HARVEY CEDARS, NJ — On Presidents' Day weekend, over 100 students and adult leaders from CRU (www.cru.org) in NYC, Philadelphia, and Washington DC traveled down to the Harvey Cedars Bible Conference on LBI to participate in their annual “Fast Break Retreat.”

The idea of this weekend is for students to grow closer in their relationship with God, encourage one another, and serve the community.

Every year CRU partners with local churches to do random acts of kindness. This year they decided to do two things.

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The first was a street clean up. Students went in groups of 5-6 with 1-2 adults and cleaned up litter and garbage along West Bay Avenue, and 4th, 5th, and 6th streets in Barnegat.

This was done because Bayside Chapel has adopted the section of West Bay Avenue between Nautilus Drive and Lighthouse Drive as part of Barnegat’s new Adopt the Street Program.

This program was founded by two Barnegat High School students.

After the cleanup these same groups went to various locations from Manahawkin to Lacey Township to hand out gift cards to Wawa, Starbucks, or Dunkin’. This was done as a random act of kindness to show some encouragement to complete strangers.

Monday was also National Random Acts of Kindness Day.

“Our goal with partnering with CRU was to show students that they can easily make a big difference in their community,” said Brian Preiser, Director of Student Ministries at Bayside Chapel.  

Facebook pages began to blow up with overwhelming support for what was happening, with one post on the Stafford Parents group receiving close to 200 likes. 

"Since 1991 Bayside Chapel has been dedicated to loving and caring for the next generation," Preiser stated. "We host a weekly youth gathering welcoming 100+ students every week. We are blessed to say that over 350 students call Bayside Chapel their second home. We are dedicated to empowering the youth, breaking down stereotypes, encouraging them to make a difference in the world, and ultimately demonstrating the love of Jesus to them in such a way that it will transform their lives."

Bayside Youth meets Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. for 7-12th graders at 965 W. Bay Ave in Barnegat, this program is open for all, completely free and no need to preregister.

For more information about Bayside Chapel and Bayside Youth email Brian Preiser at brian@baysidechapel.org.

For more information about CRU NYC/Philly email Josh Logan at josh.logan@cru.org.

For more information about adopting a street in Barnegat email mcucinotta@barnegatschools.com.