Hunter Korte, Matthew Henderson, Ty Swoope, Corina Klepeis, Sophia Klepeis, Brisa Klepeis, Kendall Shaw, Sydney Siebert, Maria Korte and Josh Kuntz with the completed window at St. Vincent de Paul Budget Store of Paducah/McCracken County in June 2021. COURTESY OF MARIA KORTE
‘Stay-Cation Mission Trip’ for St. Francis de Sales youth
BY MARIA KORTE, SPECIAL TO THE WESTERN KENTUCKY CATHOLIC
This summer, as things were starting to open back up, our youth group at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Paducah started looking for a “Stay-Cation Mission Trip” as we were not yet allowed to load up in big vans and haul lots of friends just yet. We called St. Vincent de Paul Budget Store of Paducah/McCracken County (they are connected to the church through the Diocese of Owensboro) and they were happy to have us come work. I spoke with Norma Cox, the store’s manager, and we started to dream up ideas!
The plan was to freshen up the storefront, and did we ever! From Monday, June 15, through Saturday June 19, more than 20 kids and three adult volunteers popped in and out each day working through super-hot days and painting! We painted the poles, the car parking bumpers, cleaned windows, swept the parking lot, unloaded cars full of donations, and organized shelves in the store among many other small projects.
The big project that we completed through the week was a huge eight-window-pane hand painted mural. The message of the mural was “Bee Kind” (with two Es because they added bees to the message.) The message is clear: be kind, be happy! The window is bright and cheery. I designed the images and dreamed up the plan, Norma supplied the paint and the youth painted many coats of beautiful paint for each image and added some of their own creativity to the windows. Come by and see it at 2025 Cairo Rd. in Paducah. They really do so much for the community through your shopping and donations to the budget store. They provide food and help people in our local area pay bills. Lots of people you know are one paycheck away from needing help and St. Vincent’s will always be there to rescue those in need!
Maria Korte is the youth minister and director of sacramental preparations at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Paducah.
Originally printed in the September 2021 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.