Big hearts: Bradsher devotes to the young
SUN. | 03-06-22 | FEATURES
Rose junior Jake Bradsher volunteers for a ministry called “Young Lives” and has been helping out since he was ten years old. Young Lives brings teen moms together throughout Greenville and all high schools around to support them through their challenges, help them to build friendships, and to learn about Jesus. Bradsher has formed many connections with the teen moms and their children through volunteering with this organization.
“My mom runs [Young Lives] in Greenville, so I’ve been helping out with it for a long time,” Bradsher said.
Bradsher is a consistent volunteer for this organization that meets twice a month.
“We usually have either club or bible study on Tuesdays; it’s one club a month and one Bible study a month,” Bradsher said.
Childcare is provided for teen moms when they go to the club and Bradsher helps out with the children while volunteering.
“I’ve always enjoyed hanging out with kids and babysitting, so it’s natural for me to fit in with the kids,” Bradsher said. “It’s usually at Third Street and all of the moms will go get food and then go to club, and once
they go to club, we get all of the babies and take them to the childcare room.”
Bradsher is able to apply his childcare volunteering experience to his job, as they go hand and hand. His
Photo contributed by Jake Bradsher
volunteer work at Young Lives and his job with children have had a positive impact on how he interacts with kids.
“[Some of the strengths I have gained is] just being able to help with the kids and knowing how to take care of them, because that's my job too; working at the trampoline park with all of these kids,” Bradsher said. “I have definitely learned a lot.”
Not only has Bradsher helped with their children, but he has also been a big help to the teen moms.
“I have helped out with the moms a lot too, which is like carrying their stuff and helping them move into places,” Bradsher said.
Bradsher has made a difference in the lives of the teen moms by caring for their children and providing opportunities for them to interact with others who are going through similar experiences.
“It’s fun to be able to help out people and know that I am doing a good thing.”
Young Lives usually has a camp where they go out of town, but because of COVID, they were unable to do so last year. Instead, they made different arrangements to ensure the teen moms would have a good experience.
“We had a day camp where we did stuff in town like traveling to different places; I helped out a lot with childcare and I was the camp photographer, so that was a really fun experience.”
Bradsher acknowledges that he is making a difference in the lives of these moms, and it has been eye-opening for him to see what they are going through.
“It’s good to know that I’m helping out the teen moms that have obviously gone through a lot and a lot of them are kind of in [impoverished] situations, [meaning] just not being in the best home life.”
Bradsher frequently welcomes the teen moms to his house in order to create more connections and to bond on a deeper level.
“Having the [teen moms] at my house so often helps me be able to connect with them really well, and just being able to see the kids… helps with those connections,” Bradsher said.
Bradsher has developed close relationships with the mothers and their children as he holds a special place in his heart for this organization.
“A lot of the moms I have gotten really close with and know their kids so well, their kids will just come up to me and say ‘hi’,” Bradsher said.