For Hometown News
MARTIN COUNTY -- Brooke Zobie will soon have a memorable "what I did for my summer vacation" story to tell.
The 16-year old Jensen Beach girl will be heading to Antigua in August as part of a Salvation Army mission trip.
"I am so excited to be a part of this mission team," said Brooke. "I have wanted to go on a mission trip ever since I started coming to the Stuart Salvation Army (about seven years ago)."
One of the main reasons Brooke is excited about this trip is the chance to make a difference in a child's life. Part of the mission trip will be spent at The Salvation Army of Antigua's Sunshine Home for Girls.
This is a living facility for girls ages 8-16 who have suffered significant abuse in their young lives, abuse which if continued would seriously hamper their physical, emotional, social and mental development.
The home offers a structured holistic program to enable each youngster to reach her full potential, build self-worth, make informed decisions about their future and support their return to communities as independent individuals and valuable contributors to society.
Jill Penhale, divisional missions project coordinator for The Salvation Army's Florida Division, explains that mission volunteers will be conducting various activities including Vacation Bible School, working at The Sunshine Home for Girls, participating in outreach and fulfilling a specific work project. The trip is scheduled for Aug. 14-19.
Coming from a large family of six children, Brooke is well-versed in helping to take care of the younger ones.
At The Salvation Army of Martin County, Brooke spends a lot of her time helping with Club 3:16, a Tuesday-evening Character Building Program, and on Sundays, she enjoys serving breakfast to the children who come to church.
"Basically I do whatever is needed wherever," she laughed.
The teen is not sure what the future will bring -- becoming a firefighter or a Salvation Army officer are two possibilities -- but she does know that the upcoming mission trip will change her life.
"I am really excited to learn about another culture," she said. "I know that others do not have everything in their lives that we do in America, and I hope I can in some small way make a difference in the life of a child."
The Salvation Army is located at 821 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in East Stuart and works throughout the year to provide food and financial assistance to those in distress.
Other programs offered by The Salvation Army include emergency disaster assistance, emergency financial assistance, youth character-building programs, a morning Breakfast Club (providing pastries, bread and coffee free of charge), Sunday worship services, bible studies and youth ministry. The Salvation Army of Martin County also operates Compassion House, which provides transitional housing to homeless women and women with children.
Financial donations are accepted to help offset the costs of this mission trip and can be made payable to The Salvation Army of Martin County, noting Antigua mission trip in the memo line.
For more information, call (772) 288-1471 or visit www.salvationarmystuart.org.