Catholic teens from across the country helping needy in KC area - KCTV5

Catholic teens from across the country helping needy in KC area

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Kitchen before remodeling work Kitchen before remodeling work
Kitchen after remodeling work Kitchen after remodeling work

Catholic teenagers from across the country are in the Kansas City area helping the needy this week.

The 365 teens are participating in the weeklong Catholic HEART workshop. They are tackling projects to help the elderly, low income and homeless.

A KCK got a kitchen remodel and landscaping work done thanks to teens like Ryan Pachta, 19.

Elizabeth Foster volunteers her time to assist Meals on Wheels. She had wanted a new faucet for her sink and instead got a new kitchen. She expressed her gratitude to the teens, who shrugged off the praise.

"She's a very wonderful woman. She's done a ton for the community," Pachta said.

Pachta became involved in the Catholic HEART camp seven years ago. He said it is one of the most rewarding things he has ever done.

"I like to build things and I like to help other people so I kind of put the two together," Pachta said. "We took out weeds that were taller than us."

The archdiocese of KCK is sponsoring the workshop. The teens are sleeping in classrooms at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park. They are also celebrating mass and participating in spiritual renewal while in the area.

The projects include painting, general home repair, cleaning and landscaping. In addition to the home repairs, they are working with youth programs, food programs, homeless shelters and outreach centers.

Those who have benefited from the efforts will join the teens on their final evening in the KC area to thank them and share their thoughts.

Catholic HEART workshop started 21 years ago in Orlando, FL. More than 13,000 campers have served in 50 cities in the United States as well as Belize and Jamaica. This is the third year that projects have been undertaken in the Kansas City area.

Ellie Minihan traveled from South Dakota to volunteer.

"It's so important because maybe the things we've been blessed with they haven't," she said. "A week for us, that's not much to give back for so much I've been given."

Pachta said when the week is completed that you know you've accomplished something special.

"It's a pretty good feeling to see it all done and at the end of the week you know you did something great!" he said.

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