During the Summer once school gets out teenagers are often very busy people.

With different things like Summer jobs, sports and other commitments it is often hard for them to do anything else.

For about thirty local teens from St. James, Madelia and LCWM they decided that they would take a break from sports, work and other things and would volunteer for four days straight.

These teens throughout the week have participated in a program called MAIC/CRIC Integration Collaborative Pay It Forward trip helping in a number of different ways.

This program was created after they were supposed to participate in a program called Student Today Leaders Forever trip which unfortunately folded earlier this Spring.

The purpose of the trip was to travel to Chicago on the way volunteering at different locations and also visiting different colleges. Because money was already allocated for the trip the Youth Development Staff decided to have their own trip with Des Moines Iowa as its destination city.

On Monday, before the students took off for their trip of helping others they stopped in Madelia and St. James to visit with senior citizens in the community giving them cookies and a plant while spending time with conversing about different things thanks to the help of Wellspring and a Thrivent Action Team Grant.

Also on Monday the students along with their chaperones and college leaders also helped beautify the St. James Community Building by planting planters in front of the building and the Princess Theater. Before the day was over the students also were in Mankato where they heard  about REACH and their work with sex trafficking in southern Minnesota. On Tuesday, the students went to Rochester to work with the Channel One Food Bank and Samaritan Bethany, tour the University of MN Rochester and travel on to Des Moines. On Wednesday the students worked with the Salvation Army and Hope ministries which has a Homeless Men's Shelter, Soup Kitchen and Thrift Stores.

Be sure to check out more photos from the trip by going to the Plaindealer’s Facebook page.