Special to the One Feather
For the past nine years, the Mission Serve Program has journied to Cherokee. Youth members participating in this program come from all over the country to make a difference on the Qualla Boundary. Their goal is this: To lend a helping hand to community members while sharing the gospel of the Bible.
When the program first began, Mission Serve had approximately 175 volunteers. Only 15 projects were completed. The volunteers were housed in the old Cherokee school. Today, the number of participants has grown to over 600 youth members. Due to this program’s hard work and dedication, this summer approximately 50 projects were completed in the Snowbird Community and Cherokee. These home projects ranged from building handicapped ramps, to interior/exterior painting and roofs. Crews also performed general cleanup for homeowners, all with a happy heart and cheerful presence.
Darrell Brown, EBCI Rehab/HELP program manager, has had the pleasure of working with this group since it began traveling and working in Cherokee.
Says Brown, “Because of the hard work and devotion of the Mission Serve Program, this assistance means a lot of free labor to the Tribe. With the economy like it is, many individuals cannot secure the services performed by the Mission Serve Program. They fill a gap for our enrolled members. Working with this program provides approximately $50,000 worth of free labor. That’s a huge help to the Tribe and its members.”
Brown enjoys working with the group and is proud of the accomplishments made by Mission Serve. He said the fact that the program has grown over the past nine years is a testament to the goodwill and hard work ethic of the youth participating in the project.
The group returns to Cherokee on a yearly basis to provide assistance and share their Christian activities with the local community. This year, the youth were housed at the Robbinsville High School and the new Cherokee Middle School. Both school gymnasiums were filled with sleeping bags and air mattresses, as the youth members made their temporary homes for the week. A full breakfast, lunch, and dinner is provided to the volunteers, along with sincere thanks and appreciation.
Brown relayed the following about his experience with Mission Serve. “I’ve had the privilege of watching this program grow since coming to Cherokee. We are blessed to have these volunteers. I am thankful for their work and their help to our members.”
The volunteers are treated to a special dinner and closing program once their work is complete.
“We look forward to this group coming each year and helping our communities. We’re thankful for their assistance,” said Brown. “I just want them to know how much we appreciate their efforts.”