Welcoming Home Road For Hope

Our Road for Hope walkers are doing very well out on the road journeying back to campus. Today they are in good spirits (the weather has been amazing this week) and are anxiously approaching their final destination. Thank you for all the love and support you have given them throughout this journey.

Road For Hope returns to campus

By the end of today they will have completed approximately 115 of their 130 mile journey. They are due to arrive on campus at the new Main Entrance between 12:30 and 1 p.m. on Saturday.

If you are able to come, please make arrangements to be here by 12:15 p.m. We ask you NOT to park along the main entrance or campus roadways but to proceed onto campus to the parking lot behind the Coffee Shop.

Upon their arrival we will take several pictures and then send them on their way to shower (much needed), rest, and spend time with friends/family.

See you on Saturday!

Best,
Sue

The Simple Act of Walking

Thursday was "heartbreak hill" day on Road For Hope, as the group made their way from Rochester to Northwood, New Hampshire, approaching the 100-miles walked mark by the end of the day. The hill has developed a bit of a legacy among past participants, standing out among the many challenging moments in the journey that is now just two days (and approximately 30 miles) from completion.

Road For Hope 2017So it comes as no surprise that in the midst of a 16-mile day, many decided not to walk the hill, but rather, to run it. A stop at Dunkin' Donuts for a few treats (and caffeine) was a welcome reward.

We caught up with several walkers in the evening, after they had settled in at St. Joseph's Church, resting up for today's trek of 14 miles to the town of Candia, on the outskirts of Manchester. After six days on the road, a common theme emerged from first-time, and repeat walkers: an appreciation for the simplicity of this pilgrimage, and gratitude for those sharing in the journey.

"I really didn't have expectations coming into this experience," says Molly Benson '19, a first-time walker. "Every day I'm just shocked by the abilities of myself and others…abilities that we didn't know we had. Physical endurance, even the ability to have hours-long conversations with fellow Anselmians that I didn't know before this experience. I have developed friendships so quickly," she continued.

In looking ahead to Saturday's return to campus, Benson paused, before saying: "the place you return to is different because of the experience you have while you're gone."

Maddie Dunn '18 is participating in her second Road For Hope, but is experiencing this year's journey with a different perspective. "I absolutely loved last year's walk, but there's a reason I'm back again," she said. "The motivation behind Road For Hope my first time was more about how much I could push myself. This year, I have focused on the charities, and the mission of this program."

The simplicity of Road For Hope has impacted Dunn as well. "Everything we have is on our back. We stay in simple accommodations. All that we receive, is due to the generosity of those around us," she said. "The simplicity of this journey makes us so much more appreciative of what we do have, and reminds us when we receive something, how grateful and fortunate we are."

Dunn emphasized the importance of conversation, and focusing on the most simple things during the day. "There were people I came in to this walk knowing, I was friends with them, but then I would have conversations with them while we were walking…If you don't keep talking, you'll think about your feet, or how many miles are left in the day. This experience just opens us up to one another," she said.

"Our conversations have become deeper as the week has gone on," says Molly Ridge '18, a first-time walker. "Everyone is very open, and there's so much trust among the group. This journey really feels like a group traveling as a family now. We're walking for each other, and for the charities along the way."

Jeremy Letteri '18 is a first-time walker, and summed up his experience simply. "It's quickly become our lives to just wake up, walk, and have a good time with it," he said. "I'm just focusing on putting one foot in front of the other."

Crossing the Border: Day 4 and 5

Our walkers crossed the Maine/New Hampshire this afternoon, pausing briefly to celebrate the occasion. With five days of walking now behind them, they have settled in at the St. Charles Children's Home, a favorite overnight stop, and morale booster for tired legs and sun burnt faces. With about 80 miles under their feet, the remaining three days in New Hampshire will cover the remaining fifty-or-so miles to Saint Anselm, and the group's return to campus on Saturday.

Road For Hope crossing the Maine/NH borderTuesday's walk – the shortest of the week, at 11.5 miles, brought the group over the halfway point as they trekked from East Waterboro to Sanford, Maine. We'll be checking in with the group on Thursday, and look forward to sharing some reflections from participants as they continue to make a difference, one footstep at a time!

