Nonprofit seeks funding for transportation, more housing

Mission Teens staff are graduates of discipleship training program.

Mullica Hill True North volunteers pose for a picture while serving at ‘Mission Teens.’

“We believe we are better together.”

That is the mantra of the True North crews in Mullica Hill. They have created a partnership with Mission Teens Inc., which was founded in 1969, and is seeking funding for updated transportation and additional housing at its Norma location near Vineland.

“The 15-passenger van we have now served us well and has been repaired, then repaired, and repaired again,” Taylor Box, assistant executive director of the Norma location, said of the current Mission Teens’ vehicle.

The van is Mission Teens’ only way of transporting the mission as a whole (staff and residents) to various church and ministry functions it attends throughout the year, but at nearly 200,000 miles, the van has become more unreliable.

During the early 1980s, the church founder, the Rev. James Bracken, started construction on a structure located in the town of Norma. He opened 20 centers nationwide with over 750 beds, to provide free, long-term residential help to individuals with life-controlling problems, such as drug or alcohol addictions. The initial structure was built but never completed.

Mullica Hill resident and True North church member Lindsay Brown was invited by her parents to join them during True North “serve week” – where the church crew made dinner for the residents and staff of Mission Teens at its Norma location.

“There was such an essence of hope when the topic of completing the new building came up,” said Brown. “You could see the sparkle in the residents’ and staffs’ eyes as they elaborated on their dream to one day complete the building.”

“I was not a part of my parents’ crew; I was on the fence about going, and I had other plans come up prior that ended up falling through last minute,” explained Brown.

She believes that God meant for her to be there.

“This newfound partnership is one that truly inspires me,” Brown noted. “I wake up every morning excited to see what God has in store for Mission Teens Inc. and the plans He has for my life as I walk beside them in Christ.”

Mission Teens Inc. is a nonprofit that does not receive funding from the government and does not charge for services. Box, the assistant executive director, his wife, Julia, and other staff members serve full-time without pay. Almost all of the nonprofit’s staff are graduates of the discipleship training program.

Fundraiser planning is currently underway to help raise money for the mission, and Brown and Taylor and Julia Box are tag-teaming social media to expand the missions’ online presence.

“All I need is for folks to come alongside me as I strive to complete our founder’s vision for the future,” Taylor Box said.

To donate to the GoFundMe, created by Brown for a new van, visit https://gofund.me/3aaeb5df.

To learn more about Mission Teens Inc. Norma, visit the website at https://www.missionteensnorma.com/.