GREAT FALLS – Some Great Falls area nonprofits are getting a helping hand this week thanks to a faith-based service program made up of hard working high school students.
They’re part of a nationwide Catholic service program called ‘Young Neighbors in Action.’
In Great Falls, more than 60 kids from Washington and Northern California spent a week doing service projects like landscaping work at the Great Falls Rescue Mission’s Women’s Shelter.
“Young people have an opportunity not just to do the work that needs to be done, but to learn why its important to see the greater church throughout the country,” said Keith Adams, a Young Neighbors in Action Program Director.
For the students, the contributions may seem small, but they have a big impact.
“Just seeing how what we do can affect everybody, even the littlest things like cleaning windows to shampooing a carpet, it all really goes to a greater good and it just amazing to see how it goes,” said Kelsi Benton, a Young Neighbors in Action team member from Pullman, Washington.
“Just the smaller things that we take for granted, they have a great joy when they get it,” said Young Members in Action team member Kinsey Kallaher, also from Pullman.
For some kids, its their first time with the program. Others like Diego Kittleson of Pullman, Washington have served more than once.
“The first time my mom made me, and I didn’t really want to go,” said Kittleson. “But then after I did, I came back and I just really wanted to do it again because it makes you feel good to help other people.”
For all of the students, it’s an eye opening experience.
Organizers hope the young neighbors in action leave with a stronger sense of service, faith and fellowship and that their time in Montana serves as catalyst back home.
“Its our hope that they go back changed and that they see this as a springboard so that they leave here and go home and see how they can make a difference in their own community,” said Adams.
While in Great Falls during the week of June 24-28, students in the program also did service work with Habitat for Humanity, Eagle Mount, St. Vincent DePaul and Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
Reporting by Tim McGonigal for MTN News