Week of Hope just finished it’s third and final summer here in Las Vegas. What an amazing journey it’s been, one full of great stories, events, and testimonies. Thank you to the many volunteers, staff, churches, family and friends who have shown so much support for a great program put on through Group Mission Trips. The feedback has been terrific from both volunteers and the organizations that we have served over the past few summers and a special thank you to all the youth who came to Vegas to invest in God’s Kingdom.

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2013 is the beginning of the third year Group Mission Trips has decided to come to Las Vegas to serve our wonderful community. This year we are proud to announce that we have partnered with thee new organizations this summer in addition to the all the others that we have been working with the past two summers. Allow me to introduce them to you: Blind Center of Nevada: “The Blind Center of Nevada is here to help that person put their life back together, to learn the beauty of individual worth, to gain some of the independence that was lost, and to build a new circle of friends. And, most of all to rebuild hope and feel loved.” (website) They have graciously allowed our volunteers to serve through interacting with those who are blind and need assistance shopping and integrating independently into society and we are excited to partner with them this summer. Prestige Care: This wonderful organization provides a various amount of services for seniors. They have areas of rehabilitation, Alzheimer care, assisted living, and independent living programs. We are excited to partner with them this summer as we share the love of Christ through service and relationship building with the residents there. Salvation Army: We are excited to team up with the family services department of the Salvation Army in Southern Nevada. Working with those who rely on this service to provide food is key to the mission that we come here to serve this summer. We will be packaging and handing out food to those who need it, including homeless and those who are less fortunate in our community. These three organizations will be a great addition to our long list of wonderful partners who we have had the honor of serving alongside here in Las Vegas and we are excited for this summer to begin as we are only one month away!

The longer I live here and the more I network with non-profit organizations, the more I really what a cool town Las Vegas is to live in. Take for example the Neon Museum. Ever wondered where the old casino signs in Las Vegas have gone? They need to go somewhere as this city has so many lights!

The “Neon Boneyard” has over 150 signs on their lot and is a great place to see the rich history of signage that Las Vegas has. This museum is only available to the public through guided tours. Check it out and see all the different signs Las Vegas has had in the past.

vegas neon museum

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In a previous post I listed a variety of different activities to do in Las Vegas. In relation to Week of Hope, these are fun-filled, family-friendly activities that are perfect for adults, teenagers, or children. Well today I have another awesome opportunity for this summer and it happens to be just down the road from the lodging facility.

Cowabunga Bay is slated to open Memorial Day weekend 2013. This will be just in time for the start of camp for the upcoming summer. Some of you may have heard of this water park before. In fact, there is one in Draper, Utah. Add this to my previous list of activities to participate in this summer and you will not be disappointed.

St. Jude’s Ranch, in Boulder City, is another organization Week of Hope partners with each summer in Las Vegas. We have been enjoying volunteering for a few weeks each year cleaning up the campus, updating databases, and so on. It has truly been a blessing helping out this organization.

This Christmas, St. Jude’s has organized their 6th Annual Night of Lights celebration at their campus. Admission is FREE, however, if you would like to purchase a wrist band that includes dinner and festivities the cost is $25, with children under 3 free. Come support an amazing organization this Christmas.

A few times each year, Women’s Resource Medical Center of Southern Nevada kicks off a Baby Bottle Campaign to help fund their center. They are in the Las Vegas Valley to share the love of Jesus Christ by educating people about abortion and help those in need. They provide free ultrasounds, counseling, and support to those who are looking for someone to embrace them.

Baby Bottle Campaign

Volunteers from Week of Hope Las Vegas have come out the past two summers to help the center with their efforts. Painting, sorting and cleaning the bottles, among other things. It’s time to get ready for 2013. Continue to support this ministry in prayer and please consider hosting a Baby Bottle Campaign at your church or business.

Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am. Send me!

One of the many partner organizations who works with Week of Hope in the summers has a wonderful program going on for Christmas 2012. Spread the Word Nevada is putting on the Gift of Reading where people can give donations that help reach at-risk children in the Las Vegas community. Each $10 donation will go to fund a book for a child complete with a sticker memorializing the donation, and a note to the child that your generous gift purchased the book for them. If you are looking to find an extra way to give this Christmas season, this is a fantastic gift idea.