Karlee went to Detroit!!
Detroit ELCA National Youth Gathering
July 16 was “Proclaim Justice Day”, service work, for our group of 54. We were up early and delivered by bus to a park to find our service guide by 8 a.m. We then waited until 10:30 a.m. before boarding a new bus to take us to our service project.
We arrived in a neighborhood with a gorgeous yet abandoned church and met with staff from Michigan United. They explained what they hoped we would be able to start accomplishing for them in projects around their office outside. We met and worked with a couple other groups from MN, IA, and PA.
The major task was removing overgrown weeds from sidewalks and an alley. We were also trimming trees in the alley and by the “arson” house. The group I was in focused our attention on and around the arson house. We cleaned the sidewalks of weeds, cut back a pine tree open up the sidewalk, boarded up the doorways and windows on the main level of the house and worked in the back of the house in what could potentially be a garden area.
Michigan United had thought the list of projects they put together would take three days to complete and our groups were able to complete the list in one day!
When the ELCA National Youth Gathering Committee went to the City of Detroit to let them know we wanted to come, the city officials didn’t believe us. They and the citizens of Detroit waited for two years to see if we would actually show up… and WE DID! The number of neighborhoods affected in a positive way during the three days of “Proclaim Justice”? Six hundred.
Detroit has a bad rep. People would ask our group and myself personally, “Why are you going to Detroit? Aren’t you afraid?” I wish I could have brought all of those people with us. I’m changed… for the better! And I thank Pluto Legal for giving me the opportunity to use a Charity Day to help make a different in a damaged, yet immensely beautiful city! God is very much alive in Detroit!