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London's Good Samaritans Bob Hutton - Reaching Youth through YFC London
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London's Good Samaritans
Bob Hutton - Reaching Youth through YFC London

In Canada, according to Statscan, 44% of Canadians 15 years of age and older volunteer. That is 12.7 million people that giver a little or a lot of their time to pitch in where needed. If it were not for these volunteers, many organizations would be in BIG trouble. Hospitals, schools, ministries, churches and all of the worthy non-profits depend of the work of their volunteers to provide the full range of services they have pledged to provide.

All volunteers are important but we all know those volunteers that are so dedicated and so generous with their time, they certainly are worth y of the title “Good Samaritan”.

It is our goal to tell you about these very special people. In this edition of Christian Life in London, we are honoured to tell the story of Bob Hutton.

London's Good Samaritans
Bob Hutton - Reaching Youth through YFC London Youth for Christ London plays a vital part of sharing God’s love with youth in London, Ontario. YFC supports youth in the journeys they are on, while encouraging them to find and develop relationships with God. Bob Hutton is a volunteer with YFC London and has spent the last four years connecting with the youth who are involved in YFC programs.

London's Good Samaritans
Bob Hutton - Reaching Youth through YFC London Bob became involved with YFC after working there on several building projects. He was retired, and since he had connections with YFC from over the years, he gradually started volunteering on building projects. He built the ramps for the skate park and was actively involved with supervising every skate park night. (Pictured are the ramps Bob built but that is NOT him testing them!!)

London's Good Samaritans
Bob Hutton - Reaching Youth through YFC London He gradually became more involved in working in the kitchen of YFC’s Youth Cafe. He has been volunteering in the Youth Cafe nearly full time for the last two years and brings peace and a mature presence to every situation. He says that YFC has “become my family and changed my life. I wasn’t doing much before, just vegetating, and it’s really given me a challenge some days. They’ve become part of my family.”

Bob has definitely become part of the YFC family, and the youth particularly enjoy Bob’s presence at a variety of different YFC events, including skateboarding events.

He says that “the kids realize that they appreciate somebody around, a mature person around, and feel safe in their skateboarding, and we joke around a bit.” He’s not just someone supervising the youth but is also someone they love to interact with. The kids are always excited to see Bob clapping and cheering them on, and they enjoy showing him their skateboarding tricks. A lot of them don’t have positive caring men in their lives, so it is special that Bob can share God’s love with the youth as he builds positive relationships with them.

Bob’s presence not only helps the youth feel safe, but also guides some of the kids who need reminders to behave appropriately in a Christian building. It is not easy for some of the kids, who come from broken homes that lack structure or support. Bob’s presence as a Christian male role model is especially important for many of the kids who may not have any men in their lives who love or care for them at all. Kids know that they can reach out to Bob because he is a safe person.

In a world where abuse is so common, this is especially important. Youth see Bob as a grandfather figure who is safe to interact with, and this provides some much-needed stability in the lives of youth from broken homes. Bob often runs into former youth he has worked with, and they are always happy to see him. Bob says that “it makes you feel really good to know that you’ve influenced some of the kids. Even though I’m not an outgoing person, I’ve influenced a few people over the years and they’ve appreciated it.” There’s no doubt that Bob’s mature, peaceful presence has had an impact on the youth of London.

London's Good Samaritans
Bob Hutton - Reaching Youth through YFC London Bob has not only spent countless hours working with the youth at YFC but has also spent time ministering to other staff at YFC. The other staff are like family to him, and he is passionate about supporting them on their journeys. He takes the time to have coffee with them or even cook meals for them, and he offers guidance when they bring up problems or issues. He is especially close with those who work with him in the kitchen and feels that he is like a grandfather to them. He says, “We get along really well. I just enjoy it here!” Bob’s maturity as he works in the Youth Cafe brings peace to the kitchen and provides support to the other staff.

Bob hasn’t just helped to change the lives of others through his work at YFC but has also been changed by his experiences. He says they have “helped me a lot, brought me forward.” YFC has become Bob’s family, and as he pours into their lives, they pour back into his. Bob encourages others, especially retired people, to get involved in their community through their church, YFC, the YMCA, the hospital, or other organizations, and to look for ways to positively impact their communities. He says that volunteering “keeps you involved in whatever is going on outside your little apartment or wherever you’re living.” Bob certainly sets an excellent example for his community, and organizations like Youth for Christ will continue to need people like him to step up to make a difference.