On April 18, 2015, 39 Everest middle school boys spent their Saturday morning serving the neediest in the Detroit metro area. The day was organized by the Regnum Christi Consecrated Women and Legionaries. This initiative will become a monthly event at Everest in the 2015-16 school year.
The middle school missionaries were divided into three groups and completed three different missions, which impacted them in profound ways.
“I learned not to judge other people by how they look,” said one Everest missionary. “We are very fortunate and should be grateful,” reflected another.
No matter the mission, each of the missionaries came away with a deep life lesson. One of the students summed up the whole day, when he said: “It was great to do something small, but that you know made a big difference.”
One group volunteered at Angel’s Place, an organization which provides homes and care for adults with Down syndrome. The missionaries helped them with some garden work, repaired their basketball hoop, and enjoyed playing with them, getting to know them, and even watching the old Batman TV series together. “They have feelings and are just like us… they can do more than you think,” said one middle school boy. “I will never judge a book by its cover.” Another missionary said: “I like syndrome smiles.”
Angel’s Place was very thankful for the presence of Everest students. Each of the residents prepared a special “thank you” card, and the organizers and regular volunteers at the adult home sent their own letters of appreciation.
The second missionary group volunteered at Urban Gardens, where Capuchin monks grow potted vegetable plants to give away to the poor so that they can grow their own food instead of constantly depending on handouts. “I realized not everyone in Detroit has food to eat,” one missionary said. Another promised: “Not everyone has the chance to do what they want; I will work hard to not simply be a taker.”
OATS care center for children with physical and emotional difficulties was the destination of the third group. (The care center uses horseback riding as an integral part of therapy.) The missionaries led the horses as the children rode and did some tough gardening. “When you help people, you feel better in your soul,” said one volunteer.
In the 2015-16 school year, the middle school and high school students, as well as all of the athletic teams, will be offered monthly mission opportunities. Coupled with these opportunities will be the middle school apostolic service days.
Brother Kevin Gore, who helps organize these apostolic activities, explained they are just one more way to develop an “integrally formed” and well-rounded apostle, prepared, not only intellectually, morally, and spiritually, but also with the generous heart of one who is willing to go out and make a difference, just as Christ did.