By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
This year’s COVID-19 pandemic was not enough to keep the local Vincentian Marian Youth (VMY) from holding its annual mission “trip.”
Normally, VMY travels to another location for a week-long mission trip with 100 or more youths and 25 or so adults. Past trips have included locales such as Joplin after the 2011 tornado, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, as well as Rosenberg, Texas, Kansas, Indiana and Arkansas.
This year, the pandemic canceled the travel, but did not keep the group from helping others. Instead of hitting the road, a worthwhile project was found here in Ste. Genevieve and in St. Mary. The group worked to help a pair of local families, while staying in the Knights of Columbus Hall.
One project was helping to rehabilitate an older home on North Main Street.
The teens felt they moved closer to God and gained a better perspective on life during the week.
Rachael Valle, 17, said she heard about the missions by word of mouth.
“Friends have just told me that it’s a lot of fun, so I decided to try it out and see how it is,” she said It’s been a lot of fun, so far.”
“I’ve done it the past year and I found it really fun, so I decided to do it again,” said Abby Marzuco, 16.
“Its been really fun, being able to work on other people’s homes and helping other people out,” Valle said.
They both agreed that “growing closer to God” was one of the best aspects of the work. Both said they would recommend it to other people.
Valle said she would recommend it “just to show the them how fun it is; you grow closer to God and meet new people.”
“And, it’ a big eye-opener when you help other people,” Marzuco added.
“I just liked learning the importance of helping other people,” Valle said.
Kolton Spies, 16, will reflect back on “just helping out the community and growing closer to God … and the memories and experience.”
What did he gain from it?
“Just to count your blessings and just to keep your faith strong,” he said. “It makes you feel good, helping out the community.”
Laboure Exchange, a local thrift shop, was established to serve the needs of the poor in our community, offering items of quality at an affordable cost. Laboure’ Exchange since its establishment has given away more than $10,000 in free vouchers of items to help those in extreme need to who cannot afford items.