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Church group learns about the impact they make through volunteerism

Mission 911
Posted at 5:23 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 19:06:27-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — An out of town church group has made it their goal to help as many as they can while in Corpus Christi.

Children and adults from Monterey Church of Christ in Lubbock made their annual trip to the Coastal Bend to take part in volunteer opportunities.

“So we’re here at Mission 911 helping paint some rooms and putting shelves together just to help out the community and to feed homeless and to help anyone that we can,” said Kellan Carasu, one of the volunteers.

For the last 15 years, the Monterey Church of Christ has made this trip, all in the name of volunteerism. They help Mission 911 with small maintenance projects like replacing tile, painting and building shelving.

“It makes a big difference because being a non-profit, we can use that resource so we can use our monies to help somebody else," Tony Reyes said, CEO of Mission 911. "So, that’s a big, big, big beneficial relief for us."

The residents take notice the work being done, especially resident and maintenance manager Alfred Montoya. He said it's very helpful having so many hands on deck.

“It’s gratitude," said Montoya. "They are changing their lives and I'm changing my life. I changed my life, so. That’s my gratitude to Tony Reyes who gave me a chance here.”

Montoya is one of the success stories from Mission 911. He uses his experience to help others turn their lives around.

"It's a brand new life for me," he said. "When I came here I was just another homeless person, trying to con people a place to stay. But Tony gave me a chance. That's about four years ago."

The children working take notice of who they're helping. One volunteer Elise King, says they don't say homeless they say "houseless" because home isn't a place. And this experience has opened her eyes more to that.

“I feel like for me it’s just the heart, like it changes my heart in every single way," King said. "And it just helps, again your perspective of how you see the world and stuff. It’s just so life changing. And it’s just seeing the way we can help people.”

“They’ve been really thankful for us," Jacen Phillips said, another volunteer. "They don’t really have a lot to do because they don’t have enough money. So they’re just really grateful that we’re doing these little things and feeding them."

The group not only helped repair the facility, but have done other acts of volunteerism while in Corpus Christi. They passed out burgers to those that were hungry and they took part in helping Mission 911's Beat the Heat program, where they handed out fans and meals to those who needed them.

The group has been here since Sunday and will be wrapping up their work on Thursday.