What an exciting year we’ve had here at MYTHIRDPLACE! You’re probably a little sick of the amount of reflection happening pretty much constantly around you this time of year, and we certainly don’t want to bore you. But we do think that looking back is extremely important so that we can continue to shape the future. Here are just a few of the things we would like to highlight from our 2015 as MYTHIRDPLACE.
From team building activities to yummy fundraisers, we’ve had a lot going on this past year. Our family at M3P has grown physically as well as in every other way. When asked what their favorite part of M3P this past year has been, the mentors immediately began expressing activities that highlighted community.
“I really appreciated the Women’s Appreciation Dinner we did over the summer – in July I think. Basically just a formal banquet to honor and celebrate all the young women that come to MYTHIRDPLACE. It was awesome to see all the girls enjoy being dressed up and waited on by all the guys who wore suits and had worked hard to prepare a special evening for the ladies with a nice meal, entertainment, and even dancing.”
– Maren Plog Mentor
“I think my favorite activity was not so much an actual M3P event, but I think it was having the M3P Fam come out to MANA. This was an event called Make Art Not Apathy at Azusa Pacific University where a bunch of APU students got to perform either spoken word or music. VFO (another on campus organization that hosted MANA) has supported MYTHIRDPLACE all year, so being able to support them with the Fam was awesome. Also, I did a spoken word performance and the M3P students just really loved the chance to be on APU’s campus.”
– Mikey Gutierrez Youth Ministry Intern
“My favorite activity was a maze that was set up as a game outside in which we had to work together to finish despite either being blindfolded, wearing ear phones, or being unable to speak. This made it hard to communicate and get through the obstacle course successfully. The person at the back of the course was perfectly normal, with no sense taken away, and was therefore, supposed to lead the pack of mentors and students from the back of the line. It took a ton of tries, but we eventually got the hang of it and worked together to complete the course. Not only was it a challenge that required teamwork, but it was also a great application of our family talk on Leaders and Followers and why they were both so important. It taught us all that even though the “leader” was supposed to be at the front of the pack, it was actually all the “followers” that made us functional.”
– Olivia Rothrauff Mentor
“I’m still blown away by the response to our first CWYWE Fundraising Dinner hosted back in August. After two full years of being in existence, it was in many ways an unveiling to our community. Being that MYTHIRDPLACE started out as a bit of a dumb idea a couple years prior, it was crazy seeing how this has actually become a thing. And the $16,000 that we raised for the year as a result of that night was a testament to God’s faithfulness and our community recognizing the value of what we’ve got goin’ on. Wow. I’m grateful to God and grateful for the M3P Fam, near and far.”
– Adrian Greer Executive Director / Founder
“One of my favorite activities from this past year was a hike to the Hollywood sign during the summer. We took some wrong turns and ended up hiking for much longer than we anticipated, but it ended up being a great view. Everyone took it all in stride and had fun with it. It was awesome to be out and about in nature and have some great conversations.”
– Jaime Winslow Program Support Coordinator
“Without a doubt my favorite part of MYTHIRDPLACE this past year has been the act of actually joining the M3P Fam. I only started writing the blog a few months ago, and already, sitting down to finish a post is my favorite time of the week. I love the welcoming atmosphere provided by M3P and I’m so grateful to have found a place to plug in to my community now that I’m away from home. The Fam has truly lived up to it’s name of being a family and has been a home away from home. When I look back on my 2015, even amidst events such as my graduation from high school, joining MYTHIRDPLACE has been a huge highlight of my year.”
– Michaela Steiner In-House Writer
As an organization, we also hosted a few exciting events we would love to reflect on again here. First and foremost, we hosted a Chipotle fundraiser in November to help raise funds for our renovation project that was such a huge success. If you haven’t heard us talk about it by now, you’ve got to be living under a rock or something. For the amount that we’ve plastered the results all over our social media sites, we’re pretty sure the whole world must know by now that this lively fundraiser brought in about $2,000. You guys are awesome.
Recently, we hosted a pretty successful Fireside Chat with the Mayor. If you also haven’t heard about this event by now, you need to start reevaluating your living space. An evening around a campfire with Azusa’s Mayor Rocha yielded an amazing time of fellowship and super delicious s’mores and hot chocolate. You could say it was pretty lit. (This is where I’m probably supposed to apologize for that pun, but I won’t.)
Probably the biggest event of this year was our 2015 FAMCAMP. FAMCAMP is made possible through a collaboration with California State Parks and their initiatives to get people outdoors enjoying their natural surroundings. Through this partnership, organizations are able to go camping with all supplies provided, including sleeping bags, tents, stoves, and more. This past year we took the students, both middle and high school, to San Clemente State Beach over spring break for three days and two nights. Mobilizing about thirty students on a camping trip doesn’t come without a few hiccups, and for the mentors, the time was at times chaotic. However, the confusion and chaos didn’t matter in light of the fun the students had and the amazing fellowship that surrounded our time together. We even had the mom of one mentor take time off of work to come and help. Another friend came up to cook dinner and breakfast one day. Our time together on the beach was filled with swimming, team building activities, a time for personal reflection, games, and so much more. After a full day of fun, at night we had camp stories with tasks on the Bible, music, and even more fellowship. Laughing and cooking and ultimately just burning hot dogs and being in the Word was what made it so wonderful. All of the team building and community time really emphasized the M3P Fam. At the end of the year we often ask the students what their favorite event with M3P was, and more often than not, students will say that FAMCAMP is among their favorite memories. (Click here to see what went down at FAMCAMP 2015)
If you can’t tell by now, here at MYTHIRDPLACE, we are a community invested organization. We care a lot about being a team in fellowship not only with one another, but also with God. As made clear by the answers quoted above, our mentors often find the most enjoyment in events done in support of one another. Functioning as a team and making sure that others feel comfortably invited to be a part of that team is a huge part of what we do here at M3P. We could highlight what we have done as an individual organization for days, but we would much rather focus on the amazing things the people who make up or support this organization do, because we’re not just another non-profit. We’re a family. (If you really haven’t heard the term M3P Fam by now, we’re pretty sure you have become squashed by the rock you’re living under and were literally incapable of reading this post. We are so sorry.)
In short, 2015 was a great year for us, just as we hope it was for you! Here’s to more team building, delectable burrito fundraisers, and memories made in 2016. Thanks you being a part of what we have done and will continue to do, and we hope you’ll stay along for the ride this next year will bring.