Home YES! (Youth Empowerment Services)

YES! (Youth Empowerment Services)

YES! (Youth Empowerment Services)

The mission of the YES! Program at the North River Church of Christ is be an outpouring of the love and grace of Christ by serving our immediate neighborhood through a free, STEAM-based Saturday enrichment program offered seasonally to K-5 children as well as gifting them with school supplies each July. The Saturday program exists to foster learning excellence, self-esteem, and teamwork; our curriculum is designed and executed accordingly. We also partner with the Marietta City Schools social workers to provide community families with food and clothing from various drives throughout the calendar year.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…to GIVE

North River, now that we’ve been superheroes for orphans in Africa, let’s be SOUPERheroes for our Marietta neighbors! We’re gearing up to give out tons of coats, scarves, blankets, etc. to our neighbors at the Black Friday SOUPER Coat Event on Nov. 24th. Donations can be left in the Auditorium foyer donation closet now thru Nov. 19th.

YES! Black Friday

We are also collecting non-perishable for donations for our Winter Food Drive. Donations can be left in the Auditorium foyer donation closet now thru Dec. 13th. We could also use a team of drivers for the delivery day- Dec. 16th. Please sign up here on The City!

YES! Celebrates Fall Session

Photos courtesy of www.JPFramework.com

The Fall 2017 session was such a blast…what better way to end it than with some fun and games at Andretti Karting and Games! We are so grateful for the generous donation from the Andretti Team who treated our awesome kids to celebrate their commitment to academic excellence, teamwork and self esteem this year.


The Spring 2018 session will kick off on April 7th!

Sessions 2 & 3

After a break for Labor Day Weekend this past weekend, we’ll be returning to our regularly scheduled program this Saturday!

Sessions 2 & 3 were quite the treat!

Session 2 had the kiddos on the run……as they learned about the density of different liquids…

…and made visual art to represent the beauty of diversity.



Session 3 was tons of fun…

…with our friends from the Rubber Ducky Comedy Improv Group!

We also had a great time with our mentors making flip books, playing sports and having our creative problem solving class, Mission Impossible!


First Day on the YES! Fall 2017 Session Was a Splash

We can call the first day of our fall session a splash because there was some epic water balloon tossing going on. The 21 participants also enjoyed making puppets, creating tall towers of cups to protect their “egg people” and taking safe risks in a series of blindfolded games. The word of the day was “trust” and all the activities tied together to remind the group of why this value is so essential. In life, not only do we need to give our trust but we need to be found trustworthy by others who count on us.

As always, we had a brilliant group of volunteers using their gifts as stewards of God’s grace.


Participants and volunteers alike are excited to return next weekend to make more YES! memories!


Would you consider joining us to lead a Wildcard! (special skills you’d like to teach- Taekwondo, painting a mural and ballroom dance are a few examples) class this season? Please email northriveryes@gmail.com if interested.

2017 BACKpack 2 SCHOOL

Our hearts are still so full from the tremendous outpouring of God’s love through the YES! Backpack 2 SCHOOL event last month. Did you catch the update in the newsletter? If not, here’s a snippet…


“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
2 Cor. 9:8

Have you ever had an amazing week where multiple great things happened? You just wanted to scream out, “YES! YES! YES!?” Well, that is what the YES! Program is experiencing- we are having a serious praise party for what God has done!

On July 8th, the funny folks with the Rubber Ducky Comedy Improv Group hosted a show and donated all proceeds to the YES! Program. They raised $200 which was an especially timely blessing with the BACKpack 2 SCHOOL Carnival happening the next weekend. Thank you so much, Rubber Ducky partners!
The EDGE Ministry spent their Midweek on July 12th canvassing the neighborhood reminding families about the Carnival and informing those who hadn’t heard about it yet. Having such a large group sweep the neighborhood was an unspeakable aide to us. Thank you, EDGE, for ending your busy Wednesday “doing good” in our community.
The Campus Ministry ended Friday Devotional by setting up the FLC for us and they even donated some of the food we served the next day. Thank you, Campus!
Thank you, North River at- large! By Friday we also realized that North River members had contributed over 100 backpacks and a myriad of supplies. It was a baffling outpouring of generosity.
Saturday was just a day for the miracle history books! Around 40 North Riverans came to volunteer. Mostly were from the High School Ministry and the EDGE but representation across the entire church showed up in a major way. They were willing to do whatever the team needed- grill burgers in the July heat, decorate, play more than a few rounds of musical chairs, sort donations, “shop” with kids for supplies, paint faces, interact with parents, take photos, made book bag ID and pencil pouch crafts and so much more. We can not overemphasize the need these incredible folks met! Since the EDGE went out into the neighborhood the previous Wednesday, we had positively overwhelming turnout. All of these volunteers were absolutely needed to help direct hundreds of people who flowed through the FLC Atrium.
Over 75 students and counting were supplied with backpacks and school supplies and 31 neighborhood kids signed up for our Saturday program beginning August 12th! This was an unprecedented response on all levels- donation, volunteer, community presence and program sign ups. Thank you, North River Family. This is a victory for everyone.

