|The A.M. shift of the Living Out Loud volunteers|
Today, nestled behind a large wall of boxes of non-perishable foods, intended for needy families, lies an extraordinary group of Middle Schoolers. Generously volunteering 2 days out of their very precious summer vacation, the young members of Living Out Loud spend the joint time, which make up a Christian Service Summer Retreat, helping many non-for profit organizations like Humanitarian Service Project.
Living Out Loud, an annual event for young students, consists of St. Petronille Parish in
Visitation Parish in Elmhurst
and Resurrection Parish in Wayne.
On the second day of the service oriented retreat the incoming 7th
and 8th graders separate into small groups and are sent to very
different service opportunities in the Chicago
area. Two shifts of these students came in today at Humanitarian Service
Project, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
As Valerie Della Penna, a Middle School Youth Minister and organizer of Living out Loud explains, “We separate the kids into different groups and send them to different service opportunities in hopes that the kids can have very different experiences on this retreat…at the end of the day we organize a food scavenger hunt in downtown Glen Ellyn and once we collect the food we will be donating it to charitable organizations like Humanitarian Service Project.”
As the children excitedly packed food into boxes, the look of pure joy crosses their faces. Della Pena had mentioned that this year the popular and limited youth group, which normally consists of 60 Middle Schoolers has been pushed to a new level with 79 children volunteering, including a number of kids who have come back from last year to either volunteer again or have decided to return as Student Leaders.
We have had the lucky experience of having a group like Living Out Loud volunteer with Humanitarian Service Project for about 10 years. Without the support and help from groups like Living Out Loud our program would be so much less than it is. If you or a group you are a part of would like to volunteer with Humanitarian Service Project, we welcome you to call us at 630-221-8340 or email us at