The Young Philanthropists

City Week is the reverse of Exposure. City Week is an opportunity for rural youth to be immersed in the inner city for a full week and experience a different way of living. Not a better way of life…

The two mattresses are sprawled out around the table on the kitchen floor. Morgan is maneuvering the the clothes and bags that are scattered around the rest of the small room in order to prepare his breakfast. Morgan has guests 🙂

Jeremy Kegerreis and Andy Friedlund decided to take up residence in Morgan’s apartment in Reading, PA for one week in order to do some preliminary investigating for something called City Week.

City Week is the reverse of Exposure. City Week is an opportunity for rural youth to be immersed in the inner city for a full week and experience a different way of living. Not a better way of life, but a powerfully different way of living. Just like city kids need to experience the countryside, kids from the countryside have much to learn from the city.

While investigating, Jeremy and I got the chance to meet and serve with people from some of Reading’s more outstanding social initiatives. These included Permacultivate, Mary’s Shelter, Hope Rescue Mission, Opportunity House, and the Gilmore-Henne Foundation. We also got the chance to take the boys we have been mentoring to the pool for an afternoon and then throw a party for everyone who happened to be at Pendora Park that evening. The party was in honor of one of our mentee’s 12th birthday.

We learned so very much from our week. We really hope that we can use the many contacts that we made throughout this week to build a program that runs once or twice each summer for interested youth groups from rural or suburban settings.


If you would like to read more about what we did with each organization, then feel free to keep reading…

With Permacultivate we worked at the City Greenhouse for several hours and learned all about the wonderful urban gardening projects going on in the city. There is much potential for educating people to grow their own food with innovative techniques. http://www.permacultivate.org/

We had the opportunity to serve the women at Mary’s Shelter by building some flowerbeds in the back yard. While there we got a tour of both of their facilities and learned much about an incredible ministry to women who are in an at-risk pregnancy situation. www.marysshelter.org/

Another day we were able to work alongside some folks at Hope Rescue Mission to maintain the yard space on their property. While there we also got a tour of their HUGE building and learned a lot about the exciting new things that are happening there. http://www.hopeforreading.org/

On Saturday we had a blast working with the Gilmore-Henne Foundation, IM ABLE, the Opportunity House and the many volunteers representing each of these groups to build a handicap accessible playground and backyard space on Second Street. We got a lot of work done that day, but I must say it really felt like a huge party! The people with the Gilmore-Henne Foundation know how to throw it down, so to speak. http://www.opphouse.org/http://www.ghcommunityfund.com/http://www.getupandmove.org/home.php