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More than 600 Treynor, Iowa students and staff volunteer at Open Door Mission

Posted at 6:29 PM, Apr 19, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It’s National Volunteer Week and there was no shortage of volunteers at Open Door Mission Tuesday.

Nine buses loaded up with more than 600 people — ODM knows the drill.

“I think we’ve probably been here six or seven times,” Treynor Middle School Principal Jenny Berens said.

“I look forward to this every year and I’m actually really sad that this is going to be my last one,” Treynor 12th Grader Sara Hudgell said.

6th through 12th grade students and faculty from Treynor Community Schools made their annual trip for Treynor Day of Giving.

“We come with the school but it’s not that we’re forced to go we all want to be here,” Hudgell said.

A day full of volunteering, giving back and excitement.

“I've done everything from making sandwiches to planting in the garden, and I think this year we will be playing with the kiddos in the Lydia House so that's super exciting,” Hudgell said.

“It’s something that’s fun, but we know it’s doing greater good for those in need,” Berens said.

Also full of personal and educational stories about homelessness and avoiding it.

"It’s a win-win. We’re educating students but at the same time they are having an experience of volunteerism,” Open Door Mission CEO Candace Gregory said.

“They leave here appreciating what they have and what we have, and how many people don’t have what we have,” Berens said.

The school racked up nearly 2,000 volunteer hours combined across the ODM campuses.

"They will equate to almost 40 full-time staff working a full week here at Open Door Mission,” Gregory said. “So that’s the volume of work that’s going to be accomplished today.”

“There’s needs everywhere and what can we do, no matter how small, to impact those around us,” Berens said.

All in a day’s work.

“Having everybody involved and knowing that our school is able to make a ginormous impact on this place is just amazing,” Hudgell said.

The school had to miss the last two years due to the pandemic, but say they’re already chomping at the bit to come back next year.

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