YES is a program that provides opportunities for students to participate in formative service experiences that open doors to a lifetime of living out the true mission of the Church – to love and serve our most needy neighbors.
College life often exists alongside neighborhoods, parks, and community centers where people are living in impoverished, challenging situations every single day. It is easy to be unaware of how our neighbors who are struggling with homelessness and poverty relate to our lives. Our lives are not separate from theirs.
It is time to:
Abandon what you believe to be true about the homeless and poor.
Go across town, or across the street, and encounter your most needy neighbors.
Serve your community and make connections that will transform your life.
Hosting a YES College Day will share the message of love and solidarity with others, break down stereotypes, and build relationships with your community that will work towards fulfilling our mission as servants of Christ.
Below are frequently asked questions about the YES College Days program. For more information on how to bring YES College Days to your campus, please contact Katrina Bitar who can equip you with the information you need to get started.
Q: What is a YES College Day?
YES College Days are single days of service learning designed to expose college students to the reality of poverty and other issues that exist in their communities. Through participating in a day of engaging service projects that take students out and into the streets, hosting a YES College Day on your campus will share the message of love and solidarity with others, break down stereotypes, and provide a way for your community to serve Christ through serving others.
Q: Why should I organize a YES College day on my campus?
Organizing a YES college day provides the opportunity to transform how individual participants, and potentially entire campus communities, relate with the homeless and working poor. After a YES College Day, students will leave with the common understanding that our lives, regardless of social and material wealth, are connected to all people. This is a powerful concept that is truly transformative in the lives of the participants, as well as those they interact with.
Q: Is it hard to plan a YES College Day?
All you have to do is show up! YES staff and trip leaders do 90% of the planning. Our city host and local college students help spread the word and serve as a resource for questions that arise in the planning process, such as:
- Where do the homeless generally gather in the city?
- What are some local organizations in the area of your college campus that serve the working poor and homeless?
- Where are some affordable places to eat in the area?
- Is there a good public transportation system in the city? If not, are there local people with cars that will be able to drive?
- Is there a room on campus that we can use for registration and orientation?
Q: What does a YES College Day look like?
The nature of this ministry is that no two YES College days will look the same. But, generally during the day, participants will first be briefed in how we approach service and why the mission of the day is important. Then, they will be sent out into their city to learn serve the under-served people through strategically chosen projects. In general, the time frame for each component can be based off the following guidelines:
- Orientation: 1 hour
- Prayer Tour (optional): 1 hour
- Ministry: 2-3 hours
- Debriefing: 0.5-1 hours
It is also best to plan the start and end time of your YES College Day to be somewhere between breakfast and dinner (such as from 11am-4pm). Feel free to be flexible with this schedule, and don’t hesitate to do what will be the most beneficial for the group!