MHS Heroes: 16 year-old Helps Communities Around America

Lexie Clevenger

Lexie Clevenger

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Marshfield, Mo – Alissa Mcanarney and her youth group travels around America on mission trips to better help the communities. Recently she and her church group went to homes in West Virginia that were falling apart and helped to rebuild them. They’d also help pick up trash around the community. Her youth group ranges from 16 to 30 people going on these trips. Mcanarney bonds with other youth group members as well. “She makes friends with people from other places,” says her father, who is also apart of the mission trips.

“We’re all pretty close because for some reason going on mission trips together brings us together because we are helping those people get through what they need. Sometimes there’s some crying involved.”  Not only does Mcanarney bond with youth members, but she also bonds with the people she’s there to help, and understands what they are going through. “She has compassion for the people she’s working for.” Her father states.

Mission trips are often held in the summer so students and others are able to go. With that being so, it can get hot wherever it is they go. Mcanarney still pulls through to get the job done and help who needs to be helped. “She’s a hard working woman,” says a fellow youth group member, Rachel Gill, who works by her side during the trips.

Not only does Mcanarney go on the mission trips to help out, but she also helps fund raise for them. “Alissa has sold stock to family members in the community and helps with church dinners on Wednesday nights,” her mother, Delene Mcanarney, says.

Mcanarney and her youth group don’t have to travel to still help out. Her church has what they call a “blessings box” which is there for anyone in the community who need any food or anything. She and her youth group stocks it when they need to. She also works at a food pantry, “We not only stock things, but we help sort things. People need cans we’ll put them there so it’s easier to get the cans they need.” Mcanarney explains.

She also gets rid of the things people don’t need. Together with her youth group they recycle out things people don’t need. Her church also holds dinners for those who can’t afford them at home. “If you don’t have enough money to make dinner for your families, you can come eat dinner at our church and we do that sometimes.”


Me: “What do you do in the community?”

Mcanarney: “We have a blessings box, which we put in stuff that low income families don’t have. Our youth group stocks it a lot and we always make sure there’s always stuff there and it’s always available for everyone in the community who needs that kind of stuff but don’t have the money to get it.”


Me: “How many people are involved in helping out?”

Mcanarney: “In the youth group I’m in it varies year by year because you start youth group in 7th grade then go up until your a senior then you leave. There’s been few people who have dropped out of youth group, so it could range from 30 people going on a mission trip down to 16. We also join up with other youth groups from different churches.”


Me: “What’s the most memorable moment you’ve had during the mission trips?”

Mcanarney: “The most memorable moment is probably on the last mission trip I went on and one of the people ended up getting hurt. It was very sad because we thought he was going to die. We all kind of bonded and cried and I’d never seen anyone in my youth group cry before. We all kind of hugged and became closer because of that.”


Me: “So the mission trips can be a pretty emotional time?”

Mcanarney: “They can be a pretty emotional time, but I think last years was the most emotional because of that. We came out of it closer than we’ve ever been as a youth group.”


Me: “Where all so you go on your mission trips?”

Mcanarney: “We don’t really go to any big cities, and if we do we go to smallest part of it because that’s where people are struggling the most. We do get days off so we can have fun on the mission trip, even though I think it’s kind of fun helping someone else out. Getting something they can’t do and doing it for them makes me kind of feel good. Which is why I want go into the career I want is because of I want to help people. Or help them get better.


Me: “What’s the career you want?”

Mcanarney: “I want to be a nurse practitioner that specializes in emergency care because ever since I was growing up, no matter what career field I want to go into, it was based around I want to help people get better. I want to help just in any way I could.”