A group of rambunctious, yet compassion group of teenagers serving God's kingdom while growing in our faith.
Serving through Saint Kateri Catholic Church, we are a community service organization of high school teens that seek to provide assistance to the less fortunate, while remaining connected to our faith. In addition to an annual mission trip, we meet throughout the year in order to discuss the causes of poverty and homelessness, and to explore solutions.
In order to raise funds for our mission trip, we collected pairs of unwanted shoes from our community, totaling over 3000 pairs as a collective group. Through collecting shoes, we both fundraised for the expenses of our mission trip and provided shoes to those less fortunate in impoverished countries or allowing the shoes to be recycled for new textile use.
Our Annual Mission Trip
In July, we embarked as a team on an annual visit to the streets of Oakland, where we engaged in a variety of service projects to serve persons in need. This year, we served at the Center for Elderly Independence, a senior center in downtown Oakland, as well as the Alameda County Community Food Bank.
At the Center for Elderly Independence, our team interacted with the elderly by playing games with them, getting to know their stories, or simply provided them company. For those that struggled to communicate, we attempted to break language barriers with translators, as well as playing games or drawing pictures with those with mental disabilities.
At the Alameda County Community Food Bank, we inspected, sorted, and bagged hand fruit. Our team worked efficiently, bagging around 4000 pounds of apples.
From our church, we had 16 volunteers. As a team, we covered 2 locations of the Center for Elderly Independence, with one in downtown Oakland and the other in Berkeley. It is hard to measure the value that we had on the elderly individuals that we encountered, even seeing every day at the center. However, our team formed close bonds with the elderly, allowing them to be heard through their stories, asking for life advice, giving them company during their only opportunity to socialize with others, or simply being a friend. Many of these individuals are the last member of their families, or even neglected by their remaining family members. We changed that. As a team, we made an impact on these individuals, and now we have stories that we will remember for the rest of our lives.