our volunteers will complete much of the skilled work involved, with local tradesmen called to inspect and approve the changes according to building codes.
INCREASE IN VISITS: *This school year we had 5273 visits from youth during lunch and evening programs - 40% more than for the 2015-2016 school year. Every day we were open an average of 23 to 38 students were greeted warmly and exposed to the love of Christ through food and prayer and uplifting conversations with volunteers.
YOUTH NOTES: The Beacon Youth Centre Respect Award was awarded to Matthew Kinzinger by René Schmidt at ENSS graduation. Beacon regular Rachel Petty won the Citizenship and Achievement awards at Brighton Public School graduation. And Cole Rittwage one of our ENSS regulars, contributed $60 to The Beacon during our last week. Said Cole; “I’ve been enjoying this place and eating for free, so I felt I should give something back.” Duncan Bellamy also gives back by playing sledge hockey with able-bodied and other-abled teammates in Bewdley. Duncan frequently assists with fostered adults and youth in our community.
SCHOOL NOTES New Brighton Public School Principal Todd Bishop and V.P. Keith Piette express gratitude for The Beacon. “So many of our students are welcomed at The Beacon,” Bishop said. Many of these regular students are from broken homes and needy families. Some of these public school students are bold about the lunchtime prayers and offer to pray out loud for the food and each other’s needs. ENSS Principal and V.P.s also visit The Beacon when they make lunchtime rounds of the community. They and other teachers we have dealt with say they appreciate the good communication between The Beacon and the high school.
PRAYER NEEDS Please pray for students in the following needy situations: K, D, W, and A with family struggles. These students (and others) have difficult home lives that sometimes affects their relationships with others at ENSS and The Beacon. Also pray for healing for volunteers Jim Snyder, Lorraine Schernitzki, Bets Lobban, and Ann Dalrymple who all have serious ongoing health issues that have affected their ability to volunteer for us.