In July 2015, Gavin, a rising 7th grader, attended Asheville Youth Mission with a group from Duke Memorial UMC in Durham, NC. On his way from Durham to Asheville, Gavin came down with food poisoning– a time of serious, but short-lived discomfort that led him to realize the distinction between temporary and long-term discomfort.
Gavin says that his first few days at AYM were miserable. With little sleep and still feeling ill, he struggled to get through the first day at the job sites. He says, “I was miserable, but not for long.” A few days later, Gavin went with his group to Asheville’s Pritchard Park where they “spent time playing games, talking, and eating popsicles with people.” Pritchard Park is frequented by folks living on the streets in Asheville. It was here that Gavin began to realize the difference between his brief discomfort, and the long-term discomfort people on the streets face. Gavin says,
Asheville, has few restrooms available to the public. Gavin’s story inspired them to get the ball rolling on plans to install portable toilets on Duke Memorial’s property. Duke Memorial says, “It’s clean, private, and always open—to our homeless neighbors and anyone else in need of this basic amenity.”
We’ve also created a study guide to help your youth discuss short- and long-term discomforts in your community. View it here!