What about a marathon? That's the question Syndey Walter and her friends pondered in mid-May after they had stored their school books and begun to think of fun Summer activities. "Isabel saw a posting on Facebook and said to Kaylee and me, "We should do this. Are you in?' And, of course we agreed!"
Within a couple of days a marathon map app was used to design the unique 26.2 mile route they would take. The route had to include strategic stops at Syndey's, Isabel's and Kaylee's homes and of course the Dollar General for ice cream. They marked May 30 on their calendars to coincide with their friend Olivia's visit to Dekalb from Florida. They used social media to finalize their plans. When to start? What to wear? What to bring? Where to go? Who to tell? These were some of the important details they discussed among themselves and with their parents.
When Syndey's dad suggested they consider doing their marathon walk to benefit a local charity, the girls all agreed that it was a terrific idea. The Class of 2018 graduates from St. Mary Catholic School in DeKalb, all recalled having done various service projects, helping with food and clothing drives in grammar school as well as participating in local parish high school youth group activities, which had helped the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. So they decided that the local SVdP conference could benefit from the many miles they were planing to walk. Those people willing to support their marathon walk to benefit the Society of St. Vincent de Paul St. Mary/Christ the Teacher Conference included family and friends as well as their former school principal.
Starting from Afton Forest Preserve at 5:38 am and ending at Hopkins Park at 7:50 pm, they managed to cover all 26.2 miles of their DeKalb County journey. In addition to raising $561 dollars to help local families who may be struggling, they treasure the fun they had carrying out their plan together, being blown away by the people they met along the way, their families who cheered them on and even the stranger who spontaneously treated them to ice cream when he found out what they were doing.
Inspired by this success they are eager to inspire others who may want to join in an annual youth event that could help the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. They already have plans to ask their friends and the St. Mary and Newman Center youth group directors about starting a St Vincent de Paul Youth Group in DeKalb. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international society with conferences in over 140 countries. It was started in 1833 by Frederic Ozanam, a 19 year old college student living in Paris, France. Frederic had a simple idea about how he could put his Christian faith into action and help make the world a better place. He simply asked his friends, "Are you in?" And, of course they agreed!
Click here to learn more about how SVdP youth are helping to change the world!
Society of St Vincent de Paul St Mary/Christ the Teacher DeKalb