Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

College-age volunteers enrich middle school youth experience at St. Thomas More Parish

by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff

(From the Feb. 8, 2007 edition of the Inland Register)

The junior youth group at Spokane’s St. Thomas More Parish relies heavily on the efforts of volunteers.

Currently, two local college students give of their time and enthusiasm to help keep things hopping for the parish’s 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. The volunteers are Kayley Randall, a junior at Gonzaga University, and Dacia Contabile, a sophomore at Spokane Falls Community College.

“They are the ones who run the junior youth group,” said Kate Bradley, St. Thomas More’s Director of Religious Education. “We have really good attendance; they make a big difference.”

A recent brainstorming session was devoted to proposing projects for the middle school participants – “this age level really loves projects,” said Bradley. “We couldn’t do a carwash – wrong time of year.” Someone came up with the idea of raffling off a Gonzaga basketball basket.

The group quickly gathered donations of desirable items, most connected with Gonzaga University’s basketball team, from game tickets, to dinner from the Swinging Door Restaurant, a GU blanket and hats.

The junior youth group sold raffle tickets for the basket at all the Masses the weekend of Jan. 20, with sales totaling $900.

“The kids spoke at each Mass,” said Bradley. “They told everyone that they were raising money for Catholic Charities’ Childbirth and Parenting Alone (CAPA) program.”

The money will be used to fill baskets that will be given to women participating in the CAPA program.

“The baskets will have essentials in them,” Bradley said, “things for the babies, like diapers, and teething rings, and formula – which is expensive. And for the moms we’ll get things like nail polish, and makeup, and shampoo – pretty much they want the basics. We’re going to coordinate with Gonzaga University, which is going to have an Easter egg hunt, sometime near Easter. We’ll babysit for the babies, and the G.U. kids will run the Easter egg hunt, and then we’ll present the moms with the baskets.”

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