Wellspring Revival Ministries

Wellspring Revival Ministries purpose is to create a compassionate community. WRM operates a youth center, Joel's Place, in Fairbanks, AK whose mission is to provide creative, adventurous and adrenalin seeking youth a good, positive outlet for their energy.
Mar 12, 2015

False Spring

     March is always a difficult time for the people of Interior Alaska.  They have just come through the teeth of winter with temperatures of -40 degrees and 20 hours of darkness per day.  The snow that arrived in September is still on the ground and has been adding up for the past six months. Many of them are just ready to be done with winter and move on to spring/summer.  The calendar says that spring begins this month.  The sun is out longer and actually warms up the days considerably.  There are days, weeks even, when the temperature is above freezing and everyone is walking around in shorts and t-shirts.  There is a palpable optimism that this year will be an early spring and that winter is behind us.

     Those of us who have been here for a while know that winter is still here and will remain through April.  We know that the days of temperate weather will be intermingled with snowstorms and freezing rain and sudden temperature drops.  30 above can turn into 30 below within a day or two.

     I say this not to be discouraging, but to remind people of the climate that we live in.  People get really mad in March and April because the snow and the cold refuse to go away.  This happens every year, but it still takes people by surprise.

     When you work with high-risk youth, there is the temptation to see them as happy and fixed because they are doing so well at the Youth Center.  They follow the rules, are fun and engaging, and they blossom before your eyes.  And then they do something stupid.  They break something; they take something; they start yelling or crying or fighting for no good reason.  And then you remember that this is the climate that we live in.  Their home life has not changed.  Their school situation has not changed.  They are still just one accident, one bad choice, one party away from being a teenager in crisis.  They may spend six hours per day at Joel's Place...but that leaves 18 hours per day in other environments that may not be as encouraging or hopeful.  Our kids are great and it is a tough world out there.

     Thank you for your role in providing Joel's Place to the teens of Interior Alaska.  It is within these walls that we are able to help our 1,100 visitors develop the resources that they need to survive and thrive.  It is at Joel's Place that they are able to learn conflict resolution and patience and winning/losing with grace and money management and hope and so many other valuable lessons. 

     Summer is not here...but it is coming.  Our kids are not in a healthy place yet...but that is coming too.  Thank you again for helping make Joel's Place a reality.

Links:

Dec 11, 2014

Snowskating!

     The winters of Alaska, even as mild as this one has been, are cold and dark and long.  I have three kids of my own and I know very well how antsy they get when they are cooped up in the house for too long.  Joel's Place Youth Center has been a great release valve for teens over the past decade.  They can get out of the house to eat or Skate/BMX/Scooter or attend a concert or just hang out and run around with their friends in a warm and safe location.  However it is all inside and I firmly believe that kids, especially Alaskan kids, miss out on something important if they are not outside during our winters.

     The past couple of years we have done a fair amount of work on the outside of our facility.  We reinsulated the building, paved the parking lot, put up fencing around our property, set up a community garden, fire pit, sand volleyball court and basketball court.  However none of those elements addressed the "Go spend quality time outdoors in the winter," concern.  This coming Saturday Joel's Place is excited to announce the opening of our Outdoor Snow Park.  We have ramps and rails and lots and lots of snow.  This area is designed by skaters to facilitate snowboarding, snowskating and sledding for young people of all ages.  We are really eager to see the kids play.

     Have you heard of snowboarding and sledding but not snowskating?  Welcome to the cutting edge of youth popular culture!  A snowskate is like a marriage of a snowboard and a skateboard.  The deck is smaller than a snowboard and the feet are not strapped in but the bottom of the deck is smooth with no wheels.  The snowskate allows for greater control and a greater variety of tricks than the snowboard, especially tricks that require flipping the board during jumps.  So now you know. 

     Saturday the 13th of December will be our launch party, sponsored by Gripall.  From 4-8pm we will have music, food, prizes, and lots of outdoor fun.  If you are around, feel free to swing by.  If not, thank you for your support and encouragement as we continue to find new ways to invest in the lives of Interior Alaska's youth.

Sep 17, 2014

Joel's Place for Dinner

                                                                         6,520

 

In the past twelve months, Joel's Place has served 6,520 meals for free to the youth of our community.  We are members of a couple of USDA programs (the Summer Food Service Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program for those of you who were curious) that will reimburse our organization for after-school meals that we provide to teenagers and young children in high-risk neighborhoods.  This reimbursement allows us to employ our phenomenal kitchen staff, purchase food and cover other cooking expenses.  The meals are hot, nutritious and did I mention free?  Some of the food that we serve fits into what they eat every day: spaghetti, pizza, etc.  However some of the meals push our kids a little bit.  Chicken stir-fry with veggies is delicious...once you are able to get over the fact that you are eating vegetables.  The goal of the program is to both give healthy meals to youth who may not be getting enough to eat at home and to teach positive nutrition habits through trying new foods or familiar foods prepared in different ways.

 

Food is a huge issue among kids in America, especially Alaska.  Many school-age kids are underfed...the meal that they have here at Joel's Place may be the only food they have during the day.  Hungry kids are bad students.  They are unresponsive.  They have horrible social skills.  Hungry kids do not think about the future because they are wrapped up in finding something to eat.  Hungry kids will eat anything...especially if it is quick and easy and cheap.  Hello, Fast Food and Vending Machines.  Childhood obesity is reaching epidemic proportions in our state.  Kids are eating a ton of empty calories and suffering serious health problems as a result.  It is so easy in Alaska to just stay indoors all winter and be sedentary and a lot of youth just get bigger and bigger and bigger as the years go on.

 

Fighting obesity requires 3 things: Healthy Food, Exercise and Mentoring/Education.  Joel's Place provides all three.  Our meals are USDA certified.  The skate park allows year round exercise and training.  Our staff will sell you a candy bar from the front desk, but they will also accompany you into the cafe to have dinner and make sure you clean your plate.  We had several community members teach afternoon courses this summer on healthy eating and nutrition.  In the two years that I have been on this job, there are a handful of boys who I have met who began coming to Joel's Place as roly-poly little guys. They have skated; they have grown; they have eaten well and now they are big, healthy young men.  I am really proud of that and hope I get to see that story played out over and over again.

 

3,520.  That is a really good number.

Links:

donate now:

Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $25
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Wellspring Revival Ministries

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Wellspring Revival Ministries on GreatNonProfits.org.