Aug 15 2012

Students give part of summer to volunteer

Summertime brings much excitement to students eager to be out of the confines of the classroom. Many vacation with family, work at a summer job or use their time to relax.

Lindsay, a CHWC volunteer

Lindsay Johnson, 18, Catholic Heart Workcamp volunteer, laughs with friends as she prepares the annual CFCA photos for mailing.

Some follow a different path and volunteer their free time to help others in need.

Catholic Heart Workcamp is one organization that offers volunteer programs to youth across America. CHWC offers youth the opportunity to volunteer and help out communities in need.

The program offers one-week and two-week camps aimed at enriching the lives of the participants through volunteering.

Their goal is to motivate youth to continue service work in their own communities.

“We are having a lot of fun, but we are getting a lot of work done,” said Avery Horne, a CHWC group leader.

Avery’s group volunteered their time at CFCA in July to help send out yearly photos of the sponsored children and aging friends to our sponsors.

“It means a lot to the kids that they are helping out the community,” Avery said.

Kids and youth from all over the United States help others through CHWC. They are assigned into different groups and travel to volunteer sites across the country.

“It’s nice to meet people from different areas and get to talk to them and interact with them,” said 17-year-old Eilish, a CHWC volunteer from Wisconsin. “[It’s] beyond cool to be able to do something so awesome, like helping people out. It’s a gift in itself.”

Steve and Lisa Walker founded Catholic Heart Workcamp in 1993 in Orlando, Fla. The Walkers were both youth ministers at the time and collaborated to create a camp that gave back to the community and offered a Catholic perspective.

CHWC has volunteered at CFCA for two years.

CFCA mails photos of nearly 300,000 children, youth and aging friends to sponsors each year. Volunteers make it possible for sponsors to receive photos and letters from their sponsored children and the elderly.

Curtis, a 14-year-old CHWC volunteer, seemed content as he tackled the large stack of photos and envelopes in front of him.

“I learned that just by doing some small act of goodwill in someone’s life, it can totally change them,” Curtis said.

A small act can make a difference, which is why we are grateful for all of our sponsors, donors and volunteers.

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