By Justin Novitski
OTTS Garage Director
On Friday, March 31, OTTS Garage Teen Center will be celebrating 10 years! Our $5 Fish Fry Dinner will be served from 4:30-6:30 p.m. or until the fish runs out. Meal includes two pieces of cod and sides. Complimentary water and coffee will be available and soda is available for an additional charge.
We wanted to take an opportunity to celebrate our past achievements with the Merrill community and provide information about our mission and upcoming events and programs. Ten years is an incredible feat for a teen center, especially one in a smaller town like Merrill. While the idea of creating teen centers so students can have a safe place to go after school or on weekends is common, actually opening one and keeping it going is unusual. Issues like funding, staffing, equipment and community support create challenges for any non-profit and we are truly blessed.
Many of our teenagers need a safe environment like OTTS Garage to help them in their search for identity and purpose. We want them to know that they are valuable and they belong. At OTTS they are able to retreat from some of the challenges and pressures of the teenage life and engage in healthy alternatives for socialization. They are able to be themselves and build relationships both with their peers and older mentors that can provide a listening ear, guidance through life’s challenges, and a word of encouragement and hope. We seek to build values of faith, community, respect, and responsibility that will impact their homes and this community in a positive way.
We are proud of where we’ve come and we have excitement for what a united community can accomplish in the future. A strong community needs healthy and strong youth. Will you help us make the difference?