SBA 2017 South Dakota is back on the Hilltop

SOUTH DAKOTA: Luckily the group did not have to worry about or encounter the infamous frozen fog! After a long flight(s) (sorry guys!), they arrived back into Boston around 10 p.m. We couldn't be happier to have them home! Welcome back SoDak!

SBA South Dakota

SBA 2017 Kentucky, Maryland, & Mississippi are Back on the Hilltop!

As the day goes on, more and more groups continue to return on home! We have been welcoming them home all afternoon. We are happy to have them back!

KENTUCKY: Many from the Kentucky group were not only marked with paint, but new outlooks and perspectives from their experience at the David School! Welcome back Kentucky!

KentuckyMARYLAND: After traveling through the fields and over bridges, Maryland pulled onto campus with excitement and lessons learned from the exceptional children at the Benedictine school. Welcome back SBA Maryland!

MarylandMISSISSIPPI: Stronger than an ever and with a greater appreciation for Elvis and BBQ, the Mississippi group arrived back into Manchester airport around 6:00pm. We welcomed them with open arms and even noticed a little bit of a southern drawl. Welcome back SBA Mississippi!


SBA 2017 Maine, NYC, & Newark are Back on the Hilltop!

After a week of service, learning, growth, love, laughter, and traveling, the groups are back being welcomed back with open arms on the hilltop! We will be updating this page as the groups arrive home. Please continue to follow the social media scroll to see glimpses of the week past.

MAINE: The fist trip to arrive back to campus making sure the bring the frigid air with them! Welcome back SBA Maine!

Maine HOMENEW YORK CITY: After a morning of subway and bus transfers, the group has left the hustle and bustle behind to enjoy the peacefulness of campus. Welcome back SBA NYC!                                                                           NYC Porch

NEWARK:After  a good-night's rest and a hearty breakfast, the Newark group pulled in on campus. They are eager to share all their insights from those they shared their week with! Welcome back SBA Newark!


SBA 2017 Mid-Week Updates: Kentucky, Newark, NYC and South Dakota

As the night went on, more and more stories and experiences were shared by the groups. Reporting towards the end of the night were Kentucky, Newark, New York City and South Dakota. Although the days are long, the groups are making the most out of their sites and surroundings. Please keep an eye out on our social media scroll as we use that to report for the rest of the week before the trips arrive back at the Hilltop!

Kentucky: The David School is known for giving its students a fresh start and the Saint A's group is helping even the building show that by giving the school a fresh new coat of paint. Those students with an education background have also been assisting in the classrooms with the daily lessons.

As the week continues, the group will contribute to more improvement projects along the the grounds. The group is also looking forward to cheering on the students at a varsity basketball game at the rival high school and "Front Porch Pickin" a celebration of music and community! IMG_7585newarkNewark: The group has been fully immersed at St. Benedict's prep. The group has started their mornings off by attending Convocation which is a student-led assembly that focuses on announcements, prayers and songs to motivate the students throughout the day.

The Newark group is using that motivation to fully be present to the young men as they assist with various classes, such as Math and Theology and tutor for 2 hours each evening.

The group has seen the positive impact St. Benedict's has had on the young men, especially the 62 that are in residence at the Leahy House.

Participants are already expressing how they are determined to bring their experiences back to the Hilltop.

The group will be visited by Abbot Matthew on Thursday, as well serve in the local area.

nyc cityNew York City: The New York City group has been taking advantage of all the city has to offer! The group is spending the majority of their week with God's Love We Deliver, an organization that serves meals to the home bound who are suffering from various illnesses.

The group prepared over 4,000 meals in the kitchen on Monday and Tuesday. They will be doing walking deliveries this morning and are looking forward to meeting those the organization serves.

They will also volunteer with the organization, Midnight Run, a hunger and homelessness outreach program by passing out bagged meals to those who are part of the homeless population of NYC. They will volunteer with the Coalition for the Homeless providing meals around the Grand Central Terminal area.

Abbot Matthew will be visiting the group today and will be able to aid the group in processing their varied experiences, including their visit to the World Trade Center Memorial.

IMG_4372South Dakota: The SoDak group has wasted no time in becoming fully immersed in the culture of the Oglala Lakota people. The group has been able to become informed and aware of the significance the culture has on the land and people.

During the work day, the group is assisting with various projects that are vital to the reservation. These projects have included chopping and delivering wood to the homes on the reservation to provide heat, framing and building the bunk beds, and assist with trailer skirting to protect the mobile homes from various weather elements.

