Delivering goodwill can be contagious. Matt Reeb knows that first-hand.
The Grade 12 Caronport High School student who volunteers each weekend at Joe’s Place — a youth centre in Moose Jaw — wanted to help several of the kids go to Youth Quake (YQ), the youth conference held last weekend at Briercrest College and Seminary.
“Youth Quake’s been such a big thing for me,” Reeb said. “For the past two years I’ve gone . . . It’s actually when I got saved as well. It was on my heart to give someone else a chance. God put it on my heart to help send one kid there so that was my goal.”
Reeb was committed to raising the $205 for one student. He told some members on his dance team, Refined/Undignified, about his goal and they decided they wanted to help.
Things snowballed from there.
“It was just in the high school at first and then I made an announcement in the college,” Reeb explained. “(I said) ‘Hey who wants to get involved? Let’s make this big. Let’s go for three kids.’ Then we reached that within a few days. ‘Let’s go for five kids.’ Then we reached a thousand dollars and then after a thousand dollars people kept giving money.”
Briercrest college student Aaron Naismith found a creative way to help. He was several months into growing a beard that he had planned to grow for a year. He offered to put the future of his beard into the hands of CHS/Briercrest students. Buckets labeled “shave” or “no shave” were placed in key gathering places all over campus. In the end over $500 was raised through the contest and those who voted for Naismith to shave won by less than a loonie.
Counting all donations, over $2,200 was raised by the Friday before Youth Quake.
“People are still coming up to me with five dollars and 10 dollars even now.” Reeb exclaimed.
Reeb planned to pay for about eight Joe’s Place kids to go to Youth Quake and gave the rest to help pay part of the registration fee for several other students who needed the help.
“It feels so good to give,” Reeb said beaming. “I’m so excited to give it away.”
The Estevan resident knows what it feels like to benefit from the good will of another. An anonymous donation made it possible for him to come to CHS this year.
“I was working construction, but wasn’t making enough so I called the school and told them my situation,” Reeb said. “I ended up getting a call saying there was a scholarship for $2,500 which was amazing.”
As Reeb crunched the numbers he realized that even with the scholarship and the money he was saving from his job, he wasn’t going to make enough to attend CHS.
“It wasn’t a week later I prayed about it,” Reeb explained. “Then my dad called me that night and said ‘I got a call from Caronport saying an account was opened up for you with $6,000 in it. If you keep working you’re going to make it!’”
This donation not only helped pay for Reeb’s Grade 12 year at CHS but it has also inspired him to help others wherever he can.
“God’s been pushing me to give a little back,” he said. “You know, ‘Freely you’ve been given, now freely give.’”