Generosity Abounds: Day 2 and 3

The past two days have brought the Road For Hope walkers from Gray to Waterboro, Maine! They have traveled over 34 miles since Sunday, bringing the total distance covered to 52 miles so far. Spirits remain high as the walkers chant through the miles, making it through two of the longest days of the week. Despite countless blisters and aching bodies from shouldering their packs, one message is clear from the walkers: their incredible gratitude for the generosity that others have passed onto them.

“I forgot about how positive people can get even when spirits get low," says Cassie Disaia '19. "I always like how all the people at the churches we stay at talk about how kids don't get involved with this kind of stuff anymore. Sometimes I forget about how unique of an experience this is.”

A long trek through the back roads of Maine, was accented by the heat, with a focus on hydration and sunscreen on Sunday. Jon and Cindy, parents of Joey Smith '18 provided lunch and hospitality for the group, before they trekked on the the Deeper Well Church to end the weekend.

The group awoke on Monday to an outstanding breakfast, prepared by the members of the church. With this great start of the day, they began their longest day of the walk (more than 18 miles). The day was punctuated by several family visits, including Ashley Cryer '18’s mom, Adelina Katzounas '20’s mother and grandmother, and Giovanna Beaulieu '19’s family in celebration of her 20th birthday. The walkers were also surprised with a visit from the family of Caroline Ireland '19. Although Caroline is not walking this year, her family still wanted to stop by to support those making the trek.

Observing the eclipse on the Road For HopeCampus Minister Andy Fellows, who is accompanying the group, surprised the walkers with glasses to observe the solar eclipse, bringing an unexpected highlight to day three on the road. Ice cream (and some Maine tourist tee-shirts) were gobbled up during one of the day's rest breaks. Dinner was provided by the Smith family, as the walkers arrived in Waterboro for the evening.

Tuesday will bring the group to Sanford, as the walkers spend their last full day in Maine, and reach the halfway point of their journey.

This post was authored by Road For Hope alumna Maggie Lynch '17

WCSH-TV Profiles Road For Hope

Day two brought journalists from WCSH-TV, the NBC affiliate in Portland, Maine to the Road For Hope, as the group walked from Gray to Standish. With a broadcast that reaches the entire state of Maine, and parts of New Hampshire, the group is excited to spread the word about Road For Hope's mission beyond those who see (and hear) the group walk by.

Watch the WCSH story »

Walking the Road For HopeSpecial thanks to the Smith family, who catered lunch on Sunday, with sandwiches donated by Amato's, and to The Deeper Well Church and Pastor Mark, for hosting our walkers Sunday night. We're told the group should expect quite the breakfast when they wake up on Monday morning!

A more detailed post about Sunday's walk will be posted on Monday, including a few reflections from students on the road.

Day One: Clouds To Sun (And Alumni)

The nineteenth Road For Hope is well underway, with our 45 students now off the road for the evening in Gray, Maine. The day began in Lewiston with a send-off from the Knights of Columbus under cloudy skies that quickly gave way to a sunny, hot, and humid afternoon. All are in good spirits, despite a few first-day blisters, and enjoyed an evening Mass, celebrated by Abbott Matthew who accompanied the group on their walk today.

Several Road For Hope, and Class of 2017 Saint Anselm College alumni were in Gray this afternoon to welcome the walkers to their final roadside rest-stop, before serving a taco dinner to the group. Katie Gemmell, Bradley Greenland, Kylee Granholm, Emily Provost, Meghan Healey, Kayla Patten and Maggie Lynch made the drive from across New England to offer their support. Alumna Jackie O'Donnell is supporting the walkers throughout the week as the on-walk nurse.

Road For Hope alumni visitA special dessert (homemade whoopie pies) were delivered by the family of Ally Smith '20, and enjoyed by all.

During the next eight days, participants will hear from representatives of the various agencies receiving donations from the Road For Hope. Tonight, the group heard from a representative of Birthline, a program of the Diocese of Portland. Birthline offers free, self-administered pregnancy testing, life-affirming alternatives to abortion, assistance finding resources, and emotional support so mothers can carry their babies to term with care, grace, and courage.

