by Katie Hughes
Katie is a Loretto Volunteer serving as an AmeriCorps Wellness Coordinator at Family Care Health Centers in St. Louis. The St. Louis volunteers road-tripped to Denver for their spring break. This is Katie's dispatch.
Driving across the entire states of Missouri and Kansas during the beginning of a snowstorm might not be the first image that pops into your head when you hear “spring break.” But when Kathleen had days off from school, Jill and I just HAD to rearrange our work schedules so we could take a trip. Since the Lorettos have a center in Denver, we knew it would be a great opportunity.
As we drove across the 400 plus miles of flat Kansas the whole day Friday, we caught the beginning of a snowstorm that would keep us snowed in on Saturday. We were immediately welcomed into the Denver community, with lots of questions and conversations with the friendly sisters. The group of sisters made us feel so at home and so comfortable! We took a much needed relaxing and reflection day while watching the snow fall outside the windows. We attended mass with the sisters, ate delicious meals and participated in the Saturday movie night. Saturday was very comfy and cozy.
On Sunday, Jill and I started out the day refreshed with a tai chi/yoga session with Natalie - a sister in Denver. The snow finally stopped and another sister, Mary Kay, took us for a drive to see Georgetown, a little mining town with a quaint main street. We finally got to see the mountains clearly, and they were breathtaking! From the Center, we could only see the “foothills”, but they looked pretty big to me! It was about a 45 minute drive through the Rockies to get to Georgetown, and it was absolutely gorgeous, with freshly fallen snow on the trees. Later in the day, we took a tour of the Coors Brewery, and I checked off another box on my American brewers list.
On Monday, we visited Southwest Improvement Council (SWIC) to help out Loretto co-member Jan. Kathleen got to put her lunch lady skills to use as we served the seniors their daily hot lunch. It was great to sit and chat with some people of the community and learn about their lives. We also helped with some rearranging of the food bank and were happy to help out. SWIC is a significant part of the community with so many great services. We visited downtown Denver and walked around the shops and got frozen yogurt.
As I was riding in the backseat of our car on the way home, I wrote in my journal about how grateful I was that I was able to have this experience. I got to visit a beautiful place and meet more wonderful members of the Loretto Community. I am still so happy that I decided to join the Loretto Volunteer Program, and each week brings something new and special to affirm that.
In Their Own Words
We invite you to get to know Loretto Volunteers and the program here. Volunteers introduce themselves and reflect on their experiences.