At IGC, we believe in the value of Christian service. We believe that raising a generation of Christians who serve wholeheartedly and with genuine enthusiasm begins long before adulthood. That's why we give youth the opportunity to take ownership of their own service project in the weeks leading up to their Confirmation Retreat Weekend. Telling kids how important service is to living a Christian lifestyle only goes so far - providing them with the skills and experience to serve God's people is invaluable. Enter... ZOE.
What is ZOE?
ZOE reaches out in love to all vulnerable children and those wishing to partner with them, regardless of their beliefs, so they may experience the love of God with physical, social, psychological, and spiritual healing. Guided by the core belief of not doing anything for young people that they can be taught to do for themselves, ZOE equips orphans and vulnerable children to overcome extreme poverty by addressing multiple barriers simultaneously. These barriers include malnutrition, homelessness, illness, illiteracy, inability to earn money, exploitation, stigmatization and hopelessness. The ZOE Model.
ZOE at Confirmation
We are integrating ZOE throughout the Confirmation Retreat Weekend to give youth hands-on experience with their own service project.
Before the Weekend
Before youth arrive, they are invited to fundraise for ZOE in their church, at their school, and in their community. By telling the story of ZOE kids, youth will become connected to the lives of others just like them across the globe leading to a sense of ownership of their service project.
The Challenge: Each Confirmand is challenged to raise $100 for ZOE children. Nearly 1,000 youth attend IGC Confirmation Retreat Weekends each year. With an army of young servants supporting them, children in developing nations will have a better chance at successfully forging their own path in the world.
How? There are many options for youth to help kids their age across the globe. Explore ZOE's gift catalog for dozens of ways youth can ask for support for ZOE kids, starting at just $10, by providing the tools necessary for self-sustainability. Youth can use the catalog to tell the ZOE story and get others involved. Items from the gift catalog directly impact kids who are creating their own livelihood in developing countries.
Youth can also ask for donations to ZOE that supports orphans for a month or a lifetime, starting at $38. View how $38 can change a child's life.
Let's Get Started. View your weekend's fundraising team and get started! You can use the links below or click here and search for a fundraising team called "IGC Confirmation Retreat Weekend #"
Fundraising Tips for Youth: Fundraising can be tricky business. Here are some tried-and-true methods for communicating the ZOE story to those who have a heart for children:
- Share the real impact. ZOE uses funds raised to change the lives of children around the world. The ZOE model is effective! See how they help.
- Use social media. You've got it, so use it! Create a campaign on Facebook, start an Instagram series where you highlight a ZOE child each week, or create your own hashtag. Include a link to your team fundraising page with each post and share, share, share.
- Make a gift yourself (no matter how small). People are always willing to give to a cause their friends believe in. If you make the first gift for your team, others will follow.
- Host a fundraiser. Bake sales, mini-carnivals, or even group outings are great ways to raise money for a worthy cause. Plus, everyone gets to have a little fun in the process.
- Create your own challenge. See who in your youth group can raise the most money for ZOE and reward them with a prize. You can even challenge your entire congregation to meet a goal! Everyone loves a friendly competition - especially when it helps orphans live better lives.
- Don't be afraid to ask. Let's face it - asking for money can sometimes be a little uncomfortable. But if you don't ask, you'll never get any! Remember that you are fundraising for a worthy cause that has proven results.
- Involve those in your close circle. Family and close friends are great resources. Asking 4 people for a gift of $25 will ensure you meet our challenge and will have a lasting impact for kids across the world. Even if your friends and family can't give, ask if they'll share what you are doing with their own circles. You never know who else has a heart for vulnerable children.
- Utilize the resources at wearezoe.org/why-zoe/ to help you tell the story.
During the Weekend
Confirmation Retreat Weekends are focused on equipping youth to serve God with their prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness. A heavy emphasis is placed on Christian service. Because youth will have fundraised for ZOE before coming to the weekend, they will have a better understanding of service which workshop leaders will expand upon during the retreat.
Youth will have a final opportunity to bring cash or check donations to the weekend to be included in their fundraising total. All donations must be submitted by noon on Saturday.
Youth will also get to join together in celebration of their fundraising efforts before worship on Saturday evening. A representative of ZOE will be present at each weekend to worship with youth, accept the funds raised, share the impact that the funds will have, and celebrate the efforts of youth who are changing the world!
After the Weekend
Youth will leave their Confirmation Retreat Weekend connected to each other and connected to God. They will have an intimate understanding of how they can serve God with their talents and will be equipped with a Service Action Plan to create their own service project in their home communities. Their experience with ZOE will serve as a foundation for a lifetime of Christian service and will inspire them to identify creative ways to serve God's people. Youth leaders are encouraged to act as mentors for each Confirmand's service journey.
Contact Leslie Butters, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800-482-1442.