The Calvary Baptist Community Church Youth Group meets on Fridays at 7:00 p.m., and this Friday they'll be heading to Estevan as part of a special trip to help others.

Co-leader Kathryn Erickson said she has reached out to the members' parents to have them gather some toiletries and other essentials to take to the Addictions Recovery unit at St. Joseph's Hospital.

She heard of the need through one of her tattoo clients.

"I'd say like 90 percent of our clientele is from Estevan area, so I have clients that work at St. Joseph's, and we have been connecting," she explained. "One of my clients had mentioned that in the rehab program it can be up to a year, so that's a long time."

Those who are staying in the addiction recovery unit are responsible for supplying their toiletries and things needed to maintain hygiene, which all must be alcohol-free.

"But if you're not working for a year, even six months, or two months, it's hard to get the means to have that stuff, and a lot of people [struggling with] addictions don't come from very good homes, or they don't have family, they don't have people reaching out to them. So we would like to make little bags of toiletries and just things that they could use while they're there, just so they have that weight lifted off them and they can focus on full recovery instead of thinking, 'oh well, I can't have this. I can't afford this. I can't get this', which leads to that self-doubt and [low-self]-worth. So we want to just help lift their spirits by doing that."

She said they are gathering items for this Friday, but will be making more trips to St. Joseph's Hospital for this reason.

"We are always welcoming to the community bringing donations as well and making it something for everyone to be a part of." 

Erickson said they have activities planned in Estevan on Fridays at least every few months, and while they can't directly take the items to the patients, they do take advantage of the pool or movie theatre in Estevan while they're there, or join with a youth group there for a worship night.

"Barber Motors are phenomenal. They have been supplying the vans for us free of cost to do these things, so it's really awesome that the community does help in those ways." 

Since the departure of Pastor Tim MacKinnon last fall, Erickson now leads the group along with her husband Fuel. She said they most often get together for game nights and other fun activities at the church.

"Every Friday from about 7:00 to 9:00, I'm usually there earlier and honestly, we're usually there a bit later, too, because some kids want to hang out a bit later, or they're just having such a good time that sometimes it's 10:00, 10:30 if parents don't mind," she explained. "We do a lot of 'minute to win it' games, we do relays, we do board games. We've had worship nights. We join with the Estevan, Macoun, Stoughton area, Arcola churches every few months, and we're actually going to go to Trossachs [Gospel Camp] at the end of May for a weekend of camping and it's going to be a speaker and worship and games that will be really fun. So we try to keep the variety big."

fuel youth

There is also a strong emphasis on mission-type service, such as working at the Carmichael Outreach in Regina, where there is a variety of opportunities to help out, including organizing the clothing closet and preparing care packages.

"We do go to the soup kitchens and Regina and Moose Jaw, things like that. We're trying to figure out more outreach ways in how the kids can see how they can help others, too." 

While at the soup kitchens, she noted, some of the kids prepare the food, soand me serve out front, as, "Not all kids want to be out front and that's okay. You work with a variety of addictions and mental illnesses and you see a lot of stuff, and some kids just don't want to be around that. So they prefer to be in the back and it's okay. There's a safe and good way that everyone can help and feel comfortable."
Erickson pointed out that while Weyburn and Estevan have a rivalry between high school sports and hockey teams, such as the Bruins and Red Wings, members of both communities grow up having inter-community connections, including the surrounding towns here in the southeast, through various organizations, whether church-affiliated or otherwise. 

"We are all one community. The world is actually quite small, because you'll meet people that know people, even in Saskatoon to Weyburn, right?"

"We need to break those walls down. We need to be supporting each other and loving each other, because if someone's going through something when they're hurting, we should be communities that lift each other up, and so that's why we've actually joined together for those worship nights and joint events with Estevan because we want to bring our youth together to build it as more of a community."

She explained that almost every family has someone who struggles with addictions, including alcoholism. 

"So if we can kind of open our hearts to that, then kids that are dealing with this in the schools won't feel so ashamed or scared or alone. They'll be willing to open up for help and see things from a new perspective and see hope in the situations and be able to reach out because it's more in the eye now with social media and everything that's out there. People see addiction like never before. I personally feel it has always been this bad. Every generation has had its struggle with something, but it's more in the eye now, so it's time to just kind of realize how we can help with it and maybe make things better."

Anyone who would like more information on helping out with the CBCC Youth Group's mission work can call or text 306-861-4492 or send a message to Kat & Fuel via Facebook Messenger. Find the Youth Group on Facebook HERE.