It’s Backpack Time!

North River is a hub for voracious givers. Individuals and families looking for a way to give this summer, the time has come…backpack time! Every year we supply our immediate neighbors with K-5 children with backpacks and school supplies to start their school year strong. If you and/or your family would like to donate, please find a list of needed items below. The donations can be left in the Donation Closet in the Auditorium foyer now through July 9th.

Consider choosing one or a few to contribute…

Backpack (without wheels)

Child scissors

24 pack Crayola crayons

Jumbo pink erasers

#2 yellow pencils

Clorox wipes

Box of kleenex

White Copy paper

Ziploc bags (sandwich, quart and/or galloon)

Cap erasers

Dry erase markers

Glue sticks

Composition Notebooks

Plastic folders with prongs and pockets (green, orange, purple and/or red)

Pencil pouch

Index cards

Bottle of glue

Wide ruled notebook paper



YES! Sessions 3 & 4


During the third and fourth weeks of the Spring YES! session, kids explored two concepts: self acceptance and empathy. They gave their thoughts on what it means to value their own character, appearance, talents, etc. regardless of how others feel. There were great crafts, games and experiments. On “empathy” day, the kids made T-shirt bracelets and cards for children in St. Jude’s hospital.

Way to go, YES! kids, for your desire to give back!


YES! Spring Saturday II

Happy Resurrection Sunday  to All!

We had another spirited day at YES! yesterday with lots of special guests. We had friends from the Georgia Tech Campus Ministry and the Ottenweller and Wright family groups.

We began with an Easter- themed craft in Art!, bunny crayon holders and followed that with Creative Movement! We started to learn tinikling which is a traditional style of dance from the Philippines which involves tapping poles on the ground. For Mission Impossible! we learned more about insects, specifically pollination. Our experiment for the evening simulated what it would be like to be a honeybee collecting pollen. We had an hour of fun, field day-styled games with the Ottenweller group- a flipper relay, spoon race, water balloon toss and we ended with one of our favorites…tug of war! Each YES! participant left with goodies from the Ottenweller group and Easter bags from the Wright group.

We’re so grateful for the many volunteers who come to encourage us on Saturdays!

YES! Gives 2,000 Pounds of Love

Nearly two years ago, members of the North River Church of Christ prayerfully decided to create a Saturday program for the neighborhood families surrounding the church and called it the YES! (Youth Empowerment Saturdays) Program. When some of the volunteers met with the Marietta City Schools social workers for the first time, they shared the concept of how the church wanted to serve but also asked how the social work team thought our efforts would be most felt. They asked if North River, by way of YES!, would help support food insecure families by supplying meals over breaks from school. Of course, the disciples of Christ at North River were eager to give for our first drive in Winter of 2015. Not only did God really bless the collection of donations but also the families in the church who felt so benefitted by the opportunity to go interact with members of the community through giving. The project continued all the way through 2016 for the Spring and Winter breaks.

For our 2017 food drive, we committed to provide a week’s worth of meals for 40 families with varying amounts of children. Our goal was to collect 1,500 lbs of food as our last drive brought in about 1,300 lbs. 3 days before we were scheduled to deliver to families, we were woefully short of our goal. We had enough food for only three families! Our options were to cancel our commitment or find the food. Isn’t fortunate for us we serve a Lord who multiplies loaves, fishes and fruit cups and pasta, too?

Distress signals were sent out all over North River and members were responding within minutes with texts and phone calls. By this point, the easiest option would have been to say to the community, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed” but our family was able to live out James 2:16 by springing into action. Various families made monetary donations, last minute purging of the pantries and high priority trips to Costco. The EDGE Ministry spent post-Midweek time sorting the donations thus far and food kept pouring into the FLC. The abundance kept flowing right up until our delivery teams arrived. We were able to send 2,000 lbs of food out to our community. God turned our lack into loads!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for this effort, donated food or funds or gave your time to pack or deliver goods. Hopefully each member realizes they have been a part of a miracle much like those on the pages of Scripture.