View photos from today's walk on Flickr, and check back Sunday evening for updates from the walkers in their own words!

2017 Road For Hope Itinerary

For the 19th annual Road for Hope, August 19-26, 2017, 46 students will walk —rain or shine—from Lewiston, Maine to Saint Anselm College to raise funds for nine charities in Maine and N.H. It is a modern-day pilgrimage that, in the words of the mission statement, "seeks to provide funds for the needy, strengthen the bonds in our communities, and rekindle the belief that every footstep makes a difference."

Road For Hope walkers celebrate the 2016 walk

Saturday, August 19


Basilica (Lewiston, ME) to St. Gregory's (Gray, ME)

  • Start: (8 a.m., front steps)

Basilica of SS Peter and Paul
150 Ash Street
Lewiston, ME 04240

  • Overnight: St. Gregory's: 24 North Raymond Road, Gray, ME

Day: 17.5 miles; Week total: 17.5 miles; Remaining walk: 106.5 miles

Sunday, August 20


St. Gregory's (Gray, ME) to The Deeper Well Church (Standish, ME)

  • Overnight: The Deeper Well Church: 190 Northeast Road, Standish, ME

Day: 16.2 miles; Week total: 33.7 miles; Remaining walk: 90.3 miles

Monday, August 21


Day 3 The Deeper Well Church (Standish, ME) to Massabesic Middle School (E. Waterboro, ME)

Day: 18.5 miles; Week total: 52.2 miles; Remaining walk: 71.8 miles

Tuesday, August 22


Massabesic Middle School (E. Waterboro, ME) to St. Ignatius Parish (Sanford, ME)

  • Overnight: St. Ignatius Parish: 25 Riverside Ave, Sanford, ME

Day: 11.5 miles; Week total: 63.7 miles; Remaining walk: 60.3 miles

Wednesday, August 23


St. Ignatius Parish (Sanford, ME) to St. Charles (Rochester, NH)

  • Overnight: St. Charles Children's Home: 19 Grant Street, Rochester, NH

Day: 15.9 miles; Week total: 79.6 miles; Remaining walk: 44.4 miles

Thursday, August 24


St. Charles (Rochester, NH) to St. Joseph's Church (Northwood, NH)

  • Overnight: St. Joseph's Church: Northwood, NH

Day: 16.2 miles Week total: 95.8 miles; Remaining walk: 28.2 miles

Friday, August 25


St. Joseph's (Northwood, NH) to Henry W. Moore School (Candia, NH)

  • Overnight: Moore School: Candia, NH

Day: 14 miles; Week total: 109.8 miles; Remaining walk: 14.2 miles

Saturday, August 26


Henry W. Moore School (Candia, NH) to Saint Anselm College

  • Lunch: Derryfield Park: Bridge Street, Manchester, NH

Participants are due in to Saint Anselm College at the Main Entrance for 1 p.m. If you are able to come, please make arrangements to be arrive by 12:45 p.m.

Day: 14.2 miles; Week total: 124+ miles

Welcoming Home Road For Hope

Our students, your sons/daughters/loved ones, are doing very well out on the road journeying back to campus. Thank you to those parents who provided a meal or stopped by to visit and share snacks (always a morale booster!) Today they are in good spirits despite the weather and are anxiously approaching their final destination. Thank you for all the love and support you have given them throughout this journey. Last night they received their letters from home, which really helped them to look toward these final two days with excitement and anticipation.

Road For Hope returns to campusThe Road for Hope participants are due in to Saint Anselm College at the Main Entrance for 1 p.m. on Saturday. If you are able to come, please make arrangements to be here by 12:45 p.m. We will have some cookies and water, as well as some t-shirts “Someone I love walked the Road for Hope” – for sale for $15. We ask you not to park along the main entrance but to proceed onto campus to the parking lot behind the Coffee Shop. Upon their arrival we will take several pictures and then send them on their way to shower (much needed), rest, and spend time with you.

Please note there is a Wedding in the Abbey Church at 3 p.m. on Saturday. We are asking folks to clear the front lawn and Church area by 2 p.m. in order to respect the scheduled wedding – the couple and their guests!

