Members of Vincentian Marian Youth (VMY) of Southeast Missouri went on a mission on April 29 to say “thank you” to those in the community serving during the pandemic.
This crisis has put a spotlight on those who often don’t receive much glory for their service, including grocery stores, gas stations, nursing homes, and hospital employees from nurses to maintenance.
“When most of us have been doing what we can to stay home and safe, these folks have been putting themselves in harm’s way for our sake,” said Alex Hermann, director of youth ministry for VMY. “All of the sudden, these ‘behind-the-scenes’ jobs have become a sort of ‘front lines’ to get us what we need for survival.”
To show our appreciation, members of VMY from Perryville and Ste. Genevieve all the way to Potosi baked treats for these heroes.
Locations reached in Ste. Genevieve included Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital, grocery stores, gas stations, and one nursing home.
Delivered mostly by the high school members of VMY, it was a powerful experience for all involved, Hermann said.
Emma Kraenzle, a freshman at Valle High School and a new member of VMY, said, “I could see Christ in the people’s smiles when we were giving [treats]”.
Added Natalie Kist, also a freshman from Valle: “It’s nice to give to people who give every day through their work.”
“We know it’s a small token of gratitude for the value of what they do every day,” Hermann said, “but we hope that they know how much their service is appreciated.”
The inspiration for this service can be credited to a man and company who inspired VMY by their generosity.
Don Welge recently passed away from coronavirus-related illnesses. Welge, who served as CEO for Gilster-Mary Lee, was always extremely generous to Southeast Missouri VMY.
“Any time we needed food for a mission trip and asked for one box, a case was always given instead.” said Shirley Klump, former director of Southeast Missouri VMY.
The mission of VMY is to serve the youth of the community, empowering them to grow closer to Christ and to serve those living in poverty. Don Welge’s and Gilster-Mary Lee’s support of VMY through the last 15-plus years are a testimony of their commitment to our community. The cookie and brownie mix, cereal and marshmallows used in this project were all donated by Gilster-Mary Lee in the Perryville/Chester area.
Students in high school who want to get more involved in their faith or simply discover more about themselves through service are always welcome to become involved in the programs and projects offered through Vincentian Marian Youth of Southeast Missouri. The offices are located in the Laboure Exchange on Center Drive in Ste. Genevieve.
Hermann can be contacted at [email protected]
VMY also is on Facebook at “Vincentian Marian Youth SEMO” and Instagram at “VMYYouth.”
(Information in a release from Vincentian Marian Youth.)