Siouxland Youth for Christ host chamber coffee | Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner | nwestiowa.com – nwestiowa.com

Siouxland Youth for Christ host chamber coffee | Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner | nwestiowa.com – nwestiowa.com

Abundant sunshine. High 79F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph..
Clear skies. Low around 55F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph.
Updated: October 10, 2022 @ 2:06 pm

HAWARDEN—Hawarden Chamber of Commerce members had an opportunity to learn more about Siouxland Youth for Christ at its Chamber Coffee event last Thursday.
Members gathered around tables at the City Life Teen Center, 1305 23rd St., Hawarden.
Siouxland YFC started in 1978 when leaders in Sioux City came together to counsel local teens who were having trouble transitioning into adulthood. Since then, it has grown to include youth clubs, camps, mentoring, juvenile detention ministries and programs for 11-19-year-olds. By 2013, Siouxland YFC was running ministries in Sioux City and Le Mars and owned its building in Hawarden, though it sat unused at the time.
A lack of staffing led to the center sitting unused from 2011-15. Tom Cook, Youth for Christ Sioux County area director, joined YFC in 2015 after retiring from the Air Force. Since then, Cook, his wife Roxanne, and the center’s volunteers have built the program.
The City Life Teen Center is open 3:30-6 p.m. Thursdays. On the second Thursday of the month, the center hosts an art night. On the fourth Thursday, center hours extend an extra hour so that after the regular programming ends, the center can turn into a dining room. The youth get to experience what it is like to have a meal together while learning food prep, cleanup and table manners.
Every student in sixth- through 12th-grade is welcome, whether they’re from Hawarden or not.
“We just hang out with them. We share life with them. We let them know they’re loved, and they’re cared for, and they’re not a mistake,” Cook said. “So many times these students are told they’re a mistake or that they’re not going to amount to anything or they don’t have parent support.”
The Cooks step in and offer that support. Often, that’s sitting in the stands cheering on students at sporting events.
“Sometimes we’re the only adults there for certain students; their parents aren’t there,” Cook said. “We want to be there in support because it’s a big deal for some students.”
Sometimes that support is a listening ear, hearing the excitement of a student getting their driver’s license or taking a phone call from someone who is worried about their friend.
“We have those times we need to check in with students, especially to see if they might harm themselves in some way, if we need to connect with another service,” Cook said.
Still, other times connection might look like one-on-one meetings with a student who’s struggling with their feelings such as anxiety.
“Ultimately, our goal is to share Christ with students,” Cook said. “We do that through the relationships we’re building with the students. And it’s because of your support in the community, whether it’s donating doughnuts, chairs, water, whatever it is, that we can keep doing what we’re doing.”
IRETON—Ireton’s new pickleball court is ready and waiting for players.
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Abundant sunshine. High 79F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph..
Clear skies. Low around 55F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph.
Updated: October 10, 2022 @ 2:06 pm
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