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Catholic Charities, Helias host bread drive for elderly

by Nicole Roberts | April 5, 2020 at 4:06 a.m. | Updated April 5, 2020 at 11:18 a.m.
From left, Helias Catholic High School students Will Grothoff, Hannah Bangy and Kennedy Voss practice social distancing Saturday while volunteering at the bread drive at Helias. The bread was loaded onto Catholic Charities trucks and will sit by itself for a period of time before being given out to older people in need.

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As cars drove up to Helias Catholic High School on Saturday afternoon, drivers opened their trunks to reveal piles of bread. Off to the side, large containers were quickly filling up with various bread products.

Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri and Helias Catholic High School held a bread drive Saturday to support senior citizens in Mid-Missouri during COVID-19.

The bread will go to Aging Best, a nonprofit that provides services to senior citizens in 19 counties.

Dan Lester, executive director of Catholic Charities, said Aging Best contacted him about the bread shortage for the elderly. That's when Catholic Charities sprung into action.

The key for the bread drive was to be creative, Lester said.

"We can do things like this where we can be outside, we can set some clear perimeters and boundaries for our volunteers and provide protective equipment and can keep the folks donating safe because they can just put the items in their trunks and pop the trunk," he said. "No one is breathing on anybody else. Everyone has their distance."

Helias President the Rev. Stephen Jones said it's important Helias students learn how to impact the community in a positive way while also helping those in need. However, it's important the students still take the proper precautions.

Will Grothoff was one of the students volunteering Saturday. He wore gloves and a face mask while taking bread from vehicles.

"I feel great knowing someone is benefiting from what we're doing," said Grothoff, a junior at Helias.

During COVID-19, students can find other ways to help the community while also practicing social distance, Helias campus minister Maureen Quinn said. That could mean anything from calling loved ones to mowing a neighbor's grass.

"I think it's really important for our kids to understand that they can still give both their time and talent during COVID-19," she said. "There are simple things we can do to serve one another, and it doesn't even have to involve social interaction."

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