Dayton youth taking part in Grace United Methodist Church’s GU Mission trip to Toledo.
Photo: Shawnieka Pope
Photo: Shawnieka Pope

How these Dayton kids gave back and got even more in return 

Dayton kids take mission work outside of city. 

Dayton youth recently learned to give back in Toledo. 

Eleven students in eighth-grade through college took part in Grace United Methodist Church’s GU Mission trip to Toledo. 

The event was led by Sean Walton Senior, the  Harvard Boulevard church’s outreach and youth director. 

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“Four years ago, Sean wanted to take a mission outside of Dayton because (many of) these young people had never seen anything outside of their neighborhoods,”  said Shawnieka Pope, a program volunteer.

Each trip includes service to others and an educational component.

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In 2015, the students toured Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis and held an ice cream social for children and mothers at a domestic violence transition shelter.

>> PHOTOS: Dayton kids on a mission

They went to Louisville in 2016, where they prepared and served lunch for homeless men, women and children at Wayside Mission and toured Kentucky State University. 

Last year, the students spent six days in Atlanta, where they packed books that were sent to the African continent,  harvested vegetables in a community garden and “rescued” food at the Atlanta Food Bank. The students also visited Tennessee State University. 

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Dayton youth taking part in Grace United Methodist Church’s GU Mission trip to Toledo.
Photo: Shawnieka Pope

In Toledo earlier this month, the students spent time at Hospice of Northwest Toledo, made and packed sandwiches for Food For Thought Mobile Food Pantry, cleaned and painted at Beach House Family Shelter, participated in a celebration of Freedom at The Lathrop House and toured Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo.

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Pope said the experiences were eye-opening for the students and helped put things in perspective for them. 

Speaking with a hospice parent taught them to not sweat the small stuff, she said. 

CLICK FOR EVEN MORE PHOTOS: Dayton kids on a mission

Dayton youth taking part in Grace United Methodist Church’s GU Mission trip to Toledo.
Photo: Shawnieka Pope
Dayton youth taking part in Grace United Methodist Church’s GU Mission trip to Toledo.
Photo: Shawnieka Pope
Dayton youth taking part in Grace United Methodist Church’s GU Mission trip to Toledo.
Photo: Shawnieka Pope

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