The group has also taken advantage of the vastness of beauty of the sights and sounds around them.


SBA 2017 Mid-Week Updates: Maine, Mississippi & Maryland

It is hard to believe SBA 2017 is just about mid way through their week at their sites! It seems as though the trips were boarding planes and loading up their vans for their journeys. Surprisingly enough, the groups are well into their service and are at ease in their new environments. Here are updates from our trips what they have already experienced!

Maine: The group has not let the frigidness of the air deplete their spirits! The Maine group has been working hard splitting wood each day, installing insulation, and sorting through some merchandise at the Thrift shop! The group of 19 has been making sure that every task that is given is accomplished with joy and vigor!

Mississippi:Basking in the almost tropical temps (70 degrees and counting), the Mississippi group has used the sunshine to fuel them in getting much done around Camp Friendship! The group has been making every effort to help the Camp shine and sparkle for the upcoming campers! Their high spirits and a little bit of elbow grease have helped them complete raking and painting projects! The group will be putting on their "blue suede shoes" on Wednesday to visit the birthplace of Elvis. All in all a great start to the week!

SBA MississippiMaryland: After enjoying their day off in the Nation's Capital, the Maryland group has been aiding the teachers at the Benedictine School for Exceptional Children in a variety of ways. From serving as cooks in the Home-ec kitchen, assisting with the gym classes, and teaching lessons, the Maryland group has witnessed what the teachers and staff of the Benedictine school dedicate themselves to each day. As the week goes on, the participants are making every effort to commit themselves to the mission of the school.

SBA Maryland in D.C.

SBA 2017 Arrival Updates and Day Off Events

After a day of departures and arrivals, 6 out of the 7 trips arrived at their final site destinations last night. Kentucky finally arrived at their final destination, the David School in David, KY just before dinner!

Some trips took advantage of the day before their work week and saw the local sites! Whereas the Mississippi crew already jumped into their duties at Camp Friendship!

SBA MississippiThe Newark and NYC groups took their time in Times Square!

SBA 2017 Site Arrivals

SBA 2017 is off to a wonderful start! Although brisk, the sunny skies made it a great travel day! As we enter into the evening hours, many of the trips are at their sites awaiting for the work to start and some are still journey to their final destinations! As of 4:45 p.m. here are the updates:

Kentucky: Will be stopping shortly in Morgantown, WV for the evening and resume their travels tomorrow.

Maine: 19 students have arrived in Orland, ME! They are not letting the frigid temperatures get in the way of their excitement!

Maryland: After stopping in Madison, CT they continue their journey to Ridgely, MD. They are expecting to arrive at the Benedictine school before 8:00 p.m.

Mississippi: Has arrived safely to Aberdeen, Miss. where temperatures in the high sixties are warming their spirits for the week!

Newark: After a breezy drive down 95, the group of 12 has arrived at Saint Bennedict's Prep and is brushing up on their basketball skills for later this week. Go Hawks!

New York City: Has safety arrived Port Authority and is ready to brave the subway and enjoy what the concrete jungle has to offer!

South Dakota: The group has arrived in Rapid City and continues to journey to Re-Member in Pine Ridge. They have met up with Saint Anselm's own Cory True and are supporting the Men's Basketball team all the way from SoDak!

Look for our mid-week check updates on Wednesday! Please continue to view our social media scroll through out the week!

SBA 2017 Departures

It seems as though it was yesterday we were sending off the WBA trips during a snow storm. The skies are cold but clear and we are sending off our SBA 2017 trips with excitement! South Dakota and Mississippi have the earliest departures to begin their trips. We will be keeping the blog updated between Saturday and Sunday morning to inform that all trips have arrived safely to their destinations.

South Dakota: Departed campus at 3:30 a.m. bright and bushy-tailed! Their 7:00 a.m. flight will take them to Denver. Will be posting their arrival times this evening.

Mississippi: Boarded their flight from Manchester at 6:00 a.m. and are currently are enjoying the Chicago airport! They will arrive in Memphis then travel to Aberdeen later this evening.

Kentucky: Is en-route for Part 1 of their journey to David, Kentucky! They will be spending the night in West Virginia. They will arrive to their swanky hotel later tonight.

Newark: Left with a van full of luggage and excited participants. They will arrive Saint Benedict's Prep with a full schedule ahead of them in the early evening hours.

