Maple Ridge may be small, but it packs a punch. Known for developing numerous professional athletes, the city has much to offer the world. Youth Unlimited has been active in Maple Ridge since 2002, establishing an Arts & Music Café and a Skateboard Club, as well as numerous school programs where we support youth and inspire them to give back to their community.
High School Breakfast
In 2010 it became clear to Youth Unlimited staff that a surprising number of kids in Maple Ridge high schools did not have access to a proper breakfast (and often lunch as well). In response, YU now coordinates weekly breakfast programs, supported by donors and volunteers. Since all school teens can participate (regardless of financial need), the target group is not stigmatized and youth have the additional benefit of participating in community by sharing a meal together. It’s been rewarding for YU staff to observe healthy relationships being built among youth as well as to participate in building partnerships as we serve alongside community groups.
Through weekly lunch clubs hosted by YU, students have the opportunity to engage in deeper conversations without judgement or ridicule. In these relaxed environments, they discuss a myriad of life, spiritual and social issues. We’ve had the privilege of seeing those discussions turn to action, as many students become motivated to serve their school in unique ways. Hot Chocolate mornings, Christmas Candy Cane giveaways, Valentine Chocolates for teachers, service trips with the Salvation Army and to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside are just some of the unique and effective initiatives they’ve embarked on. Youth Unlimited staff also coordinate extended trips to California, Mexico and Rwanda
Community Support Role
Youth Unlimited serves its community through partnership and collaboration. We volunteer in high schools, supporting youth workers and counselors meeting the many complex needs of teens in our community. Seasonally, YU workers can be found coaching sports teams and participating in other recreational activities and clubs, being the extra coach or adult required for the youth activity to run.
For the church community, YU workers provide support and mentorship to student-led, school prayer groups and we also organize regular Youth Pastor network brunches and partner in their youth events.