“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving,” St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said about serving others.

The 225 high school and college students and chaperones participating in Catholic Heart Workcamp (CHWC) embodied that message while serving at numerous locations within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia June 23-29.

Catholic Heart Workcamp was founded in 1993 in Orlando, Florida by Steve and Lisa Walker, who were serving as youth ministers at St. Margaret Mary Church in Winter Park, Florida at that time.

CHWC offers youth-friendly, Catholic short-term mission trips, and it now has over 50 locations around the world.

For the second consecutive year Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High School in Drexel Hill served as a host site for Catholic Heart Workcamp.

This year’s participants came from New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois and Tennessee.

William Jagoe, a rising junior at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, Tennessee made the 20-hour trek to Drexel Hill along with more than 50 other teens and 10 adult chaperones from his parish youth group.

At age 16, Jagoe is a veteran Workcamp volunteer. Four years ago he began participating in the mission trips because several of his friends had enjoyed going on them. Jagoe has previously served at Workcamps in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kansas City, Missouri, and Washington, D.C.

“What has kept me going to all the other camps is because of how unified everyone is,” said Jagoe, a member of St. Louis Parish in Memphis. “It’s really amazing how everyone can be so close and become such awesome friends in one week. I’ve made such good friends that I keep in touch with from Tulsa, Oklahoma; Dallas, Texas; Chicago, Wisconsin and Florida.”

During the week, he and other volunteers worked at Fellowship Christian Church, a nondenominational church in the Overbrook Park section of Philadelphia.

“We only worked three days at their place, and the staff said the work we did would have taken them a month to complete,” Jagoe said. “They were so grateful for the work we did because they may not have been able to afford to have someone do this work for them. It was super cool seeing how much gratitude these people showed us.”

Ryan Bergman from St. Peter Parish in Quincy, Illinois was also part of the team of volunteers who worked at the church.

“Getting to spend time and interact with the staff was a really cool experience,” Bergman said. “It’s a really rewarding experience to serve a community that’s not your own. You don’t realize the impact you can have until you get out there and start doing the volunteer work.”

Bergman, a recent graduate of Quincy Notre Dame High School, said that the campus ministry team at the school brings a group of students to Catholic Heart Workcamp every year.

“I’ve found it a lot of fun just spending time with my friends, but also being able to help those less fortunate than myself,” he said.

Jagoe added that he also enjoys the evening programs that include music and games and opportunities to share their faith with other participants.

“We played a lot of games together,” he said. “We sing together and I feel that it is such a good way to express my faith other than through the normal routine of going to Mass. It’s a whole different way to connect with God.”

The faith aspect of the weeklong camp also is important to Bergman.

“I personally enjoyed the adoration night a lot,” he said. “We did our evening program on Tuesday night, and then afterward we all went to the gym and were able to have adoration there.”

Volunteers pray before the Lord in the exposed Eucharist June 25.

The archdiocesan sites where volunteers worked included Bonner-Prendergast High School, Drexel Hill; Catholic Social Services’ Divine Providence Village, Springfield; Holy Cross Church, Springfield; Martha’s Community Farm, Audubon; Mercy Career and Technical High School, Philadelphia; SS. Cyril & Philomena School, Lansdowne; St. Laurence School, Upper Darby; Nativity B.V.M. Church, Media; St. Philomena Church, Lansdowne; and St. Francis Villa, Philadelphia.

At Martha’s Choice Marketplace & Community Farm in Audubon, the volunteers harvested more than 185 pounds of food, cleaned out a barn, demolished an old chicken coop, moved hundreds of rocks, and filled two dumpsters with trash, according to Jesse Antonini, community farm development manager at Martha’s Choice.

“It would have taken almost a month for three full-time staff members to complete the work that camp volunteers did in four days,” Antonini said.

Suzi Ulmer, an alumna of Archbishop Prendergast High School, her niece, Terri Powers, an alumna of Cardinal O’Hara High School, and Father Paul Castellani, pastor of St. Philomena Parish, were instrumental in bringing the service program to the Archdiocese last year.

“It’s heartwarming to see all these people come to our area to help,” Ulmer said. “I think it’s important for the younger generation to have opportunities where they can volunteer and feel that they make a difference.”

The volunteers were able to make a big difference in Toniya Mosley’s life. A Drexel Hill resident, Mosley has been struggling to maintain her home after her husband Harry was murdered three years ago.

“My house needed a lot of work,” she said. “The volunteers helped me box up a lot of stuff for Purple Heart and get rid of a lot of my husband’s stuff. That was hard for me.”

Several volunteers worked at her house cleaning, painting and doing landscaping work.

“They did a beautiful job,” Mosley said. “It looked like I had professionals come and remodel my house. I was so grateful these young women and men took time to help me. I’m kind of sad to see them go because I like having them around.”

Volunteers spend time at the home of Toniya Mosley, a resident of Drexel Hill, Delaware County, where they assisted with house and yard work.