LaGrange Youth Center needs volunteers and donations

A rise in costs and lack of volunteers have created new challenges for the LaGrange Youth Center.
Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 12:49 AM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - A Tri-State youth center that’s been keeping kids off the streets and away from drugs needs a little help of its own.

A rise in costs and lack of volunteers have created new challenges for the LaGrange Youth Center.

Betty Bronestine became extremely bothered by dangerous drugs moving into smaller communities and ruining lives during the 1980s.

Therefore, she decided to take a leap of faith to do something about it.

“Whenever something was needed, it seemed like it came” Bronestine said. “If no one believes in God, then they’ve never walked in my shoes, because he has helped guide us all the way through from day one with this.”

Bronestine had no idea where the money was going to come from, but she never lost sight of her goal to keep youth safe, even amid skepticism.

“Some of them thought my dream was nothing,” Bronestine said. “I mean, it wasn’t going to work, but they were still willing to help.”

33 years later, along with a brand new, loan-free building, the LaGrange Youth Center has kept countless youth from a life of drugs and prison. It’s also served as a positive and safe place for youth.

Now, the center faces even bigger challenges.

“Families have changed a lot,” Bronestine said. “We’re in our 70s. It’s time for some younger people to start stepping it up and come in. "

Bronestine said making a difference in the life of a child can be a volunteer’s greatest reward.

“The most precious jewels you’ll ever have around your neck are the hugs from their kids,” Bronestine said. “We can’t change the world, but we can change our little corner of it.”

Bronestine said the LaGrange Youth Center is also always in need of donations, especially because it’s struggled to keep up with rising utility costs.

If you’d like to volunteer, donate or have questions about the LaGrange Youth Center, contact the center at 573-655-9880, 405 West Jefferson, Box 381, La Grange, Mo. 63448, or via Facebook.

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