ON ORGANIZATIONAL LETTERHEAD
November 14, 2004
Mr. Darin Martinelli, President
The Martinelli Family Foundation
P.O. Box 1225
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Dear Mr. Martinelli:
Greetings! The introduction paragraph is purely to connect. . . Either 1) first- or second-generational connections/relationships, 2) geographic connections, and/or 3) field of interest connections/relationships.
"85% of those who accept Christ will do so before they graduate from high school. . . 70% before they leave Jr. High. . ."
. . . and the forces of growing up are quickly rising against them! School shootings, knifings, hallway rapes, students beating teachers. . . A glance through any local or regional paper reveals the reasons for the current impetus for concern for our youth. Succinctly stated, our kids are living in a spiritual war zone and in a culture of violence. Thousands and thousands of children and youth are being "slaughtered" and displaced in a modern day holocaust. Families are being torn apart. Many youth are being permanently wounded and even killed.
What is the situation with the "culture of violence?" There are many forces [media, drugs, occult, pornography, gangs, peer pressure, etc.] battling for the mind, body, and soul of our kids. For the first time in decades, there is talk about the importance of the Ten Commandments, God, and Prayer in our school communities. Faith-based ministries like Young Life are being called upon to help. We have been given a small window of opportunity, and we must take advantage of this chance, to impact our students.
THE HEART OF THE PROBLEM IS A PROBLEM OF THE HEART!
There are no quick fixes for the "culture of violence." It’s a "heart problem" that will take years to impact and transform. Young Life is here for the long haul and is a long term process by design. Young people are struggling! Alcohol, drugs, trouble coping, pregnancies, and more! And they are reaching out for help. But who is there for them–to accept them, to counsel them, to point them in a positive direction, to walk with them, to be a positive example, to mentor them, to help them? We are!
Young Life was created to reach out to the young people of the eleven county Metro area. We are at a crisis time–an urgent time with the youth of the Warrensburg area. We have an open door to step through in this culture of violence. Youth want help. They are reaching out for help. They are asking for our help.
Eight years ago, concerned people in this area created an organization to help teens make better choices. Young Life provides a unique environment where youth are taught the values of honesty, friendship, developing their potential, fairness and service to others. Since 1992, Young Life has positively influenced approximately 297,000 youth.
Young Life was created and exists for the youth of Warrensburg.
Here’s our plan for the future. . . As a missions organization to youth, we have a specific focus to train and equip students to be missionaries to their junior high and high schools. We have divided the 114 metropolitan High Schools into 11 areas and have already placed three of 14 full-time staff in these areas to help the young people in the high schools.
Young Life’s goal is for every junior and senior high student to first see and then hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thousands of Christian students are already positioned in this mission field we call the public school. In fact, they constitute the largest and most potentially effective missions force of the church. No one can reach students like students. They are the Nationals, and frankly, people will not accept someone they don’t know from someone they don’t know!
Our greatest hope is to train and equip these students with tools to reach their harvest. Through resources, seminars, camps and "Heal Our Generation" conferences, Young Life is doing just that throughout the United States and Canada. Students who receive a call to campus missions are more likely to live with a missions focus the rest of their life.
Sociologists call the youth of today the first generation without an identity. They are the most fatherless youth culture in history leaving them confused, without hope for a future yet incredibly intelligent and impressionable. Generation X is desperate for role models, starved for affection yet crazed with a desire to make a difference!
What would happen if ?. . .
• Thousands of students in a city/area determined they would be a positive role model for their campus. . .
• Work aggressively with other organizations to promote anti-drug and gang programs in our schools?
• What if these teen leaders organized clubs designed to bridge racial barriers and birth reconciliation between student groups?
• What if "The Church" which has often criticized public education exchanged their criticism into a contribution by supporting this effort. . .
• What if these young leaders from different schools would meet together weekly in their cities to encourage each other with ideas and strategies to radically impact their campuses?
Young Life is mobilizing thousands of servant leaders to their schools. In the last six months we have spoken to nearly ten-thousand students and have mobilized several thousand student leaders.
These teens form student led clubs to impact their generation by modeling a drug free, anti-gang life-style which contributes to their community more than it takes. On their campuses they do everything from cleaning teachers classrooms, picking up trash, responding to peer and family crisis, giving food away during lunch and sponsoring anti-drug and gang school assemblies. These students are equipped, trained and resourced to be a positive peer influence in their campus culture.
Young Life is a resource organization to encourage and support youth clubs on junior high and high school campuses in the Warrensburg area, our home base, as well as throughout The United States and Canada.
