Students participate in Rocky Mountain relief efforts

Tyler Patria

Contributing Writer


I went to Denver, Colo., with ten other students.  We flew from Manchester, N.H. to Denver. I think we were the only trip to fly. We worked at Children’s Hospital Colorado and at the Denver Children’s Home. We spent three days working at the hospital, where we worked on different floors of the hospital doing arts and crafts with kids coming for checkups. Each of us also got to spend some time in the hospital’s daycare center, which is a free childcare facility for siblings of children who have been at the hospital for a long period of time.

We got to meet some amazing and very strong children with multiple kinds of cancer, Down syndrome, heart diseases and many more illnesses.


Contributed Photo / tyler patria

Contributed Photo / tyler patria

Even though these kids were all very sick, they always had a smile on their faces, which was so cool to see and a real eye opener. After three days of working at the hospital we spent a day at the Denver Children’s Home, which is formerly an orphanage but is now a home and school for over 50 kids between the ages of 10 and 14 who have suffered all sorts of horrific abuse at home.

Unfortunately our team wasn’t able to interact with the residents of the home; because of the severity of their abuse, many of the children have trust issues and abandonment issues so we couldn’t see them. The building that the home is in is over 100 years old so there is quite a bit of work that needed to be done, so our job was to paint the recreation room.

The room was very large but we accepted the challenge to paint the entire room and ceiling in one day. It was a lot of work, but every ounce of sweat we shed was worth it.  The staff was so very appreciative and kept telling us how happy and excited the kids that live there would be to see it the next day.

Again, this was a very rewarding experience. Our two job sites for the week were different, but we all left feeling satisfied with our work and pleased that we were able to make a difference. After our volunteer work we had a couple of days to have some fun as a team. Friday our group drove from Denver to Colorado Springs for the day.  We spent the day at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, it was the coolest zoo I had ever been to.  We got to see giraffes, elephants, tigers, wolves, bears, zebras and many other animals.

After our day at the zoo, we drove to Vail, Colo. for the night. Vail is a very wealthy, pretty ski resort town where people from all over the world go to ski.  We stayed at a stunning hotel in the mountains and got to explore Vail Village.

Saturday night we went back to Denver and went out for our last team dinner and then did some bowling and played some laser tag before we had to come home.

When I applied for this trip I didn’t know anyone else that was applying or wanted to go. When our team met for the first time I didn’t know anyone, there were some students that knew each other but I didn’t know anyone.

After this trip though, I feel like I have known all my team members for years.


It was a fantastic trip and I am so thankful I was chosen to go.  I want to thank Amanda McKernan and Natalie Savas for not only picking me to go on this trip with them, but for planning and leading the entire trip, which was no small task.

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