Youth headed to Catholic Heart Work Camp in Denver
How many teenagers and adults do you know that would give up a whole week of summer vacation to travel 1,000 miles across the hot, dry Nevada and Utah deserts to go fix up, clean up, paint and help people of all kinds in a city far away? Our group of 35 generous volunteers from the Diocese of Reno will be some of them. Heading out to Denver, these youth and adults will represent all of our parishes at Catholic Heart Workcamp from June 16-22.
Catholic HEART Workcamp is about SERVICE, CONNECTION and LOVING OTHERS. It all started in 1993 in Orlando, FL with 100 participants and has grown to over 11,000 serving in 2011. CHWC provides parish youth groups, teens and adult leaders service opportunities to restore homes and HEARTS, feed the hungry, lift the spirits of children, bring joy to the elderly and disabled and offer assistance while partnering with social agencies. It is a youth-friendly Christ-centered week of caring for others. Catholic HEART Workcamp faithfully and enthusiastically serves the Roman Catholic Church and its teachings and is an excellent opportunity to “love the least of these.” Further information can be found on their website at :http://heartworkcamp.com/index.html.
St. Gall's Paved the Way
The example of youth and adults from St. Gall’s Catholic Church in Gardnerville participating in other CHWC events over the past several years has inspired additional parishes from the Diocese of Reno to get involved and participate in this service experience. Youth and adults have done everything from leading vacation Bible school, to cleaning city parks, to repairing and painting family homes, to caring for children in daycare facilities and helping senior citizens in assisted living homes.
The list of service projects varies according to the hosting city and its social service agencies. The youth and adult volunteers provide details about their skills and volunteer experience in the registration process and based off of this, the CHWC staff matches volunteers with people in need. It works out to be a win-win situation for everyone. Youth get the opportunity to share the work of their hands with those who need help and thereby put their faith into action.
Morning praise and worship programs send campers off to their daily work with a catchy song on their lips and a prayer in their hearts to let God shine through them as they offer a helping rake or paintbrush or hammer. When teens return to their home base, evening fun and games, skits and more praise and worship prepare them for a good night’s sleep and the next round of work. Throughout the week, youth can join in a daily Rosary, and celebrate Eucharist as well as the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This is a powerful experience for all the young people and the adults who accompany them.
CHWC Coming to Reno in 2014
All of this paves the way for the Diocese of Reno to host Catholic Heart Workcamp here in 2014! Preparations are already under way and diocesan staff will be working hard to identify the needs for service projects in and around the city. If you would like to help, let us know. Contact Monique Jacobs at 329-9274, or via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.