The Joy of Service

Jul. 23, 2023

“I don’t usually like to do yard work at home,” shared 16-year-old Kayla from Louisville, KY. “But here, it’s different. I feel like I’m doing something for a bigger purpose.”

I enjoy strolling around our UrbanPromise campus—especially during the summer months—because of the abundant youthful energy. Today, random groups of high school students are pulling weeds, sweeping sidewalks, and carting trash to the dumpster. I’m smiling, hoping the flowers won’t be unintentionally pulled with the weeds.


“I believe young people need to see the connection between service and faith. Getting young people to look beyond themselves and see a bigger world can be life-changing. It happens when I bring our students here.”

– Sherine Green
Youth Director,  Lord of Light Catholic Church in Cherry Hill


For the past 35 years, UrbanPromise has been hosting short-term mission groups—groups that raise their own resources and spend a week of their summer vacation serving. Youth leaders from across the country bring young people to Camden to witness our ministry and learn from our leaders.

This past week we hosted Good Council Catholic School from Maryland, Middleton Christian Church from Louisville, and Lord of Light Catholic Church in NJ—about 50 students in total. Aside from providing much-needed labor (which truly makes me happy), these students participate in our day camps, engage in panel discussions with our StreetLeaders, and learn about the history of Camden on a guided bus tour with city residents.

Our workgroup program brings people together—across barriers of race, socioeconomics, and denominations.

“These young people grow in their faith and advance the mission of UrbanPromise,” shared workgroup coordinator, John Bahm.

When I see a diverse group of young people learning, serving, and dreaming of creating a better world, I become hopeful about the future of our world. That’s good news!

Bruce Main
Founder and President

P.S. Do you know a group that would love to come and serve with us in Camden?  To learn more about our WorkGroup program, visit our website or reach out to John, our WorkGroup Coordinator, or call (609) 410-1912.