and a Happy New Year!

and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas…and a Happy New Year from Teen Life!

We hope that you had a blessed Christmas and will have a Happy New Year. Once again, thank you for your continued support and encouragement. 2016 was our biggest year yet, and we are excited to continue to encourage, equip and empower teenagers to live life better! In case you have missed our last few updates, this year we presented at a National Conference, trained counselors to lead Teen Parent Support Groups in schools and served more school districts than ever before. We are excited for what 2017 will bring, but we need your help to continue growing and serving teenagers! It is not too late to give before the year is over and impact the lives of even more teens. Simply go to this link, watch our new awesome video and give online. Thank you for making the work we do with teen possible!

Motivation Monday: Giving Makes a Difference

Motivation Monday: Giving Makes a Difference

We are less than 1 week away from the 7th annual #TL5K

If you would like to donate or help by becoming a fundraiser, visit our #TL5K site!

The #TL5K is this Saturday, April 2nd, and in the midst of planning and fundraising, I have also been doing some thinking…(dangerous, I know!)

Because we decided to move the Teen Lifeline 5K to the Spring, we did not actually have a #TL5K in the year 2015. That means that we have not held this run since October 2014, a whole year and a half ago, and a lot can change in a year and a half! It is easy to forget how far we have come in that short amount of time, but as we gear up for this year’s race, I want to take a step back and reflect on how far Teen Lifeline has come since 2014.

Here are a few things that have happened since the last #TL5K:

  • We have held support groups in 9 different school districts throughout Tarrant and Wise Counties. And since last spring, we have been facilitating support groups in Fort Worth ISD!
  • Teen Lifeline has held 2 volunteer facilitator trainings at the National Conference on Youth Ministries (NCYM), training 16 individuals.
  • We hosted Leadercast for the first time in May 2015!
  • Chris Robey wrote and developed a 10-session support group curriculum specifically for teen-aged parents. That curriculum is now being used with Birdville ISD teen parents and at our Keller Teen Parent Meetings.
  • We are able to help with Teen Parent Meetings in Keller and North Richland Hills because of our new supply trailer. This trailer is fully mobile and holds essential supplies that are given to teen parents like diapers, clothes, bottles, wipes, and much more!
  • Teen Lifeline held it’s first Dinner and Auction at Joe T. Garcia’s raising almost $30,000 in one night!
  • We have now trained a total of 100 individuals to take our Life Lived Better Curriculum into their local school district.
  • Teen Lifeline has started a new podcast called Stay Calm, Don’t Panic to help equip, encourage and empower those who live, work and interact with teens.
  • In 2015, we worked with 837 teenagers through support groups – our biggest year yet! In the 2015-2016 School Year, we have already seen over 747 students. During Fall 2015, we reached 435 teenagers – more than Teen Lifeline’s first 3 semesters combined!

As you can see, Teen Lifeline is growing. More teenagers are being reached. More teen parents are getting the help that they need. More youth ministers, social workers and volunteers are helping their local school with our curriculum.

I say all of this not to toot our own horn – just the opposite! I am telling you about the last year and a half to thank you! None of the great goals mentioned above would have happened without the 2014 #TL5K, or End-of-Year giving, or the Dinner and Auction, or Renew Weekend. If you think that giving your time or finances doesn’t matter, I am begging you to take another look at Teen Lifeline!

We are able to meet with teen moms and provide them and their babies with cute clothes and quality diapers. On a weekly basis, we get to share hope and a new perspective with teenagers who feel stuck and alone. Teenagers get to discuss stress management, relationships, school life and more on their school campus during the school day.

There are countless stories I could tell you that would make you laugh, cry and might even make you want to hang out with teenagers! Hopefully you have gotten a glimpse into some of these stories over the past several months. Hopefully you see the value in your gift. We cannot thank you enough for the last year and a half!

