Youthworks group volunteering at Tharros Place this summer

Published: Jul. 5, 2023 at 11:04 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah had been a popular destination for youth mission trips until the pandemic shut those down along with everything else.

But this summer, we are seeing the return of faith-based youth groups traveling here to bond, grow and offer service to our non-profit organizations - including one that is still on its way to getting established.

Knowing the work is just starting does not dampen Barrett Fry-Zee’s excitement for what he is helping complete in Pooler.

“It’s super impactful to see what is going to be happening here in the future and be able to invest in now and watch those seeds grow,” said Barrett Freise, YouthWorks Savannah Site Manager.

Planting is one of the projects YouthWorks groups are doing at Tharros Place this summer. The work-mission program for teenagers visiting from around the country is helping several local non-profits this summer, including the residential shelter for human trafficking victims that will open later this year.

“They have been phenomenal, just smiling. There is no task too big or too small for them. It was exciting seeing them do the work and being excited about it,” said Latoya Scott, Tharros Place Residential Director.

Each week, a different group of kids arrive in Savannah and volunteer their time doing hard, hot work for churches, agencies and individuals.

“We have several groups that are painting for the City of Savannah, painting houses for elderly and disabled people who can’t take care of their own properties.”

At Tharros Place, Youthworks volunteers are helping prepare a home that will be a respite for young women between the ages of 12 and 17.

“We’ll be a home for them in order to thrive and learn who they are and a place to grow and have courage of what they’ve experienced.”

“At YouthWorks, we really believe God is working here year-round and that we get to join in and participate in what God is doing through incredible community members and assist them in their mission.”

The days at Tharros Place will stand out for the visiting teens who also experience bonding exercises, interdenominational worship sessions and lots of manual labor.

“There’s something about doing something that is just bigger than yourself, where you’re working together and doing something that you won’t see the fruit of but they’re trusting in God, they’re relying that something will come out of it and they’re having fun while doing it.”