We need help! We need your help! We are respectfully submitting this proposal to you and asking you to consider helping us provide a portion of the start-up programming to an important group of youth. Thank you for considering our request. The hope of its approval is a boost to us. I am eager to discuss this proposal with you. If you have any concerns, if there is a need for additional materials to be filled out, if I can answer any questions to facilitate this process, or if I can meet and discuss this proposal with you, please call me at (660) 747-6390. Your contribution to this effort affects thousands of lives. Thank you for your investment.
To Preserve a Generation!
Sharon Blair, Director
Young Life–Warrensburg Summary Page
Mission and Vision:
As a nondenominational Christian organization, the message we share with teenagers is called "The Balanced Life." It emphasizes a balance between the social, emotional, physical, and spiritual areas in one's life. We exist to create an environment that presents positive values to youth from seventh through twelfth grade, connecting them with other youth and positive role models, to instill in them a moral lifestyle and to train them to serve others with their lives. Our goal is to reach every young person within the eleven county area that comprises Metro Atlanta. The dynamics of our mission are:
• To provide quality functions, service, and resources to mentor, coach, encourage, and equip youth.
• To increase the return on each dollar invested toward building healthy young people in the area.
• To increase the efficiency of dollars spent on youth programming while enhancing the lives of youth.
Target Market and Geographic Area Served:
There are more than 350,000 youth in the eleven counties served by Young Life. The target market includes the population of youth between ninth and twelfth grade–and the families that have been impacted by a youth from current programming–over one-half million residents of metropolitan Warrensburg.
number youth and families
demographics, ethnographics, geographic focus, etc. . .
Young Life, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3), non-profit organization founded in Warrensburg, Missouri in 1982 and is governed by a Board of Directors of seven community leaders (see Board of Directors Page on Page 7). Also see attached IRS determination papers.
Mrs. Sharon Blair, Director (660) 747-6390, voice
Young Life of Warrensburg (660) 111-2222, cell
P.O. Box 7570 e-mail: email@example.com
Warrensburg, MO 64093 Website www.younglifeburg.org
Financial Request and Purpose:
The needs of an expanding organization like ours are overwhelming. Our current and immediate needs are such that we are asking you for a grant of $25,000 toward our general operating budget (see Organizational Budget on page 5).
TOTAL AMOUNT REQUESTED: $
Evaluation and Accountability:
The progress and effectiveness of Young Life is seen in the progress and reporting of the people whom we serve. Our staff and Board of Directors are very active in performing constant oversight, evaluation , and improvement of what we do. is Because we are committed to integrity, we are willing to complete any reasonable evaluative measure that you request.
Young Life–Warrensburg Proposal
The Need:According to the most recent projection figures from the State of Missouri, there are 997,000 youth between the ages of 13 and 19. The youth of America have struggles and stresses never before seen in history. Recent sensational stories of schoolhouse violence (–even here in Warrensburg!), satanic worship, sex posses, and animal sacrifices are just the tip of the iceberg. In the last 30 years there has been a 500% increase in teen pregnancy and a 300% increase in suicide among young people. Every year more than 1.5 million U.S. teenagers contact sexually transmitted diseases, one million brought a weapon to school, and two million used drugs or alcohol. The moral decline in the youth of America is beyond dispute.
There are many theories advanced as to why our youth are in a moral free fall. We believe that youth need to see better examples and have relationships with people who can help them along the way to healthier lives. The most important influence is the family. A strong stable family decreases the risk of drug addiction and criminal behavior. Unfortunately, the modern day family is also in crisis. More than 50% of marriages end in divorce (regardless of the religious affiliation), the number of unwed mothers is skyrocketing, and alcohol or drugs are dominant forces in many families. Home is not the place where many of the youth in our culture learn moral behavior. One third of all children under the age of 16 will not even see their father this year!
Even in stable religious homes the pressure of our society is having negative effects. Less than 50% of children in these families want a marriage like their parents. More than 40% of youth from good homes have had sexual intercourse by age 18, 50% are stressed out, and 74% say they are looking for answers. This is in the good homes!
The next line of defense in developing moral behavior has been religious institutions. Churches or synagogues have been places to learn a systematic approach to morality that supplements the family values. Religious institutions do have influence in developing moral behavior. However in the morals of sex before marriage, cheating, and being untruthful, the unchurched youth are only 5% more likely to engage in such immoral behavior. The final factor in the development of traditional values in youth was the public school. In the past, schools were a crucial positive influence on moral development. This has all changed in the past few decades. The ten commandments have been thrown out of the classroom and have been replaced by a philosophy of tolerance that have made it difficult for children to know right from wrong. This confusion has been fertile ground for an increase in immoral behavior among our public school youth.