If you haven’t already given, please consider helping us reach our #TL5K goal of $70,000! Every single donation (no matter how big or small) helps teenagers and gives us the opportunity to step into the life of a teenager to equip, encourage and empower them to live life better.

 

Give Now!

 

The Gift That Changes Your Life

The Gift That Changes Your Life

As a non-profit, we depend on the gifts and generosity of others to function and continue to run as an organization. On days like today (North Texas Giving Day), it is easy to bring awareness to giving. But why do we give? Does it actually help? What is in it for me?

These are questions I have asked myself many times, especially as a poor college student who had a desire to be generous but barely had money for all the fast food and shopping trips that occurred. That’s when I realized – it shouldn’t be about me, but giving does benefit me in a strange, backwards kind of way.

You probably have experienced the fuzzy feeling you get when you give a gift to a loved one, when you hand a $5 bill to the lady who needs a meal, or when you participate in a mission trip or service project and give of your time. You know that you gain moral and personal satisfaction from a warm smile, sincere thank you and the knowledge that you helped someone who was not able to help themselves in that moment.

However, did you know that giving also has health benefits?? Bonus! In a Huffington Post article, generosity is encouraged by the 7 science-backed benefits that are given. Generosity is good for your health because it is proven to:

  • Lessen stress
  • Increase happiness at work
  • Benefit the greater good
  • Lengthen your life
  • Encourage more selfless acts
  • Strengthen your marriage
  • Promote mental heath

Sounds good to me! By helping others, you are also helping yourself.

But what if I don’t have money to give away? The great thing about generosity is that it doesn’t have to involve a pocket book! For my husband and I, we try to give generously when we can and have set aside funds for a couple of ministries. However, as a young, newly married couple, sometimes giving of our time and resources is more realistic. We might not be able to financially change a teenager’s life, but we can volunteer with a local youth group and give our time. We can’t clothe the nation of Haiti on our own, but we can donate shoes, food, time and other resources through mission trips.

 

One is not better than the other, but there are at least 3 major ways that you can be generous today!

Giving of your time.

Being generous with your time can mean countless things! See someone stuck on the side of the road? Pull over and help fix that flat. Set aside time to tutor students after school. Visit your local food bank and stock shelves. Find a mission trip that serves a population you are passionate about. Mentor teenaged parents through Teen Lifeline.

Sometimes, time and selflessly investing in the lives of others can change a life in ways money alone cannot.

Giving of your resources.

Have you been thinking of holding a garage sale, but the organizing is too much, it is too hot to sit outside and you know you won’t even make that much money? Consider donating items to a local non-profit or charity that will see those items get into the hands of people who need them. Donating clothes, shoes, food, school supplies, toys, furniture, cars and other material goods can get them off of your hands and into the home of those in need.

 Giving of your finances.

Money is not the only way to be generous, but it is an excellent way to give to others! This could be a yearly donation to your local church or non-profit, perhaps you contribute to a fundraiser or run in a 5K, or maybe you have decided to sacrifice 2 cups of coffee a month and have committed to giving $10 each month. Whatever the amount, whichever organization, your money, sacrifice and generosity can be used to help and encourage others.

 

As I said at the beginning of this post, North Texas Giving Day is an excellent excuse to give generously, and you can find Teen Lifeline’s donation page here. There are other great organizations that you can generously give to, and we encourage you to find some way to benefit others (and yourself) by living generously!

If you are looking for an organization to help, a place to volunteer, a non-profit to take your money and use it to directly affect the lives of other, visit our “Get Involved” page and see if Teen Lifeline is a good fit for you!

Don’t wait until you have more money, time or resources – there is never enough of any of those things – but choose to use what you do have, however small, to impact those around you!

 

If you would like to support Teen Lifeline for North Texas Giving Day and take advantage of our $20,000 matching fund, please visit and give here to double your donation and help teenagers live life better!

 

Karlie Duke was in one of Teen Lifeline’s original support groups and now is our Communications Director. She is passionate about speaking life into students and encouraging them to live better stories.