Walnut Creek Church Volunteers Roll Up Their Sleeves for Freedom for Youth

Roots run deep for Walnut Creek Church and Freedom for Youth Ministries in more ways than one. Members served the organization by pulling up weeds, planting flowers, and trimming landscaping Saturday during Mission to the City as part of an ongoing effort to support the ministry’s staff and volunteers.

Ashlie Baldwin, Job Coach at Freedom for Youth, is also a member of Walnut Creek Downtown and joined her community group Saturday at their main location and Safe Haven, one of Freedom’s residential programs. Ashlie’s primary role consists of coaching participants ages 18-22 involved in the residential training program. While many of the participants and volunteers at Freedom take on various responsibilities, she was blessed by the opportunity for her community group to help shoulder the burden of much of the manual landscaping labor, as the participants often assist in maintaining the facilities and various job training activities.

“We only have about three young adults in our transitions program right now, but if you could imagine all that [work] being done by three young adults and then myself, all that weed-pulling, mowing, even more things that we didn’t even get done today. That would generally be done from nine to noon, so you can imagine that the work is long and it takes a long time to get done. You’ve served the staff, young adults, and many other things in the program.”

Ashlie says the relationship with Freedom and Walnut Creek has been consistent since she started about four years ago, and is thankful that every Mission to the City brings a new opportunity to strengthen the relationship.

“Walnut Creek has been really faithful to Freedom for Youth. The church has been very good about helping the young adults get connected with community groups. Walnut Creek has also been loving and accepting and stepped in, either financially or with discipleship.”

By Noelle Thompson
Walnut Creek Downtown