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Salvos jump at chance to join Red Frogs mission at Schoolies

Salvos jump at chance to join Red Frogs mission at Schoolies

30 November 2016

By Esther Pinn

Eleven Salvos teamed with hundreds of Christian volunteers to work with the Red Frogs Australia Chaplaincy Network at the recent Schoolies celebrations on the Gold Coast.

Red Frogs is an organisation that is known for handing out Allen’s red frogs lollies to the thousands of school leavers who descend on the Gold Coast in the last two weeks of November every year. The Red Frogs mission is to share God’s love by connecting with the school leavers and helping them stay safe in the partying atmosphere.

Jess Arthur, a 21-year-old Salvo from Pine Rivers Corps north of Brisbane, was part of the Red Frogs entertainment crew. Every night about 10,000 schoolies congregated on the beach. To assist with crowd control, Red Frogs ran their own beach parties and a movie night. Jess and 30 Red Frog team members mixed with the young people at these events.

Jess Arthur joined the "Red Frogs Crew" during Schoolies.

“The purpose of the beach party and the movie was to divert attention and to give a safe place for schoolies to dispel their energy to have some fun with their friends, just to relax and have a safe place to party,” Jess said.

“It was really fun. The music is going on from seven in the evening until 12. You’re dancing to music for five hours a night. It’s great seeing the schoolies, partying and having a safe place where they can just enjoy their end of schooling.”

Jess said she enjoyed showing school leavers God’s love through simple acts of kindness. Along with volunteering at the Red Frogs beach parties, one evening Jess was assigned to the beach mingling team. There she interacted with school leavers who were alone and helped keep them safe. Wherever opportunities presented, Jess and her team would assist individuals who were feeling unwell by taking them to the hydration station or walking them back to their hotel.

“It’s a really great mission opportunity just to see God’s heart for these kids, showing them love and grace. I don’t have to go off overseas to make an impact. I can make an impact right here,” she said.

It was Jess’ second time volunteering for Red Frogs. While a great missional opportunity, Jess said the experience had also challenged her faith journey. “You do need to rely on God every single night and be led by him ... and that’s why I chose it,” she explained. “It was really good for my Christian journey and I really encourage a lot of young adults to do it. You do learn to have a heart for others.”

Red Frogs runs programs during Schoolies, universities and festivals. To become a volunteer, go to au.redfrogs.com.

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