At Cathedral Home for Children, the Mae Olson Education Center provides numerous program opportunities for the youth to take part in throughout the year. One of the most impactful programs for the youth is the Summer Program. Along with allowing youth to explore different activities and areas of interest, it also helps youth that are behind in school credits to catch up and to take the time they need. The Summer Program gives each cottage a chance to try something different for each week. One of the week activities is completing hours of community service at a local organization in town. Throughout the week, the two teachers really focus on showing the youth that giving back to others doesn’t just help the other person but it also makes the youth feel like they have a positive impact on others and the community. The teachers explained that “the residents are able to experience the feeling that one gets when giving back to others.”
The volunteering doesn’t stop after the summer program is over and it continues throughout the school year. Last year, the youth volunteered at nine different locations adding up to over 670 hours! One of the many places visited was the Laramie Care Center where the youth help in different ways depending on the time of the year. The youth helped with taking residents for walks, painting nails and keeping the residents company. The youth in our care learn that the smallest task has the biggest impact.
The teachers shared one of the most impactful stories of what community services does for the youth at CHC. One day when the class was on their way to Laramie Care Center one of the students stopped and picked lilacs for the resident they were seeing. Soon after everyone in the class was following and picking lilacs and flowers for their resident as well. The simplest act of picking flowers had the biggest impact on the residents. The teachers shared that when the youth arrived to the care center with flowers for every resident, some of the residents were so thankful they started crying. Even though at first this action seemed too small it had one of the biggest impacts on the residents of the Laramie Care Center and the youth of CHC.
While Laramie Care Center is one of the biggest places the youth volunteer throughout the year it is not the only place. The teachers work hard on expanding the horizons of the youth by taking them around the city of Laramie and having them volunteer in different environments. Another place the youth volunteer at yearly is the Ivinson Home for Women. While there the youth work on picking pine cones in yard there, once they are done the ladies bring them cookie and show them around the home. This shows the youth that people are thankful for the work that they do for them. The youth are able to feel the compassion that these ladies have for them and that not everyone judges them based off of their past.
The youth at CHC have the opportunity to not only get out in the community but to also impact the lives of others in a positive way. They get to experience the feeling of doing good for others and what it is like having an impact on the community they live in.
There are so many aspects to Cathedral Home for Children that still have to be introduced in this blog. Stay tuned for our next blog coming in the next few weeks. Like always, remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the most up to date information about our organization.