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Artie Padilla shares goal, inspiration for ENP

Avery Jones | The Feather Online

Students package food at the community food bank on serve day. Many serve locations are organized by ENP.

Before the turn of the century, Artie Padilla searched for ways to serve the community. Before the rise of Every Neighborhood Partnership (ENP), the local nonprofit partnering volunteers with opportunities, Padilla traveled around in his truck serving the community. 

Co-Founder and Executive Director Padilla works on staff with ENP. Along with connecting churches with serve opportunities, Padilla works alongside ENP to assist schools on improving their literacy rates and reading.

Early on in his travel ministry, Padilla invested in the college, UC Riverside. Before this Padilla believes that his relationship with Christ was not where it should be and the college helped solidify that bond.

“Early in my life, service wasn’t really engrained in any church services I had been too,” Padilla said. “We didn’t go to church a lot, only every now and then. It wasn’t until college that I really developed a strong relationship with the Lord, and then going to The Well Community Church here in Fresno, where that idea of being missional and service is engrained highly.”

Padilla believes that ENP is important for the community because it helps unite the less fortunate people of Fresno with the church and give them ways to help each other. In this way Padilla believes Fresno will be restored and healed from previous setbacks.

“I started by jumping into a ministry that helped out at a school and a Saturday sports program. That turned into me helping out in the classrooms and then helping out in the neighborhoods and it slowly snowballed into leading up to ministry for the church. It was that lived experience of service that led to the creation of ENP and my personal service.”

In the following podcast, Andrew Rieker interviews Artie Padilla about his involvement with ENP.

Padilla believes that the future of the community is developing in the high schoolers of right now. High schoolers are a virtually untapped resource waiting to minister to their peers and mold Fresno into a God-fearing community.

“High schoolers are a way to connect with others. Sometimes an adult is not the right way to reach someone. Especially the younger community. This is where the young adults of the church need to reach out and minister to the youth around them.”

Cayla Rivas | The Feather Online

Students board buses on serve day in order to travel to sites around the city to help out.

Many of the serve opportunities on Serve Day at Fresno Christian are coordinated by ENP. The way it works is groups contact ENP with a desire to serve and ENP provides a list of available places. The group then selects a spot to go.

ENP then gives the group some background knowledge on the site and what to know going into the serve experience. ENP also notifies the recipient of service that people are coming. In a way ENP works as the broker for a lot of the serving happening in Fresno.

 ENP’s mission is to “connect churches and other community partners with elementary schools, and equip them to serve through their active presence in every neighborhood.”

Their vision is to “see our city holistically engaged, so our schools are supported, children excel, families are healthy and whole, and our communities thrive.”

For more articles read: Winter sports awards ceremony in PC gym, March 11, 5 p.m. or Editorial: Celebrating students, staff of Fresno Christian

Andrew Rieker can be reached via email.

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