Please contact me if you have any questions.

See you on Saturday!

Best,
Sue

On The Road: Wednesday & Thursday Update

Thursday's update came from Northwood, New Hampshire, just 30 miles from Manchester. Now just two days from home, the group's anticipation is building for the final miles of the walk, even while remaining focused on the day-to-day importance of each footstep, and the charities being supported every mile along the way.

Wednesday

The group started the day in Maine, and ended their day in New Hampshire. Campus Ministry staff Sarah Catherine and Melissa spent part of the day with the walkers, but had to depart before crossing the state line.

"What was most striking about Wednesday was the generosity of people we encountered along the route," says student-leader Maggie Lynch. "We were able to find numerous places to refill our water, and a number of people came up to us to offer words of encouragement and donations for the charities."

After crossing into New Hampshire, the group arrived at their destination: St. Charles Children's Home in Rochester. Everyone was greeted with dinner and an ice cream bar provided by the nuns who run the home, followed by a visit to the Chapel and a dip in the swimming pool.

Road For Hope 2016

Thursday

After waking up to a great breakfast, the group headed onto "roller coaster road," named for the many ups and downs, including Road For Hope's own "Heartbreak Hill." Lunch was provided by New England Pizza of Rochester (sub sandwiches were a "welcome break" from PB&J). Two charities were also on hand to speak to the walkers: Rochester Rec. Department and Kids Cafe.

The afternoon brought the walkers to St. Joseph's Parish in Northwood where the Knights of Columbus provided a dinner of Shepherd's Pie and a delicious cake for dessert.

Photo Update!

As promised, we have added more than 60 images "from the road" to our Flickr Gallery (embedded above in this post). Enjoy!

On The Road: Monday & Tuesday Update

Our Tuesday night update came via a phone call at 9 o'clock as a dance party was soon to break out in the St. Therese Gymnasium. Spirits remain high, and the group is excited to cross into New Hampshire today (Wednesday) as they are now more than halfway home. Photos from the road will return to campus today – and will be posted soon thereafter. Check back for updates!

Road For Hope 2016

Monday

Breakfast was provided by the Roy family, kicking off the longest day of walking – 18.5 miles. Although the day can be tough on the walkers, the group took advantage of their breaks for numerous dance parties, with music supplied from the trailing support vehicles.

Campus Ministry director Sue Gabert arrived to offer her support to the group, and spend the night with the walkers in Waterboro, Maine's Friendship Park – an aptly named venue for Road For Hope to pitch tents for their outside-overnight venue. Temperatures dipped into the 40's overnight, and participants awoke to hot coffee and cocoa that Sue had acquired at a nearby Dunkin Donuts.

Thanks to the Smith family for providing Monday night's dinner, and to the families of Zach Traver and Ashley Cryer for stopping by to support the group.

QUOTES FROM THE ROAD

"Walking the Road For Hope, I really appreciate the positive attitude of my fellow walkers…Everyone understands the bigger picture of how important the Walk is for all the charities we support." Zach Traver '17

Tuesday

The shortest day of the walk – 11.5 miles took the group from their chilly overnight campsite, to lunch with the York County Shelter Program and Brothers of Christian Instruction. Participants remarked how impressive the operation of this group is, as they serve lunch to more than 400 individuals per day, while also operating various programs including an orchard and homeless shelter.

Sanford, Maine was the destination for Tuesday, home of St. Ignatius Parish. The Knights of Columbus provided dinner and a full spread of desserts. The big surprise of the night arrived with Kayla Patten's aunt and uncle, local Dairy Queen franchise owners. Ice cream treats were the perfect way to end a great meal.

A prayer group from St. Therese Parish offered the group a service, before the walkers wrapped up the night with a dance party followed by a well-deserved night of rest.

QUOTES FROM THE ROAD

"Road For Hope has given me a new perspective on 'being Anselmian.' Yes, we are called to be active members in our community, but this walk is more than that. We touch lives we never knew we could touch. We make unbreakable bonds with one another and create friendships that will last a lifetime. All of us are many people striving to become more than just ourselves…We become true Anselmians." Kathryn Gabert '19