Tuesday, September 1, 2015

2015 Service Learning Trip by Aly Kingsley

The Iron Range Youth in Action trip has been a life changer. The first day, we left bright and early at 6:30 a.m. We went straight to the Ronald McDonald house in Minneapolis, and volunteered there. It was truly inspiring. We helped them clean most of the 42-room house. We washed tables, cleaned the windows, and even got too see some of the patients there, which was very meaningful. After our work, they invited us to a huge Hawaiian-themed BQQ that was put on by another organization for everyone at the house.


The next day, we went to Valley Fair which was a blast! We all went on the extreme swing ride together, which was one of the craziest things I've ever done. After Valley Fair, we went too Ciao Bella, which was a very nice restaurant in Bloomington. I had the best burger I've ever had in my life.


The next day, we went to the Salvation Army Harbor House, and volunteered there. We unloaded the food trucks, organized their food storage coolers and closets, and got rid of food that was expired. We met another volunteer named Janet, who was so cool. She was always happy and smiling, and made everyone motivated to do what they were supposed to do. We even took pictures to promote volunteerism for their website. That particular location does not have many local volunteers. We also ate lunch with community members who get their only meal there.


We were taken on a tour of the Salvation Army, which was very sad. We went into a room where about 100-150 slept each night due to homelessness, and that really hit me hard, personally. It was so sad knowing that many people were homeless; and in just one city. That particular house at the Salvation Army, houses about 600-700 people per night.


We also went to the Como Zoo and saw a bunch of animals! After the zoo, we went to a Minnesota Twins game at the Target Field. It was so awesome!! We won 10-1, and also got 4 home runs. They would shoot fireworks every time we would get a home run. On the last day, we ate at a nice restaurant at the mall of America, which was a fun experience to see different food that we have on the Iron Range. I can truly say that this was the funniest and most inspiring trip I've ever been on. We truly could not have had it happen if Taryn Burnett and Tyler Erickson weren't there too help us all. They are my biggest motivators and can make me see what can actually be done when you put your mind to it. I can't thank everyone enough who made this trip happen, and I encourage everyone to join Iron Range Youth in Action to experience helping others in our communities.


Aly Kingsley

Virginia High School

Author: Jody Messner