SOUTH FORSYTH — When Forsyth County Young Life held its first meeting of the school year, about 170 teenagers showed up. The second meeting drew more than 200.
As a result, the local chapter, which has grown steadily since it returned in 2011 after having been disbanded for several years, has had to change meeting places to accommodate the interest.
“Fagan’s Biscuit Barn had been very gracious to offer the restaurant in the evening,” said Amy Bergin, an adult committee member of the organization. “… It was just packed, over 175 kids showed up and just overwhelmed the facility.
“The next week … the South Forsyth Middle School cafeteria was secured … so there was more room for parking and also the facility was able to handle that number of kids, and we just expect it to increase”
Young Life, an interdenominational nonprofit that shares the message of Jesus Christ with middle and high school students, meets every Monday night.
“It’s really about providing kids with opportunities to do things that are all about being kids, like club meetings or there’s songs and games and lots of fun, and some moral messages to help guide their decision making,” Bergin said. “It’s not set up to be anything other than creating friendships.”
The group also holds a monthly meeting specifically for middle school students called WyldLife.
“Those are held in homes of people that support the organization, and open up their basements and backyards to allow a whole bunch of middle school kids to come and enjoy an evening of games and fun, and a good message.”
On Monday, the group held “Hanging Out and Holding Strong,” its annual banquet at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.
“We can gather the parents and give them the opportunity to understand the organization better so they know what their kids are involved in,” Bergin said “Also, if they feel that it’s something they want to support financially, it’s our fundraiser.
“We are basically funded through individual families and individual businesses making donations.”