Story by Andre Hastick
Fifty-five teenagers spanning seven states came together in July for a week of My City, My Passion, a local mission trip experience for young people, hosted by the Ellicott City (Md.) church. This program provided an opportunity for youth to train in leadership and discipleship, as well as serve the community through acts of compassion and community service.
Throughout the week, the group visited many Ellicott City neighborhoods, going door to door distributing tracts and Bible studies and also extending invitations to Vacation Bible School. “My City, My Passion has four objectives: leadership, the kids having fun, character development and service,” says Paulo Macena, lead pastor of the Ellicott City church. The program also partnered with The 6th Branch, a veteran-led nonprofit that helps transform vacant lots in Baltimore City into new and vital community green spaces.
“We are grateful for My City, My Passion and all the volunteers,” says Scott Goldman, executive director of The 6th Branch. “Duncan Street Miracle Garden ... was a vacant lot until neighbors … came together to build this.” The collaborative efforts (pictured) resulted in this Southeast Baltimore community garden being cleaned, expanded and renewed.
Claudia Walcott, a Baltimore City resident, witnessed the youth picking up debris in her neighborhood and remarked on their positive impact and shared appreciation for their efforts. “This is wonderful. It’s uplifting ... like a healing balm,” she said.