Niceville, Freeport, and Crestview Kids Learn Selflessness at This Summer Event

In Brief:

  • Crosspoint Church’s Mission Northwest, entering its 14th year, will involve 275 students in grades 5-12 in various community service projects across the Florida Panhandle from June 12-15.
  • The projects include helping local non-profits like the Emerald Coast Autism Center, Westonwood Ranch, and organizing activities at Edge Elementary, among others.
  • The initiative aims to teach students the value of service and empathy, fostering a lifetime commitment to helping others and improving their community.

Heat, humidity, and gnats – the three guarantees for a June in Florida.

Steve Schutt hopes that as Crosspoint Church’s annual service outreach, Mission Northwest, enters its 14th year, it will continue as the fourth constant for Niceville in June.

Schutt and other parent and adult volunteers will lead 275 children in 5-12 grades in service projects around the Florida Panhandle for the next three days.

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“We [at Crosspoint] always talk about who we are for the next generation. And so if if we want to be pouring into the next generation, and helping them learn how to be servants, how to think of other people before themselves, how to realize that the world is not about them,” Schutt said, “It’s not about us as individuals, it’s about other people. That’s what we’re called to.”

The four-day event will help non-profits and do-gooders throughout the Florida Panhandle with student labor. The projects for this year’s mission include:

  • Emerald Evening: A partnership with the Emerald Coast Autism Center where students help set up an annual prom, similar to Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine concept. Students will also put on a water day for the children at ECAC.
  • New stairs are in the home of Crosspoint members Ben and Ika. The couple, who turned 90 this year, is a longtime member of the church.
  • Pearl Project: Students will set up a camp for children in the Pearl Project program at the Crosspoint Bluewater campus.
  • Edge Elementary Summer Fun Day: Students will organize a day of activities for students and parents at Edge Elementary School on Partin Drive.
  • Westonwood Ranch: Students with Crosspoint will take care of landscaping needs throughout the campus near Freeport. Westonwood Ranch helps adults with autism spectrum disorder learn employable skills. They will stain fences, spread mulch, and do other general beautification.
  • Emerald Coast MudRun for Orphans (ECMRfO). Students will help move ECMRfO assets from their current storage area to a new area to prepare for the ECMRfO to return in May 2025.  
  • Twin Cities Pavilion: Students and volunteers will work on improvements to the facility’s grounds and spend time with the residents.
  • The Case Family: This family hosts 13 foster and adopted children in their home – Crosspoint volunteers built a playground in their backyard last year. This year, they will help with whatever the Case family says they need.

While doing the service is excellent, the service projects are not the point, the kids are. Crosspoint Youth Pastor Sam Viau believes these missions should begin a lifetime of commitment to serving others and empathy. “[When students] stain a fence, they are probably going to do an OK job. If we wanted it to be great, we’d go out there ourselves,” Viau said, “[The students] are going to see the start and finish of a project that they were a part of, and they are going to drive past it pretty regularly and see something they did for the community that impacted a family right now… It’s showing them what loving your neighbor can look like.”

Mission Northwest will kick off June 12 and wrap up on the 15th. You can register to help out here:

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