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.
Feb 12, 2016

Rethinking the Vision!

Scooter in the JP
Scooter in the JP

The mission of Joel’s Place Skate Park and Youth Center, the only facility of its kind in Fairbanks, Alaska, is to give creative, adventurous, adrenalin seeking youth a good, positive outlet for their energy. Joel's Place offers youth a safe place to call their own, with a concert venue, gaming room, an indoor/outdoor skate park, media lab, retail skate shop, a community garden, outdoor volleyball and basketball courts, snowboard park, and a café, where volunteers and food donations, allow us to feed hungry young people. We serve over 6,500 free meals each year. Youth can participate in action sports, tutoring, music and art lessons, life and job skills training. It is a place where young people know that they will be safe and respected while having an incredible amount of fun and developing the tools that they need to thrive in the world.

On December 19, 2015 Joel’s Place announced that we were closing our doors indefinitely due to financial issues. After an outpouring of community support and donations, we were able to reopen our doors on January 29, 2016 and were thrilled to end 2015 with all the bills paid.

We have now reopened with volunteers and are dealing with cash flow and unsustainable staffing issues. We have added a program that will help make up any deficits and have developed a budget based on actual income patterns. We have new hours of operation and have slightly increased our session cost for the skate park giving parents an opportunity to partner with us.

Our plan is to continue feeding young people ages 10-20 over the weekend. The facility will be available to rent for parties and meetings on a limited basis bringing in additional income.

The new program we have added is called RAW Joy School Age program (the name combines Randy Smith Middle School, Anne Wein and Joy Elementary Schools that are in our neighborhood). This program will reach 5-12 year old students and foster emotional resilience, academic excellence, physical stamina and give stability to children while parents or caregivers work. It extends the target age of Joel’s Place (10-20) to include 5-9 year olds for the morning and afternoon program and will allow younger children to have access to our indoor skate spot.

Presently, the staff is working on licensing as a child care facility to formalize our program allowing parents access to Child Care Assistance funds. In 2015, Joel’s Place served 130 students in this demographic. This program will be more structured meeting a need in our neighborhood for before and after school activities. Our goal is to serve students 7am- 7pm depending on parent’s needs.

Thank you for your support in giving creative, adventurous and adrenalin seeking Alaskan young people a good, positive outlet for their energy!

Nov 17, 2015

Imagine

Joel
Joel's Place Members

One evening a few weeks ago, I looked around Joel's Place and took a mental snapshot. I loved what I saw and I wanted to remember it. What I saw was an incredibly diverse group of people who were eating, laughing, playing, serving and working side by side.

We had a group from a local baptist church decorating our stage and game room for Halloween. Meanwhile, a Muslim family was having a birthday party for their young son, and next to them were a group of boy scouts, in uniform, working on tying knots. And weaved throughout, were our regular members with nothing in common except a love for Joel's Place. Our pink-haired goth girls were helping the baptists, while some of our high energy skater boys slowed down long enough to check out the knot-tying. And everyone was excited to share some pizza and cake with the Birthday Family.

I always call Joel's Place "The Great Equalizer". Kids of all races, religions, abilities and identities are just here to have fun. Our Center is a safe haven, where kids are far too busy perfecting a trick or memorizing a new song to notice that someone looks different than them.

Joel's Place is a Christian Organization. For us, that means that we can talk with our kids and pray for the people throughout the world who are hurting, oppressed, displaced and terrorized.  That we can show love and be loved in the same way that God loved us. Unconditionally. 

We live in a world filled with fear and suspicion. People are attacked or killed because of their beliefs, or religion, or race. While Joel's Place can't change the political climate or create world peace, we can model respect for people who are different from us. We can create peace in our little corner of Alaska, and hope that our kids carry that peace with them as they go out into the world. We are not only mentoring young men and women, we are raising up Peacemakers. 

*Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God

Sep 1, 2015

Everything's better when we're in it together

This summer has been phenomenal!  We had about 200 kids come through Joel’s Place to play games, skate, bike, scooter, go to concerts, do community service and so much more.

The success we experienced this summer was possible through the cooperation and collaboration of our many community partners. I’d like to highlight some of the impact these partnerships have made the past 3 months.

Food Service Program: Our partnership with the Boys &Girls Club, Literacy Council and The Food Bank made it possible to serve an average of 500 meals and snacks per week throughout the community!

Random People Who Care: A group of volunteers committed to service projects every Monday throughout the summer. They coordinated with agencies, churches and individuals in need of assistance to bring groups of young people to serve in the community. We had 21 young people serve in different projects such as planting our garden, painting a church nursery, cleaning a neglected section of a local cemetery, helping a widow with yard work and doing basically whatever was asked of them.
At the end of the summer, the youth were treated to an unforgettable day of horseback riding and zip-lining!

Bone Builder Backpacks: Throughout the summer, we provided 178 kids with healthy snacks and easy to prepare meals for the weekend. This major effort came together through the efforts of the Food Bank, who collected and stored the food for us over the spring, to The Landing Church, who collected enough healthy food each week to keep the backpacks filled, to Fairbanks Resource Agency who provided the volunteers each week to pack the bags to some individual volunteers who faithfully loaded their vehicles with boxes upon boxes of food and took them to each distribution site. And finally, Spirit of Alaska Credit Union who, along with The Landing Church, provided school backpacks for each child in the program!

The youth at Joel’s Place see that our community cares about them and is willing to invest in them. They are given opportunities to give back. It’s a win-win.

We are so incredibly grateful for our community partnerships, for the volunteers and donors who help us keep the doors open and help keep Joel’s Place rolling!

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