People often say if they have a great new experience that it was life changing. Many people fail to realize though that every experience and action is life changing. Some actions may be as small as making a child laugh or helping him wash his hands. These small experiences are hopefully positive on both sides. There is pain and bad experiences in every life however. We realize that the children at Fortress have a difficult life ahead of them, but it is our goal, and Fortress' before us, to make it better even if it’s simply by making a kid smile.
My buddy's name is Trent; he's a second grader this year and has been going to Fortress for at least a few years. I go around with him throughout the Fortress program and help him stay focused, sometimes a difficult task. Trent is one of the brightest people I've ever met. He's hilarious and makes up jokes that he finds especially funny. He's wild and he loves to run around and dance. A lot of the time he reminds me of how I used to be when I was his age.
Another thing we do during the Fortress Summer program is go into the city of Fort Worth for urban experiences. The first urban experience I went on was the prayer drive where we visited many parts of the surrounding community and prayed for their specific struggles. The second day we gave out water bottles to the homeless that were on Lancaster Street. Some of them stopped to talk to us and tell us their story, while others seemed to be busy. All the water bottles we handed out were accepted graciously. Today I will be going on my third urban experience to buy and cook dinner. We will be allowed a small budget to buy food for ourselves and the rest of the youth group volunteers.
There is no doubt in my mind that Fortress betters the lives of children in a thousand small ways. And a thousand good experiences are all life changing things; Fortress changes the lives of kids for the better.