To say youth can make a difference is an understatement. For the middle and high school students attending Sunday School at St. Marks’ Church on Capitol Hill, making a difference meant translating their faith into action. For their service project, the students voted on animal rescue and chose City Dogs & City Kitties Rescue as the organization they would work with. Their project is one of the impacts of learning from teachers Lisa and Jeb how Bible stories can reflect in people’s daily lives. 

The students put their heads together to figure out how to get funds to CDCK. One of the students, who isn’t always keen on speaking up and raising his voice, told the group his family had a killer pumpkin bread recipe. With that, the students found their how. 

Ray Gonzales, CDCK Executive Director, dropped by to give the students more background on how animal rescue works. He shared some of the rough situations many CDCK animals come from. He also underscored why spaying and neutering is so important and how everyone should treat animals as members of the family. Speaking to young leaders is key to CDCK’s work. The earlier kids learn they learn the responsibilities that come with owning a pet – and why rescue work is so important – the earlier they can make a difference.

With some generous donations of ingredients, the students rolled up their sleeves and got to work. They spent a few weekends preparing, baking, and packaging the pumpkin bread. In the end, the students sold over 50 loaves to St. Mark’s members and raised $950 for CDCK!

When asked why she thought this project was so successful, Lisa was quick to mention that she and Jeb were willing to throw caution to the wind. The kids were motivated and saw a way to help CDCK now. She and Jeb didn’t spend 6 months waiting for the “perfect opportunity,” or planning out every small detail – they embraced a little chaos and made it happen. Thanks to their work on the back end, the students got to see the life cycle of turning a project into action and understanding where that money will go and how it’ll help animals.

With their action-oriented curriculum, new background in animal rescue, and successful projects that will make a difference for so many animals… Well, the sky is definitely the limit for these students. 

They are a great reminder that kids who are given the opportunity – especially ones who are surrounded by adults who support them – can do anything they put their minds to. All actions – big and small – help us save animals from some perilous situations and find their loving forever homes. 

Thank you SO much again to the students, Lisa, Jeb, and the members of St. Mark’s Church!