December Volunteer Highlight
Getting Youth Involved!

On October 31st, twenty five children from Saints Constantine and Helen of Swansea, IL each took home a small pumpkin chosen from the church lawn. The children adorned them with colorful plumes, glittering attachments, smiling faces, and, in some cases, unidentified goop, globs, and glitter to be displayed and auctioned off at the parish's Thanksgiving Dinner celebration. In the past, the youth have participated in similar projects, with funds benefiting the parish's youth fund. This year, however, they decided to send the funds to IOCC to help other children in need around the globe.

The evening of the event, one parishioner facilitated the auction of the beautiful and wild orange globes that the children worked so hard on. The first pumpkin sold for $10.00, chatter in the crowd began to fade, and people took interest in the decorated gourds. A pumpkin resembling Sponge Bob Square Pants, and one covered in colorful plumes with a not-so-graceful beak dubbed "The Kiwi-bird Pumpkin", began enticing the parents in the crowd. Friendly competition ensued, with one pumpkin selling for $50.00 and another for $100.00!

In just fifteen minutes, the youth and open-hearted parishioners of Saints Constantine and Helen had raised $530.00 for the ministries of IOCC. Thank you to the youth and parishioners of Saints Constantine and Helen!

Are you looking for ways that your parish's youth can raise awareness and funds for IOCC such as the pumpkin auction? Please contact Megan Carniewski, IOCC Outreach Coordinator, at or toll free at 877-803-4622 for further information.

This story was sent in by Fr. Achilles Karathanos, the parish priest at Saints Constantine and Helen in Swansea, IL and Spiritual Father of the Saint Louis Metropolitan Committee.

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