Warrensburg Heather Jones smiled as she looked at a group of teenagers at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church making plans for their third annual mission trip to distant cities to help upgrade homes of people in need.
“Their parents say that after their kids came back from their mission trips, there were no more complaints about their chores,” she said.
Krista Gee, parent of one of the teen volunteers, agreed.
“When they came back, the kids were humble,” she said, noting her daughter asked he parents not to buy her Christmas presents, but to donate the money to those in need instead. “On the missions, they saw how bad others have it.”
For two years, a dozen or so teens have traveled on annual missions to help elderly and underprivileged homeowners spruce up their homes.
In summer 2009 and 2010, they cleaned up, painted, and winterized homes, as well as performing light repairs and upgrading landscaping. In some cases, cleaning up meant extensive work in hauling refuse out of homes and organizing stuff to make a home livable, Gee said.
“Several homes they worked on were nearly to the point of being condemned,” she said.
This coming summer, 16 teenagers and four adult chaperones will be traveling to an urban destination in New Jersey. The prior two years, the missions took youth to North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Fundraisers set for mission trip
In upcoming weeks, the teenagers of St. Cecilia will be seeking the support of people in the region — through fundraisers.
On Wednesday evenings beginning Nov. 30, the teens will be holding a babysitting session at the church for parents who want to head out Christmas shopping without children along.
Also planned is a sale of decorated Christmas trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses — and a soup sale — planned to occur in conjunction with the Christmas in Warrensburg festival set for Dec. 3 and 4.