Young Life of Hillsdale to hold fundraising banquet Sat­urday.

In efforts to raise awareness for com­munity out­reach, Young Life of Hillsdale will host a fundraising banquet Sat­urday at the Dow Lead­ership Center.

Young Life Director Andy van der Harst, who has been on staff with Young Life for the past three years, said that the event also serves as a thank you for current sup­porters.

“But it is also more than just a fundraiser,” van der Harst said. “We invite people to become partners with us.”

Young Life of Hillsdale exists to cul­tivate friend­ships between children and young adults, ulti­mately sharing the Gospel.

“Young Life is fun­da­men­tally about Jesus Christ and the pursuit of God after people,” van der Harst said. “That is our moti­vation.”

While Young Life of Hillsdale has been around since the 1990s, pro­gramming is still in its beginning stages, van der Harst said. With an increase in fundraising, addi­tional activ­ities such as clubs and bible studies will begin.

Cur­rently, Young Life student leaders attend lunches several times a week at Davis Middle School and play with the kids at recess. In addition, they have chap­eroned dances and assisted with sports prac­tices. These set­tings allow the student leaders to build rela­tion­ships with the kids.

Freshman Shelby Dorman, one of the Young Life student leaders, got involved with Young Life after con­necting with the program at The Source, a campus and com­munity orga­ni­zation fair at Hillsdale College.

“I wanted to get involved with kids, and focus on the gospel message,” she said. “I started going to dif­ferent events and realized that it wasn’t just about reaching kids, but also about per­sonal and spir­itual devel­opment.”

Dorman said she saw the oppor­tunity as an addi­tional way to keep herself accountable and that throughout the next few months she was able to grow to love sharing the sim­plicity of God’s love.

“There’s a lot of bro­kenness in the Hillsdale com­munity,” Dorman said. “And a lot of lack of knowledge about who God is. Many of these children haven’t expe­ri­enced real love from God.”

Freshman Grace Bennett, another Young Life student leader, said she found a lot of bro­kenness in the com­munity as well, but that having rela­tion­ships with children has been really pow­erful.

“We have a saying that the children don’t care what you say until they see that you care,” Bennett said. “Showing that love to them is really important for the older — younger rela­tion­ships.”

Dorman said that Young Life is a great outlet for Hillsdale College stu­dents to get involved with kids in the local com­munity.

“It can help college stu­dents, and anyone who has a passion for children in the present com­munity and have a heart for God’s love,” Dorman said. “Looking beyond the college com­munity can be really pow­erful.”

The oppor­tu­nities for assisting with Young Life are endless, van der Harst said.

“For those reaching out to help, there’s a lot of flex­i­bility,” he said. “We really could use people for finances, admin­is­tration, rela­tion­ships, and events.”

Those inter­ested in sup­porting Young Life of Hillsdale can find more infor­mation at