Article and photo by Urban Alliance staff.

When a group of twelve young adults from Valley Community Baptist Church in Avon, lead by Greg Kessler, were looking for a group service opportunity, they reached out to Urban Alliance to help match them with a ministry that needed a few extra hands.

Erin Fletcher, Director of Volunteer Engagement at Urban Alliance, connected them to the Clothes Closet, and the group volunteered on September 21 at the Citadel of Love.

“Everyone in our group enjoyed the experience and would do it again,” said Kessler. “The Clothes Closet is a big help to people in need. In having the service available, I hope it will help draw them closer to God, even by seeing the volunteers and wondering what motivates them.”

Another group of high schoolers from Wintonbury Church and South Church, lead by Brian Dailey, also were looking for ways to serve as part of their participation in World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine. According to their website, the 30 Hour Famine is “a worldwide movement of students who are serious about serving God and fighting hunger – all on an empty stomach. For 30 hours, participants get a taste of hunger by not eating – something more than a billion people around the world experience every day. And by doing fundraising activities, community service projects, and learning more about the facts of world hunger, students are changed in amazing ways as they help others and save lives.”

The group was matched with the Youth Challenge Thrift Store, and helped volunteer store manager, Monique Londoño, sort items to get prepared for the fall/winter season.

“We had a good time talking with Monique and getting to know her and what she does – she has an infectious personality! By people in the community seeing her enthusiasm and to shine the light of the Lord in the community is what makes a difference,” said Dailey.

Danielle Ambrose, who coordinated the 30 Hour Famine at Wintonbury Church, shared, “The kids enjoyed working with [Monique]…and she said they got done in a few hours what would have taken her weeks.”

There are several ways to get involved by volunteering through Urban Alliance. Click here to view a list of current volunteer opportunities, or contact UA’s Volunteer Manager Leah Caldwell at or (860) 986-7724 x16.