For the second year in a row, St Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church high school youth ministry set out on “Mission Possible,” a weeklong service trip ministering in downtown Raleigh.
Seventeen teenagers spent each morning washing feet and giving away new pairs of socks and shoes at Moore Square Park. Over 300 pairs of shoes were distributed throughout the week. “We became known as ‘The Foot Washers’ last year,” said Russ Hoyt, Director of Youth Ministry. “The people were real excited to see us again.”
Betsy Higgins, an organizer of Mission Possible, said the collaborative efforts of parents, parishioners, the teens and the community made the week a great success.
“Many of the shoes were donated from local businesses, and our parish was extraordinarily generous to the mission by funding additional pairs of shoes,” said Mr. Hoyt.
Raleigh Rescue Mission, located next to the park, allowed the students to run a hose from their building and borrow buckets and chairs. “We are always trying to find ways to help people get outside the walls of their churches and reach out to those in need,” said Lynn Daniell, Executive Director of Raleigh Rescue Mission.
“One guy came on the first day, got his feet washed, a new pair of shoes and then came back everyday just to talk,” said Victoria Huffman, a Mission Possible teen. “Mission Possible is really a ministry of friendship,” explained Mr. Hoyt. “People just want to be seen and heard.”
“Washing the feet of the homeless was amazing and powerful,” said Kathleen Caldwell, 17. “I tried to respect each of them and would only wash their feet if they gave me permission. Most people just wanted someone to talk to.”
In the afternoons the students served at two downtown children’s day camps facilitating activities such as a field trip to Marbles Museum and water day, with balloons, sprinklers and face painting. The students spent the evenings with residents of Raleigh Rescue Mission, hosting game night and organizing activities for the children. “I like working with the children,” said Dan Caldwell, a rising sophomore. “They were having so much fun, it made me feel good to be able to make them happy.”
“The people we met, served and loved have enriched our lives,” said Mrs. Higgins. “We received much more than we gave.”
St. Luke the Evangelist high school youth group
wash feet in downtown Raleigh.