This article appeared in the Catholic Globe, October 6, 2016.

Students and adults who wanted to help those less fortunate became more grateful for their own blessings following a July 25-29 service trip to Missouri.

The 16 students and six adults were from four parishes – St. Mary of Lake City, St. Joseph of Lohrville, St. Francis of Rockwell City and St. Mary of Auburn. They traveled to Kansas City to work one day for Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and two days for The Fuller Center for Housing of Greater Kansas City, Mo.

The group was involved with working at Catholic Charities Hope Distribution Center Warehouse & Turnstyles Thrift Store the first day and the last two days were spent working on a total remodel of a home with The Fuller Center. The house, once completed, will become the home for a young mother and her two daughters.

According to trip organizer, Sara Block, work at the home project involved cutting down and chopping trees and using a stump grinder to remove large stumps; cleaning up the inside of the house for preparation for plumbing, HVAC and electrical, as well as some framing repairs; installing a silt fence in preparation for the grading around foundation and driveway; landscaping clean-up, building steps from the basement to upstairs and gutter removal.

“The young mother was very appreciative of what was done for her and her family,” she said. “The students were hard-working and exceeded everyone’s expectations. They were wonderful representatives of their families, communities and parishes.”

Block emphasized the group accomplished an enormous amount of work, serving others as well as finding time to have some fun along the way.

“The service trip was a huge success and a humbling experience for everyone that was involved,” she said.

Student Megan Hardy echoed those sentiments.

“What I learned about myself on this mission trip is that I am very privileged to get to live the life that I do,” the Lohrville parishioner said.

In addition to Block, adults on the trip were Father Lynn Bruch, Bill Ahrens, Myron Schulte, Mary Sporleder and Jolene Steig. In addition to Hardy, students on the trip were Raegan Barrett, Aspen Ellis, Emily Henkenius, Amber Jergens, Alexis Lietz, Tanner Macke, Brooklin McKinney, Hunter Muhlbauer, Tyler O’Tool, Jonas Otto, Anastasia Sackfield, Joey Schrage, Cody Schumacher, Aaron True and Korey Vogel.

The group’s 2016 service trip T-shirts displayed the words: Helping Other People Experience (HOPE) God’s Hope.

Tanner Macke, Hunter Muhlbauer and Joey Schrage, all parishioners at Lake City, expressed different views on their experiences.

“I learned there are more people in need there than I imagined,” Tanner noted.

“I found out in helping other people, it helped me to be more devoted to Christ,” Hunter said.

“We have it very good,” Joey added. “We should be happy for what we have.”

Block reported a group had done a similar trip two years ago to Kansas City and worked for Heartland Habitat for Humanity.