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      Mission In Amarillo helps teens practice what they preach

      T hree churches from the Amarillo and Canyon area have come together this week to help the community though "Mission In Amarillo".

      A round 60 teens and 20 adults from Central Church of Christ, Church of Christ at the Colonies and University Church of Christ in Canyon have been participating in service projects around Amarillo the past three days.

      "As the Church, we feel that it is our calling to be of service for the people around us," said Summer Youth Intern for the Central Church of Christ, Matt McMahon. "To go out and not just say hey we care for people who are in poverty but to actually show them that we're here and if there's a way that we can help, we want to be able to go out and do that."

      The MIA team split up into groups of about ten youth and rotated service locations each day, helping with a different service project each time including helping the High Plains Food Bank pack frozen food meals, volunteering at the Guyon Saunders Resource Center, helping with a summer camp at a local apartment complex, gathering canned foods to give to the homeless and even helping entertain kids involved in a summer camp at the Wesley Community Center.

      Thirteen-year-old Blakelee Eggleston was part of the group helping out at the Wesley Community Center on Wednesday. She said it feels good to know she's helping others.

      "Our church teaches us to love our neighbors as ourselves," Blakelee explained. "So, just through that I've learned to be a better person by helping the community."

      Blakelee and the other volunteers at Wesley Community Center got involved with the kids there by playing dodgeball, doing arts and crafts and even having a dance party. They learned about each other and had fun while doing it.

      "There's Andrew and he's really awesome and he has a mohawk and I think that's really cool," laughed Blakelee as she talked about one little boy she met while volunteering. "He's really good at gymnastics and he's been doing his cartwheels and stuff so that's really cool."

      "Just seeing those interactions and being able to get to know these kids and get to know the other people that we may not usually come in contact with has been a good experience," added McMahon.

      The week of coming together as middle school teenagers, Blakelee said, hasn't only been fun, it's been an experience she wants to have again.

      "I think I'll do it again next year," she said. "Like, seeing and helping out community has just made me feel better about myself so I think I'll do it again next year."