SXU Students Continue Living in Mercy with Spring Break Service Trips
Over the 2019 spring break, several Saint Xavier University (SXU) students took part in the annual service trips across the country. These trips took them to new places in order to engage in team building activities that fueled their acts of service and desires to give back to the community. Volunteers attended the Jerusalem Farm in Missouri, the Glenmary Farm in Tennessee, the Motown Mission in Michigan and the Nazareth Farm in West Virginia.
While volunteering, students gained exposure to sustainability efforts, home repair, social justice and communal living. They gave back to areas in economic disaster recovery, saw a growth in understandings of self and others and experienced ways in which they could give back to communities both big and small. Their weeks were spent repairing homes in desperate need of care and attention, cleaning up neighborhoods, sorting and processing food for food pantries and kitchens, visiting nursing homes and the sick and establishing a dynamic culture of prayer and discussion.
This year also marked the first for a new initiative giving SXU students, faculty and staff the opportunity to engage in the spring break service trips even when unable to dedicate a full day or a full week on the road.
"After making it through my first spring semester at SXU in 2018, I saw how impactful service experiences were for our students, as well as the staff who accompanied them," said Deirdre Kleist, director of Campus Ministry. "At the same time, I realized how many of our students felt they couldn't participate because they could not give up a full week of work or had obligations at home or could not pay the cost to participate. I also heard from a lot of staff members that they would have loved to chaperone a trip but couldn't leave young children at home or couldn't miss a full week of work. That's why I decided that in 2019 we would pilot a week of half-day service opportunities locally and open them up to all students, faculty and staff. They went really well and are definitely something we will continue in the future!""
These new half-day trips took students and staff across the city where they helped clean apartments at the New Moms' main facility in the Austin neighborhood, broke down over 900 pounds of elbow macaroni to be easily shared with food pantries across Cook County, offered classroom support and afterschool care at the Academy of Saint Benedict the African and helped weeding and distributing soil across planters at Growing Home.
SXU is proud to have so many students dedicated to serving others. Whether you choose to give back by attending a week-long service trip or an hour-long shift at the Bread Truck, there are always ways to continue living in mercy on campus.
While these service trips only come around a few times a year, there are always ways or students, faculty and staff to get involved in the greater community. Campus Ministry is a wonderful resource for upcoming projects and news on services. For more ways to get involved in Campus Ministry service projects, email firstname.lastname@example.org.