Youth minister, Holy Redeemer
The Holy Redeemer Catholic Church youth advisory committee developed a plan called Boots on the Ground during the school year. It involves youth putting their feet on the ground in their community and giving service to those around them. At the beginning of the program, the youth set a goal of 1,000 (yes, you read that right, 1,000) hours of service to their community this year.
The youth of the parish have taken that message to heart. So far, without even reaching the end of June, they have worked more than 550 man-hours and provided much needed volunteer services to both organizations and individuals. Our community's youth have helped with everything from bingo at Avera Morningside Heights, to set building for the Marshall Area Stage Company, to helping individuals with the yard work they could not easily complete on their own. This has all been accomplished with a spirit of faith and fun as the youth have worked together for a common goal, while growing their friendships with each other.
While we are working on our local mission projects, you will see us in the community, wearing our red or blue "Boots on the Ground" bandanas. This ties us together as a group and makes us easy to identify to each other as we are working. Please pray for us as we strive to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus for the Marshall community.
While on their mission trip to Denver, Colo., last week, they worked closely with a group from Luverne. While they were gone, the storms coming through southwestern Minnesota wreaked havoc on the homes of the Luverne participants and the other members of their parish and community. On the way home, our youth said they wanted to help. Dana Webskowski, one of the two new youth ministers for Holy Redeemer Church, reached out to the coordinator of the Luverne program and offered our assistance. On June 23, Dana received the call asking for help for Wednesday. Dana, along with Becki Johnson, the other new youth minister, and Brenda Baker, the Faith Formation secretary, swung into action. Within 12 hours of the request, two adult leaders were in place to accompany the youth, and Southwest Coaches donated a bus and Mark, the driver, volunteered to transport the work crew. Within 24 hours of the request, the bus had 14 passengers scheduled to ride to Luverne.
Deb Schroeder and Kami Goblish, who had accompanied the youth to Denver on the mission trip, also accompanied the youth to Luverne. They led 10 youth and two other adult volunteers through projects that included tearing out waterlogged carpet and moldy boxes, as well as rebuilding a driveway made of pea gravel. It was a labor-intensive day but accomplished more than they had expected since no other volunteers had been available to help with the efforts on Wednesday.
Katie Baustian, youth coordinator from Luverne, said the group did a wonderful job, and it was greatly appreciated by the Luverne community. She said how ironic it was that the relationships that were built that allowed this work to happen were fostered in Colorado, when the two groups live so close to each other.
We will be working to get the youth together again later this summer but under more relaxed circumstances.