A solution to problems that youth face has been functioning in the Warrensburg area since 1982 is Young Life. Young Life is an organization that stands for building stronger youth by investing our own lives into the lives of young people–through a "balanced life." Getting these truths incorporated into the lives of youth produce better employees, better citizens, and better people. We implore several strategies but acknowledge that no one single organization can impact the Metro Warrensburg area by itself. Therefore, Young Life has adopted five areas of emphasis as part of our overall strategy to fulfill this awesome task. The following area of emphases (our DREAM) represents (not limited to) our foundational strategy for our "Mission":
DOER: Be a DOER of youth evangelism--enlist qualified professional staff to model hands_on evangelism. We train in the latest methodologies available to effectively communicate to today's teens and recruit and train hundreds of volunteers from those models in order to do evangelism through multiplication.
RESOURCE: To be a RESOURCE for youth evangelism. Our mission cannot be accomplished apart from the local church. Therefore, we are committed to provide for the church all of the resources and training at our disposal to do youth evangelism.
EVENTS: Create strategic ministry and fund-raising EVENTS. The ministry events will be designed for maximum visibility, effectiveness, and evangelism results. The fund-raising events should include both short and long term activities that insure program growth and stability.
ADVOCATE: To be an ADVOCATE for youth evangelism. Statistically, unless an individual commits his or her life to Christ prior to high school graduation, 95% never will. Therefore, one of our main responsibilities is to continually keep youth evangelism in front of the Christian community.
MOBILIZE: To MOBILIZE the Christian Community. We must be committed to and model networking with the church and other like_minded youth organizations. We utilize several avenues of support systems available to us as the infrastructure or underlying foundation of the organization including:
• A visionary, proactive, influential local Board of Directors
• Trained, professional, "mission-driven" staff
• Various media outlets
• Foundations and corporate-giving programs
• Interested and concerned members from the community
The History and Explanation of Young Life:
Young Life was birthed out of a move of God on the campuses of our initial city, Warrensburg, Missouri. This document is several pages long but we felt it necessary to define the process that gave Young Life its’ DNA. This is merely a history leading up to our beginnings.
"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." John 12:24
Our youth group had evolved into sort of a citywide event. God had been visiting us in powerful ways, so many kids and parents were coming to check us out. Every Friday night students representing between 15 to 20 or more churches attended. This created a slow exodus as families began to leave their church to attend ours. It was the old "we want to go where our kids are being ministered to" reasoning.
To preserve unity in the city I knew we had to make it difficult for kids to "plug into" our church. My heart was for people to come see and experience what God was doing and then take it back to their families and churches. If our youth meeting became a rally rather than a group then our goal could be accomplished. People are committed to groups but merely attend rallies. I'll never forget meeting with my pastor and church elders, asking them for permission to shut down our youth group.
Two components of our ministry remained after the re-structuring. Our continual commitment to personal discipleship and our worship team practice. Over the next several years we lost our identity in the Body of Christ. At first, some people were questioned our motives. "What are they trying to prove?" We had begun giving regularly to the other ministries in Warrensburg. Offerings increased dramatically as we began taking them for others and stopped taking them for us. I was blown away by the first offering we took for a leader who had just lost his wife to brain cancer. When the offering was counted there were no large gifts but it totaled about $700. Everybody gave what they had. Kids did have money! Every need was a reasonable excuse to take an offering. We sponsored ten senior pastors to attend a prayer summit, scholarshipped teens to camp, and paid for kids to go on mission trips. If there was a visiting leader in our service we would sometimes sleuth out their need and receive an offering for them. What I enjoyed the most was taking offerings for the new youth pastors who came to town. We would send them a card and a check from the youth of Warrensburg.
Several years into the killing of our youth group I received a call from the youth pastor of the largest church in our area. He asked if I could meet him for lunch. I really liked this guy and respected his leadership. Many of his core kids were regulars at Crossfire. As we talked he said, "I don't know what you're teaching on Friday nights but whatever it is, it has caused my students to be more committed to me now than they were before they started coming to your meetings." He went on to say how faithful they were in serving and blessing him. This same response was apparently coming from many of their parents as well.
The Beginning of the Movement:
Something else was poking its head through the soil of our campuses that we were unaware of. It seemed that unity was growing among high school students because of their mutual experience on Friday nights. Their mutual experience had created common ground. They caught the spirit of what we were doing and thought if we could serve and bless the other parts of the Body then they could use these same principles to bless the lost.