Photos © 2018 Anthony Serge
Hope and direction are central to the mission of a new Quakertown grassroots non-profit, which opened Oct. 15 to serve young people.
The Drop, located at the Quakertown Community Center, is a program geared toward middle and high school students who may find themselves aimless and faced with the temptation to cross into risky behaviors after school lets out.
Now they will have a safe place to go.
Located inside the former ice skating “log cabin” at Fourth Street, The Drop will be open two days a week in the afternoons for youngsters to gather, play games, and get to know others.
Quakertown Borough has provided the building and area businesses and individuals have stepped up offering funds and gear - like foosball and air hockey tables – as well as refreshments.
“Our plan is to coordinate services,” to best benefit these young people, said Vickie Landis, of Vickie Landis Team Keller Williams Realty Quakertown.
“As a company [Keller Williams Realty] we do a lot to shed some light and make people aware of non-profit [resources] in the community, “ Landis said.
Landis is on the board of directors of the Quakertown Community Center.
The center and its programs aim to provide a safe place with wholesome activities, resources and adult supervision but could also grow to offer academic tutoring, adult mentors and help with career or educational choices.
“The greatest need is to serve our young people,” said Bruce Eglinton-Woods, president of the Quakertown Community Center Board and pastor of Salem Mennonite Church in Richland Township.
Eglinton-Woods said training adult mentors and matching them with youngsters as well as such finding resources for academic tutoring could be part of the program’s future.
“For the first three months, we’ll be getting to know the kids and building relationships with them,” Eglinton-Woods said.
Ultimately, helping young people discover their “hopes, dreams and gifts,” and create plans to turn those dreams into reality is part of the program’s mission, Eglinton-Woods said.
Larry Serge is the Quakertown Community Center executive director. He said the program was the brainchild of area pastors. “We’ve been [exploring] this for the past three years,” Serge said.
He said making connections with students and offering them some structure and guidance to their day could make a huge difference in their lives. “Often kids without direction are hanging out at the parks,” Serge said.
Engagement was the key to success, Eglinton-Woods said. “If you look at youth programs in our churches, once kids go through them, they often don’t come back. Those that have an actual role in the worship, often do. Our goal is to give kids something that [appeals] to them” and creates investment, Eglinton-Woods said.
What: The Drop at Quakertown Community Center.
Who: Young people aged 14 to 18.
When: Open twice weekly from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday and Wednesday.
Cost: Services to youth are free of charge.
Where: Former ice skating cabin at Fourth Street.
For information, to donate or volunteer contact Larry Serge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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