Service day benefits local nonprofits

Youth Challenge participants, volunteers and staff teamed up with families from Church of the Gesu in University Heights for a day of service in early December.

It was all about collaborating and giving back when Church of the Gesu in University Heights sent a group of families to team up with Youth Challenge (YC) participants and volunteers to create holiday ornaments and cards as part of its annual Service Day on Saturday, Dec. 6.

The ornaments they made will be sold at the Youth Challenge Holiday Show on Dec. 14 to benefit YC’s free programs. The cards will be sent to residents of the local L’Arche community. In addition, the YC kids brought toiletries to donate to L’Arche Cleveland. 

Youth Challenge is a nonprofit that provides adapted sports and recreational opportunities to children with physical disabilities. Trained teen volunteers are paired one-on-one with participants to play, socialize and have fun. YC serves children throughout Northeast Ohio and has offices in Westlake and in Shaker Heights at the Hanna Perkins Center.

“It was great to have our teen volunteers, the YC participants and the families from Gesu get together for the day of service,” said Christian Swol, Youth Challenge program manager. “It’s really important for our participants, who are physically disabled, to have a chance to give back since they receive so much from Youth Challenge programs all year.” 

To learn more about Youth Challenge, call 440-892-1001 or visit

Kathy Rigdon

Kathy Rigdon is a media specialist at Youth Challenge.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 4:21 PM, 12.12.2014