Giv2 Program Description

What is Giv2?

Giv2 is a CORPS of youth and adults GIVING back to our community in response to the GIFTS of God. Giv2 is designed for middle and high school youth in grades 7-12 who want to explore our faith through SERVICE and FELLOWSHIP.

Our name, “Give Squared,” reflects the simple reality that faithful people have known for centuries: when we give, we also receive. We give our time and labor in the service of others, and in return we are blessed with gifts of gratitude, compassion, and wisdom. Our gifts of hospitality multiply exponentially when we work together to heal the world!

Giv2 is a signature program of the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Team of the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Together we are growing a Faith-Forming, Multi-Cultural, Multi-Racial, Open and Affirming, Accessible to All, Just Peace, Globally-Minded movement of Youth and Youth Adults in the Connecticut Conference.

Begun in the fall of 2008 under the direction of the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ (CT UCC), a pilot program was initiated in the Hartford area. CT UCC Associate Conference Minister for Youth and Young Adults, Rev. Da Vita McCallister and a team of adults from First Church West Hartford, Flagg Road UCC West Hartford, and Center Church Hartford met to plan and coordinate the projects. They invited youth from their churches to volunteer at non-profit organizations in the Hartford area.

Youth met bimonthly on Sunday afternoons to do service work at the following locations: Peter’s Retreat - AIDs housing in Hartford American School for the Deaf; Jonathan’s Dream - Boundless Playground in West Hartford; Center Church Coffee House for the Homeless.

Giv2 now engages over thirty congregations and is inspiring ecumenical cooperation for service in many of our communities. In the 2011-2012 program year, 420 youth and adults gave over 1100 hours of volunteer service to their home communities. In addition, our Giv2 participants spent upwards of 160 hours in theological reflection. As the program grew, the Connecticut Conference responded by hiring Debby Kirk in January 2012 to serve as the Giv2 Director.

Our vision is to take this model for local service to other parts of the state and develop a “heavenly host” of Giv2 chapters. A minimum of 6 churches working together at each location would make this project the success we envision it to be. This can be initiated in urban or rural sites. Giv2 is a great way for small congregations to unite in service and give their youth a large group experience. “…the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you.” ~Mark 4:24

Giv2 is a way for…

  • Churches to partner with sister UCC congregations to support the work of existing Youth Groups. This is perfect for small congregations who want to offer a “large group” experience!
  • Youth and adults to work side by side to do ministry in a variety of local settings.
  • A team of adults to share administrative and planning duties.
  • Skill building and leadership development to take place among youth and adults in the local church.
  • Youth to cultivate their spirits through simple acts of service.
  • Youth and adults to reflect on underlying justice issues around such topics as education, poverty, discrimination, or disabilities.

Why local? Our churches often sponsor extended mission trips to distant places. These experiences are a rewarding way for youth to bond together to serve and to learn to appreciate different places and cultures. But there is also a place for youth to do ministry close to home. Giv2 events are designed as half-day immersion experiences in neighboring communities. Local service has many advantages:

  • Needy come to be seen as neighbors not as “the other.”
  • One day projects allow more youth and adults to get involved.
  • Less expensive; reduces the burden of fundraising.
  • “Greener” approach to ministry.
  • Strengthens bonds with between local churches.
  • Opens the door to ongoing volunteer experiences in the community. Youth and adults may return to work sites on their own, or local churches may develop supporting relationships with the site.
  • Plus, there is great need right in our home state!

LIVE your faith, LOVE your community!