Danny Marquez’s story will literally blow your mind. Abandoned on a doorstep as a child, he grew up in the Bronx, and started stealing as a 5-year-old. God revolutionized his heart while he was in a jail cell staring down a 45-year sentence. He landed on a verse in Ephesians 4 that says, “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” Danny claimed that verse for His life, and is now the Near West City Life Director, where he gets to meet inner-city youth were they are (at community parks, drug infested corners, schools, etc.) and build relationships with them in hopes of producing indigenous leaders.
City Life, a ministry of Youth for Christ, is one of 9 non-profit partners of Thrivent Member Network’s ActivateIndy initiative to collectively have a greater impact on our community. They do this by providing “turn-key” volunteer opportunities for churches, businesses, families, and individuals.
Today’s guest on the Born to Be podcast is our good friend Craig Smaagaard, Regional Vice President of Thrivent Financial and mastermind of the ActivateIndy initiative that is providing “turn-key” volunteer opportunities for churches, businesses, families, and individuals. Craig talks about the importance of seeing money as a tool as opposed to the end goal because of the way it influences our families, relationships, and communities.
The call upon Craig’s life is clear: He is here to help connect people to the causes they are most passionate about and get them going on making a difference! Many people lack the time and creativity to plan a serving experience for themselves and their families, and that’s the void that ActivateIndy is here to fill so they can experience life change through servanthood.
Today’s guest on the Radio Theology podcast is Shepherd Community Center’s Andrew Green. You may know that Shepherd Community has been breaking the cycle of poverty on the near-east side of Indianapolis for years. In this episode, Andrew shares how his heart for the
underdog grew from a childhood theme to serving in a non-profit, and how he came to serve the underserved.
Shepherd Community Center is one of ActivateIndy.com’s featured non-profit organizations. ActivateIndy.com is your one-stop site for turn-key volunteer opportunities for your family, small group, or coworkers! See how you can serve today at ActivateIndy.com!
“If there’s one thing that I want people to know is that God is real and He is with you.”
It’s time for another ACTIVATEINDY highlight! This episode features Danyele Easterhaus, Executive Director of Student Impact in Westfield, IN. Danyele drops some TRUTH on us from the very beginning. Her story is incredible and the work she’s doing now with the Student Impact house called The Rock is as awe-inspiring.
The Rock is a house in downtown Westfield within walking distance from all of the schools. Every time students walk through the door, they see the same faces, get a hot meal, and are welcomed into a safe place to just be.
Also featured in this episode is Sadie Hodson, a senior at Westfield High School and student leader with Student Impact. She’s had the opportunity to grow deeper in her faith and serve other students.
Danyele and Sadie both remind us that every little bit matters. If you can make a casserole, you can change the world. If you can play UNO or basketball, you can change the world.
See what turn-key service opportunities await you at Student Impact by going to ActivateIndy.com.
Today’s guest on the Born to Be interview of the Radio Theology podcast is Marcus Casteel. Marcus is the Associate Pastor of the Grace Care Center, one of our ActivateIndy.com partners. In this episode, he shares about the four services that make up the Care Center: The Choice Food Pantry which serves 2,000 people each week, ESL classes helping over 100 students learn more English, Vehicle Services where they partner with Christian Brothers to maintain and repair vehicles as well as take donated vehicles and get them to their friends, and lastly Referral Services where they sit down monthly with their friends to help them discover what needs to change in their lives to move them to a place of sustainability.
Marcus’s personal journey of growing up in a “working poor” family helps him relate and empathize with the families that they serve.
Sven and Brady
In this episode, Pastor Daron chats with Sven Schumacher and Brady Gurganious from Lutheran Child and Family Services. LCFS has been providing programs of compassionate care and counsel to those in our community who need it most. Founded as an orphanage, LCFS has evolved throughout the years to meet the needs of the community. Today, our services include a licensed Residential Treatment Facility that specializes in the care and treatment of children who exhibit behavioral or emotional impairments, a residential treatment program for girls who have been victims of human trafficking, and Trinity House Independent Living Group Home, for young men who are transitioning from the Foster system to the real world.
LCFS is a non-profit partner of ActivateIndy.com that provides turnkey opportunities for you to volunteer with your family, small group, or work. Get involved today!
This week on the Daron Earlewine Podcast Daron unpacks if you can trust God with your passion and talks about three D’s: delight, decide, and dedicate. Then Daron sits down to interview Lt. Vinal Lee, who explains how skateboarding led him to the Lord and how you might be able to use your passion to serve at The Salvation Army. To learn more, visit: www.activateindy.com, centralusa.salvationarmy.org/indiana, centralusa.salvationarmy.org/fountainsquare, and www.facebook.com/tsafountainsquare.
This week on the Daron Earlewine Podcast, Daron talks about sin, life change, and the foundations needed to become who you were born to be. Then Daron interviews Brian Crispin, Director of Marketing and Corporate Engagement at Wheeler Mission. Brian opens up about the fact that he first found Wheeler as a broken man in need…not as a potential hire in a job interview. Brian has an amazing story of hitting rock bottom and then finding faith, hope, and freedom. Not only did Wheeler Mission help him get back on his feet, but now he is able to pay it forward by serving men and women who are where he once was. Learn more about Wheeler Mission at wheelermission.org and how to get involved at activateindy.com.
Hope with Mary Nolen
This week on the Daron Earlewine Podcast, Daron talks about why bad things happen to good people. Then Daron interviews the Associate Director of Hope Center Indy, Mary Nolen. Mary shares her journey which includes being a Pastor’s daughter, fostering as a single mom, and losing her younger brother. Even though Mary experienced grief and hardship, her passion and message is anchored in hope. Which is exactly what the Hope Center offers. To learn more, visit www.hopecenterindy.org.