Inspiring Forward: Sharing Her Passion for Community and Youth Empowerment

We connected with Debra Ellis (DE), who volunteered at Bridging Hunger with Cross Church International. She expressed her passion for supporting at-risk teens and dreams of opening a non-profit called Project Take Back, aimed at steering youth away from negative influences. 

AC: What organization or local cause did you volunteer for? 

DE: I worked for Bridging Hunger with Cross Church International 

AC: Can you please provide an overview of their mission? 

DE: Their mission is to support families in need of food. To bridge hunger 

AC: Was this your first time volunteering for this organization or cause? Please elaborate. 

DE: This was my first time going. My church does it every month, but I had the opportunity to go on the day of giving. 

AC: Where there any requirements for this type of volunteerism? 

DE: I am not sure of the requirements. I would think of going with an organization that is going up there. I don’t think just people off the street go. We go up there and volunteer, then bring a trailer of food back and hand it out to the needy. 

AC: Why did you choose to volunteer here for your Day of Giving? 

DE: I have been wanting to go for a while. I love supporting my community and making a difference. I can’t wait till I get my degree. I want to open a non-profit that helps at-risk teens. Instead of hanging around gangs, they can come to my non-profit to hang out. I want to call it Project Take Back because we’re taking back our youth. Helping my community is my passion. 

AC: Can you tell us about your volunteer experience? What did you do? Did your time volunteering meet your expectations? 

DE: I loved it. We went up their bagged groceries, loaded some trailers, loaded our trailer and came back to the church. Unloaded our trailer at the church and handed out some groceries. 

AC: What would you like to share to encourage others to volunteer their time and energy locally? 

DE: We should build each other up instead of tearing each other down. Everyone needs help at one time or another, and everyone has a story. Have a heart of love, not judgment. 

AC: Is there anything else that you would like to share about your experience? 

DE: I would like to give a shout-out to my pastors, Rick and Angela Stevens, they are amazing and do a lot to help the community.