Brigitte Steel

Brigitte Steel

Staff-in-Training from St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Santa Maria, CA

Since my first SSP experience, I had been excited to serve as a Staff-in-Training. For years I thought about how cool it would be to greet arriving groups, pour love on everyone’s meals, lead kitchen parties, and go FREDding. I knew it was going to be a lot of work, requiring patience, and pushing me out of my comfort zone.

I was right, but there were also so many things I didn’t expect. You can be told what it’s like to feed 70 people, but you won’t know until you’ve done it. I am grateful to learn what goes into making SSP with hands-on experience, and guidance from the amazing Spokane staff!

“SSP has opened me up to feel love for so many people. It has opened my mind and heart to help in any way I can; to find new ways to help others.”

Spokane is a community I always wanted to visit. On my long solo train ride, I found myself longing for something familiar, but I knew I wasn’t alone. With the strengthened bond I had with my youth group after my last week as a youth at SSP, I knew they were praying and thinking about me.

I learned last summer the love we experience at SSP, although it feels otherworldly and magical, can be found anywhere and in anyone. It’s something I have found to be thriving in my church. SSP has opened me up to feel love for so many people. It has opened my mind and heart to help in any way I can; to find new ways to help others. It’s given me something to look forward to in times when I thought I had no place to look forward.

It’s a place I’ve found I can be my truest and best self. SSP has inspired me to do this in everyday life, despite being challenging. I may no longer be a youth and have those same week-long adventures to look forward to, but now I have entire summers of serving to count down the days to.


Editor’s Note: Brigitte Steel has served as a youth volunteer with St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Santa Maria, CA and as a Staff-In-Training in Spokane this past summer. This article is featured in SSP’s 2018 Annual Newsletter; read all the stories written by youth volunteers, summer staff, and community members. Request a hard copy newsletter to be mailed to you.

Send Me SSP News Monthly

Join Our Email List

News Archives


  • Today San Diego Co-Directors, Angelina and Joseph, spent some time with great community members and the beautiful city of Imperial Beach. After visiting the IB Neighborhood Center, we trekked to Friendship Park, but found the trail too inundated with sewage contaminated water to continue. Sobering reminder of the steps family members take to stay in contact with loved ones on the other side of the border.Follow along summer preparations for #SSPsandiego at @SSPsandiego2019.#SierraServiceProject #SSP2k19 #ExploreBuildGrow #volunteerSSP
  • Another wonderful monthly service day with @lssnorcal in Rancho Cordova. The rain stayed away as we started working away on Wanda's fence! Stay tuned this weekend to watch this fence grow!#SSPrancho #SierraServiceProject #volunteerSSP #ExploreBuildGrow
  • Looking for a burst of SSP energy? Give back over the long Presidents' Day holiday at a Weekend of Service in Sacramento, or our San Diego site in Imperial Beach. Sign up by tomorrow, 1/18. DM us with questions!#SSPwos #SSPrancho #SSPsandiego #volunteerSSP #SSP2k19

Follow Me!

Twitter Feed

@SJNDPILOTS We LOVED having SJND students with us in San Diego this summer! #volunteerSSP #LoveCourageously5 months ago
RT @Dig_IB: Sierra Service Project to Offer Free Home Repairs for IB Community Residents this Summer Taking Applications Now! Let them know…10 months ago
Check our our new #12xSSP stickers! Sign up to be a monthly donor or increase your current donation in February and… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…1 year ago