Thor Streufert, Penelope Rosso and Sora Olsen are a few of the middle schoolers who attend Hope Lutheran and Christ the King. This week, they will spend their days cleaning, painting and helping out different places in Gallatin County.
On August 15, the churches kicked off their Middle School Service Plunge. They have been doing it for about 12 years now.
Each day, 6th through 9th graders from the churches visit different places in Gallatin County to help clean and help out wherever it's needed. On Monday, the helped clean up the interior and exterior of Christus Collegium, the center for campus ministries near MSU.
“We’ve been helping out the community by picking weeds and washing windows,” said Streufert.
Rosso said she picked up garbage and cleaned out the kitchen.
Olsen said she vacuumed and dusted.
On Tuesday, the kids will be helping serve at the food bank; on Wednesday, they are heading back to Hope Lutheran to paint, and on Thursday they will be helping out the principal at Meadowlark Elementary.
JP Carlson is the Youth Director for Christ the King. He says the energy the kids bring with them is contagious and it's inspiring to see them grow passionate about service.
“For them to show up with that energy, excitement, and humor definitely makes it more enjoyable,” said Carlson.
After the kids finish up their work, they head back to the church to play games and learn about the theme of the week.
Carlson says even though the kids are there to work, there is a bigger message at hand. He says the kids are not only giving back to the community but learning how big of a role they play. That they can make a difference every day.
“So much of who you are is shaped by the people around you,” said Carlson. “Getting involved and serving together really does help us understand how important it is to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.”