We made it home! After a final mass and a delicious lunch. We made the 9 hour drive home.
Thank you so much for your support and prayers. God Bless!
Today was the day we started saying goodbye. The group working at the Women and Children's Center said goodbye to the people they served all week while the group that had been working in transitional housing, helped at a hydroponic garden.
We we ended the night reflecting and sharing those things that were the biggest blessings for us. There were some years and a lot of love and laughter that carried on through the evening and into the night as we played games and enjoyed each other's company.
We will leave for Minnesota tomorrow after breakfast and a mass. We prayer for safe travels for ourselves, our new YNIA friends, and all those traveling this Holiday weekend.
Today our group working with Sts. Joachim and Anne Transitional Housing was in a new house, cleaning it for a young mother and her 10 month old son who are getting ready to move in. Vicky, our sight leader, told us a moving story about how the woman lost her husband when he was shot twice during a home invasion.
While working hard, we also had fun! There were lots of laughs shared along with the hard work. We ended the day sharing ice cream from Vicky.
The other half of our group started to pass out the lunches they had prepared. The rain didn't slow our team down, but they found that the homeless need to try their best to stay out of any rain. They gave the people they did come across lunch but will be going out again tomorrow to pass out the rest.
This is evening we had the opportunity to have dinner at a church in Ferguson. As a large group, we celebrated their community garden that a different church YNIA group volunteered at this week and talked with people who lived in the city about the Micheal Brown incident and the aftermath. It was a very interesting discussion.
Tomorrow we we will be wrapping up at our worksites and our program.
Have a great day!
Today was a busy day! The group working at Holy Angels Shelter for Women and Children had asked last night for our new YNIA friends to help make special cards and decorate lunch bags for lunches they made today and will be handing out to the homeless tomorrow. Even though it was a busy night and we got out of evening prayer late, this amazing group of young people came through and decorated the 50 lunch bags and made almost 100 of the cards! Today the group made 102 sandwiches and filled the bags. They are excited for tomorrow!
They also continued to have have fun helping a young boy named A.J. who lives at the house. He has a speech problem, so God put our chaperone Michelle in this group for a reason! Michelle is a speech pathologist and in addition to the other tasks being completed at the shelter, has been working with our group on how to help A.J. talk. Everyone there is astounded at his progress!
Tonight we we had a fun evening with the whole YNIA group coming together for mass and then having a special dinner in City Garden of local favorites, including pizza and fried ravioli. Later, we went to the top of the Gateway Arch and got some really great pictures. We ended the night with some delicious frozen custard that is another local favorite!
We're looking forward to another fun day tomorrow!
Our second group started the day at a Transitional Housing project, updating a house that will be used by a family that is working to leave homelessness behind. We painted, cleaned, and did yard work to make the house move-in ready. We met a woman named Vicky who is a social worker for the program who told us that a lot of the houses in the program end up housing abuse victims who become homeless because they flee the toxic situation. We thought the house was really small but there were going to be four people who were excited to move in.
Tonight, we participated in a simulation game called "Winner's Circle" meant to make us think about poverty and social classes in a different way. It was really intense and the discussion after it was even more so. Talking in a group later, we found our take away message was that we have to take everyone we meet as an individual, wherever they are on the social and economic ladder.
-Allison, Morgan and Claire
Today our group was in charge of breakfast so we helped set up and clean the breakfast dishes. My group was sent to Holy Angels women and children's home, while there we help clean up, organize, and get rid of old things that have piled up over time. While there, we talked to Paulynn and she told us many things about her work and about the homeless. One key factor that stood out was the stereotype about homeless people and that they are drug addicts or alcoholics and many other things, but so many of them have a deeper reason and so many are smart intelligent people. After our work there we came back to the church we are staying at and one of the things we did as a large group was creating a short video on one of the seven catholic social teachings.
We started our journey this morning at 5:00am this morning! We made it safely through the trip and immediately jumped into the fun of meeting new friends and worship. During the afternoon prayer session, one of our youth, Allison, stood up front to lead the motions for a song we sang! The students were asked to introduce the group to everyone and all did a great job speaking. Jonathan made a great game show host for their Minnesota themed game show intro. Tomorrow we'll be heading out to worksites. Half of our group will be going to help at a community garden, the other half will be heading to a local women and children's center. We all appreciate your continued prayers and support!