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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 hillsdale.younglife.org.