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      Ottumwa native prepares for 11 month mission trip

      Kaitlin works a bake sale to raise money for her mission trip
      An Ottumwa native is planning a new mission trip.

      Kaitlin McElroy has been on several mission trips before, but only for a week or a month at a time.

      Her current mission group is made up of 20-30 people and is established through The World Race. It??s affiliated with a break-off program called Adventures and Missions. Their goal is to help provide education and aid and as they immerse themselves in a new culture at each destination.

      For McElroy, she says if she can make an impact in someone??s life or simply make their day brighter, she??d feel like her work was complete. Her next mission trip will be for 11 months, and she will travel to 11 different countries. She will start in Central America and spend four months there. Then she will go to Asia for four months and Southern Africa for three months.

      "The more I looked into it, the more I just felt compelled to go," McElroy said. "It's just a year that I could give back my time to these people that need it, and it just seemed like it was the right thing to do."

      In order to go in September, she needs to raise more than $16,000. So far she has raised half of that. If you??d like to help Kaitlin reach her goal, click here. McElroy is currently a senior at Wartburg College in Waverly.