The Teenz In The City community gathered together this past Thanksgiving weekend for an incredible day volunteering in the soup kitchen at Xavier Mission at The Church of St. Francis. While Teenz In The City typically provides our members with different types of events and activities, we discussed the importance of community service and giving back to those less fortunate, especially during the holiday season. Our members used their travel training direction worksheet previously completed at home, and the Moovit app to navigate downtown to Union Square. Once off the train, members were encouraged to use Google maps with the walking directions feature to navigate directly a few blocks west to Xavier Mission. Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted and participated in a brief orientation learning background information on Xavier Mission, as well as our responsibilities and expected behavior for the day. We learned that Xavier Mission would be feeding around 1,500 homeless individuals during the day. We were thrilled to be participating in such a special day! Our members quickly began our first task, which was to help distribute trays of food to the elderly and disabled. Our members seemed to really enjoy this task, and were reminded to pay careful attention to carrying the heavy tray, placing it down in front of each person, while then remembering to collect a red ticket from each person, which represented how many people were served during the day. Afterwards, our group transitioned to washing and drying used trays, which was a very tedious task. We were extremely impressed by our members’ dedication and teamwork creating an effective assembly line to wash and dry each tray. Between washing, we offered our members the opportunity to walk around and serve iced tea and water to the less fortunate, giving them the chance to interact more with women, men and even a few children. Our group members’ upbeat personalities and friendly smiles were just what they needed to cheer them up on this cold Sunday afternoon. After a few hours of hard work and dedication, our group members were exhausted, and we said our goodbyes for the day to the staff and attendees at Xavier Mission. On the walk home, we engaged our group in a discussion reflecting upon the day, asking each member to share their favorite part of this experience. Our members shared they really enjoyed giving back to those less fortunate and were surprised how nice and friendly many of the people that they met were. A few of our members expressed that while they were resistant and nervous to interact at first, they all really enjoyed their conversations that they had and especially liked the opportunity to serve them, while other members expressed that they preferred washing and drying the dishes, which was a more behind the scenes task. All of our members expressed that they would like to volunteer their time again in the near future; therefore, we will be adding a community service day to the spring 2017 calendar.
We wanted to take a moment and let all of you know how grateful we are to have you part of our community. We hope that you enjoy being part of Teenz In The City as much as we enjoy having you.