Mid-Week Updates: Part 1

It is hard to believe that the WBA 2017 trips are already halfway through their week of service! It seems as though the trips were just leaving the hilltop for their destinations. As their week and work continue, the details, stories, and pictures of their week will be trickling in. Here are the groups that have reported today:

WBA Baton RougeBaton Rouge: Joseph Smith '17 and Maggie Lynch '17 reflected on the numerous tasks their two groups were assigned to accomplish. Joe led the team with the Fuller Center for Housing to hang drywall, paint, and work on trim of a house that is being refurbished for the family to return.

Maggie led a group with All Hands, an organization based out of Massachusetts. The group hung drywall and installed insulation in order for the house to be livable once again. Lauren Case '19, a WBA Baton Rouge participant stated "that although she was saddened and shocked by the severity of the damage the flood had caused, she was excited to the have the opportunity to contribute to the relief effort."

WBA Baton RougeDominican Republic: Carroll Bailey '17 and Franki Mullen '17 called with not only a weather update (80s and sunny!) but to report on the week so far. This morning they took a tour of a batey, which includes sugar cane fields, a factory, and small village.

The group was split into two work groups working on two small houses in the village working with cementing and raising the structures. In the afternoon, the group spends time until dinner working with the children of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH). They expressed joy and excitement that the group is able to get a wide variety of experiences each day.

Habitat VA: Habitat for Humanity of Washington County has truly embraced our volunteers. Danielle Phinney '18 and Zach Traver '17 recounted the various jobs that the two groups have accomplished. The group is becoming well versed in a variety of skills such as drywall installation, nail removal, framing, garbage pick up and demolition.

The group was invited to a youth gathering this evening at the Highland Church that they were looking forward to. Because of the weather getting warmer, the group will come together for the remainder of the week and continue to remodel a trailer home with a coat of new paint, installation of indoor necessities, as well as the completion of a porch.

Hartford: Jackie Parece '17 and Katie Duane '17 called to report on WBA Hartford. Staying at the Catholic Worker House of Hartford, the group has been assisting the community with outreach efforts to the local school aged children in the area. They have participated in neighborhood clean-up efforts and assisted in shoveling snow to ensure that children have a safe path to school.

During the school day, WBA Hartford has assisted with hunger relief programs such as Foodshare, contributing to the packaging 4,133 pounds of produce. They have visited the House of Bread, sharing lunch with the guests.

image4Manchester: Danielle O'Neil '17 and Noelle Menard '17 called early this morning to report on the powerful experience they are having working with the International Institute of New England. WBA Manchester has been assisting with the welcoming of immigrants and refugees.

Our group has welcomed a group of refugees at the airport, sharing joy and hospitality. They have assisted the refugees in finding jobs and looking for apartments. They have also assisted children at local elementary schools, helping them acclimate and become accustomed to their new environments.

WBA Manchester has also spent their afternoons assisting with homework help at the Elmwood Gardens community. Having the International Institute in Manchester allows the participants to become more globally aware. The group continued to reach new heights rock climbing on their day off!

IMG_2010Phoenix: Working at the André House, a house of hospitality, Jasmine Blais '17 and Cassidy Diaz '19 have ensured us that the group is truly living out the Benedictine value of hospitality. At the Andre House, the participants are assigned different duties that allows the center to function at high speed.

Participants may be waiting for donations and interacting with the guests, the could be assigned to help keep track of the showers, or they could be helping guests find the items they need in the office or the donation closet. Whatever job assigned, the participants are fully embracing the mission of the Andre House.

Check back for more updates Thursday as calls come in!