For awhile now, I’ve been planning to do a post about Stand in the Gap Ministries and in particular, their Life Launch program. Well, today is the day.
So often, we really do want to connect with and help other people in the name of Jesus but it’s not always easy to know where to start or what to do. Well, let me tell ya. Okies, this is for you (To out-of-state friends, I am always happy to do some internet searching to help you find a way to serve, too! Just holla atcha girl!).
You can get a great introduction to the programs SITGM offers just by visiting their website so I’m not going to get too in-depth here but I wanted to let you all know who and what they are.
As the name suggests, SITGM is a faith-based organization and exists to follow the commands of the Bible to care for widows, orphans and prisoners. So, they have developed three programs.
Kindred Community is a program that empowers churches to help widows come together in order to support one another.
Women in Transition is a program for women coming out of prison so that they have not only training before they leave but also a group of friends to help them once they do!
Life Launch is the program that Spencer and I have been looking into and the one I know the most about. It is a program that matches a group of 2-5 adult volunteers with one student aging out of foster care. It is a one-year commitment and they ask that you meet every week or every other week. For the first six months, you spend your time together just getting to know one another. The second six months you work on goal-setting, planning and implementation. For instance, if a young person was interested in going to vo-tech, you might just take them for a visit there to get more information or help them open a checking account.
It’s not hard! You don’t have to do anything but be a friend! It requires no special skills! We went through the training and it was very simple and we did it over a meal with the OKC director. We couldn’t find any friends to do it with us so she said she could either put us together with other volunteers or we could just have a small group. The next step is to submit a background check (which is free to you if they go through DHS- we paid for ours so it wouldn’t take so long but it was only $17) and then they match you up with a youth.
Can you imagine being 18 and left all on your own with no support, no guidance and no reliable adults in your life at all? I can’t. I was a hot mess and an idiot when I was 18. No surprise that many of these kids end up in jail, human trafficking or dead. But, sometimes it’s just knowing that someone does care and is there for them that makes all the difference.
SITGM is in Tulsa and OKC but you don’t have to live in one of the two big cities to be involved! Just contact them (918-585-6112)and they’ll help you find your spot. And, of course, if you’re looking for your end-of-year charities, they do have a donate button.
Just do it.