Volunteers from Saint Francis de Sales Parish in Holland, Mich., visited New York City on a week-long mission trip where 29 students ages 14-19 gave back to the community through service. The group spent two days with Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, volunteering at Catholic Charities Riverway Senior Center and then at the Queens Community Center.
On July 31, the students and their leaders prepared more than 40 healthy meals and served the older adults at the newly-opened Riverway Senior Center in Brownsville, Brooklyn. In addition to meal prep, the students also spent the afternoon socializing with the seniors who visit the center regularly.
The following day, the students were an integral part of Catholic Charities Sixth Annual Kid’s Fun Day. From set up to break down, the group from Michigan put in a day of volunteer work, helping to set up the stations, unpack books and giveaways then organizing and playing games with the community children and their families.
For photo gallery of the group's service projects click here
“Each year we plan a mission trip focused on service and justice. It is really important for us to reach out to the community,” remarked Kevin Hilgert, Youth Minister for St. Francis de Sales. “I always try to reach out to Catholic organizations to show our kids the breadth and scope of what our church does and to encourage them when they get back to our own community to look for those opportunities so they are empowered to go forth and make a difference. Catholic Charities was the perfect organization to reach out to, as I have been blessed to work with the organization in other states in the past. We were so excited to be a part of Kid’s Fun Day and we were really excited to contribute in any way that we could.”
"The youth group from Michigan was a phenomenal help and a big contributing factor in making our Kids Fun Day run smoothly and successfully," remarked Debbie Hampson, Director of the Catholic Charities Queens Community Center and Kids Fun Day organizer. "It is nice to see youth actively participating in ministries that help others. My staff and I were so impressed with the group, who were very willing and eager right from the start to pitch in. Our experience was so positive that I would love to have Saint Francis de Sales or another youth group help out at next year’s Kids Fun Day."
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens offers many opportunities to give back to the New York City community through our Volunteer Program, including the customization of volunteer projects to suit your many ideas! In April, #NationalVolunteerMonth, CCBQ celebrated the work of many of its volunteers.
For more information on our Volunteer Program, please click here. Stay informed with CCBQ! View more photos! Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.