Ninety-eight Students Volunteer during Spring Break

March 5, 2018

By Jonathan Burkart '18

During spring break, 98 Saint Anselm College students will travel to eight sites throughout the United States and in Central America to serve others in solidarity as part of the 28th year of Service and Solidarity Missions.

Participants will volunteer at various sites in the communities of Ridgely, Md.; Orland, Maine; New York City, N.Y.; Aberdeen, Miss.; and Bear Branch, Ky. Student volunteers will also travel to Newark, N.J., Pine Ridge, S.D., and Los Chiles, Costa Rica. Each service group will be led by a pair of Saint Anselm students, all of whom have volunteered on past service trips.

New this spring, Casandra Land ’19 and Cullen Clougherty ’19 will co-lead the trip to Kentucky, volunteering at Bear Creek Missions, an evangelical ministry which serves the residents in the area by connecting local needs with student-participants. In Clay and Leslie counties (which have been named the first and third hardest places to live in America), the goal is to help families that are struggling by providing free home repairs, community programs, children’s programs (tutoring, daycamps, clothing, hygiene kits), food distribution, and teen outreach. In alignment with campus ministry’s service program, Big Creek Mission’s priority is people, rather than projects.

At Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School in New Jersey, students will see a familiar face while servicing the local community. Dr. Ivan Lamourt, who graduated from Saint Anselm College in 1982 and is a current member of the Board of Trustees, is the Director of Counseling at Saint Benedict’s. Participants will assist Dr. Lamourt and the teachers by providing a valuable in-class resource for the students. They will also support the surrounding community through different projects, including volunteering at a local soup kitchen.

In South Dakota, student volunteers will work with the Oglala Lakota people at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, while learning about their culture and history through nightly reflections and a tour of the reservation.

“The Service & Solidarity Missions program provides its participants not only with the opportunity to serve others but also with an experience that further develops lessons learned in the classroom. Throughout their week of service, prayer, and reflection students step beyond their comfort zone and ask themselves meaningful questions about who they want to be in the world,” writes Susan Gabert, director of campus ministry, in a message to the college community.

Campus Ministry’s week-long service trips began in 1991 with a trip to Orland, Maine. Under the tutelage of campus minister Dan Leahy, 19 student participants lived and worked in the Emmaus Community called HOME, where they engaged in hands-on volunteer service at the rural co-op.

The college’s compassion and commitment to assisting people has earned it the rank of sixth in the nation “Most Engaged in Community Service,” according to The Princeton Review.

To learn more about each site and to follow each service trip as they post photos and updates, check out the Service & Solidarity blog and follow them on Twitter: @saintanselm and @STA_CampusMin.

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