BOZEMAN — While most teens are trying to find something to do with their free time while staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of Bozeman teens got a special opportunity to use their free time to volunteer through the Gallatin Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol.
Cadets with the Civil Air Patrol typically spend their free time volunteering, but Thursday’s mission was a little different: “Because we had a call for a different type of mission, which is making sandwiches... Hey, we do what we got to do,” said 1st Lt. Ken Oekerman.
Normally, the teens are doing missions and training for emergency services but when they realized they were needed to help others, they immediately went to action. “It kind of gives me a sense of purpose or something that I can do that’s helping people,” said Cadet Ruth Wallace.
“I think it’s super fun, and I love seeing behind the scenes of how people are helping out the community,” explained Cadet Rodney Aloise.
“I’m very fortunate. I get to stay at home, relax, watch TV, really just do whatever I want, and there’s a lot of people who aren’t that fortunate and I’m lucky enough to be one of those fortunate people, so if I can help out and give other people that don’t have that something, it makes me feel better,” said Cadet Rose Fowler.
The three cadets met at the Salvation Army Thursday morning to do whatever needed to be done from packing lunches for local schools to organizing toiletry items to give away. But the group realizes the seriousness of being able to help during this time.
“Volunteer services is needed at this time, especially during the pandemic because there are a lot of people losing money because job shortage and things like that, so we’re here to help," said Wallace.
While social distancing has made things a little bit harder, the teens say they are here to get the job done. Click here to learn more about the Civil Air Patrol in Montana.