Maryland: Is traveling looking forward a home-made lunch provided in Madison, CT prepared by our leader, Nicole's mom. After their bellies are full, they will continue onto Ridgely, MD expected to arrive mid-evening.

New York City: Completed their first leg of their journey to Boston and are preparing to travel to NYC on the Greyhound bus arriving to St. John's Church in the evening.

Maine: With the shortest journey of the group, they also have a home cook meal ahead of them courtesy of Aly Smith's family. They will arrive at HOME in the mid-afternoon.

When trips have arrived at their sites, another post will be added!

WBA 2017 Back At The Hilltop Updates

It is hard to believe that the week has wrapped up and the groups are on their way back to the hilltop. We await the stories and memories to be shared! Below you will find the status of each trip and expected arrival time that will be updated as the trips arrived back.

Appalachia: Appalachia left Salem, WV at approximately 10:0am this morning and are currently en-route. They will be arriving campus late this evening!

Baltimore: Has arrived safely home at approximately 3:30pm after an uneventful drive!

Baton Rouge: Baton Rouge will be traveling with the New Orleans group home. They are at their gate for their flight to Nashville at 4:35pm (central time) and expected in Boston at 9:20pm.

D.C.- Left the Nation's capital at 5:00am and arrived back to campus at around 2:15pm. They are napping before the welcome back party tonight!

Dominican Republic: Has safely arrived at JFK. The flight has been delayed to depart at 5:30 and is expected to arrive in Boston at 6:46pm! We are excited to welcome them back to NH and the cold weather!

Habitat VA: Left Abingdon, VA at 6:00am this morning and are expecting to arrive on campus around 10:00pm.

Manchester: Manchester arrived safely back to campus at about 1:00pm and are also resting up for the party later this evening.

New Orleans: Will be traveling with the Baton Rouge group home. They are at their gate for their flight to Nashville at 4:35pm (central time) and expected in Boston at 9:20pm.

Phoenix: Phoenix is awaiting their flight to Atlanta and then will arrive at 9:45 in Boston with the New Orleans and Baton Rouge groups.

Mid-Week Updates: Part 2

As the night progressed and the morning came, the remaining trips called to update us on their progress and accomplishments. With just today and tomorrow left in the work week, trips are getting ready to transition home but not before they accomplish what they set out to do.

Appalachia: Leaders Zach Sirowich '18 and Teresa Samson '17 used a land line (yes, they still have those!) to check-in this morning. With limited service and no access to cell phones or watches during the day at Nazareth Farm, the group has been immersed in the work and the site values of community, simplicity, prayer, and service. Morgan Brady '18 says at first she was skeptical of the restrictions at the site, but has now embraced the values of simplicity and community much more than she ever thought. Focusing on the richness of these values has allowed her to examine her own life and appreciate it on a deeper level.

The group has participated in various projects from grounds-work, hanging drywall, painting, and building a porch for a residence in Salem, WV. The leaders and participants are eager to take not only their new skills home, but their newfound perspectives and outlooks.

Baltimore: Leaders Marissa Perschini '17 and Georgie Rooney '18 relayed how their exposure to hunger and homelessness in the greater Baltimore area has opened their groups hearts and minds more than they could have imagined. Throughout the week, the group has assisted at various soup kitchens and nursing home in the local area through Catholic Charities of Baltimore.

On Monday, the group served 671 meals in 2 hours at Our Daily Bread! That evening, the group served meals, restaurant style to the guests of My Sister's Place, a women's center. The group also visited the elderly and assisted with Bingo operations from reading numbers, moving the markers, and having fun! The group continued to minister to the homeless at the Housing Resource Center where they served over 350 meals in four hours. As the week comes to a close, the group is reflecting on how to bring the lessons and realities they have learned back to the Hilltop.

D.C.: Jenna Baker '18 and Meghan Golden '18 discussed how impressed they and their group was with the organization and efficiency of Food and Friends, delivering meals to the home bound. Each morning the group works together to organize and then package the meals that are to be delivered.

Once packaged, the meals are loaded into the vans. The group then travels to different residences throughout D.C. and Maryland and delivers the meals. The group has reflected on the themes of hospitality and dignity and how these two ideals are easily to take for granted.

New Orleans: Continuing to be immersed in the vast culture New Orleans, Cullen Clougherty '19 and Maggie Walker '17 recounted their tour of Lower 9th Ward and the bayou. Being exposed to the culture and richness of the area has allowed the group to have a great appreciation of their surroundings.

The group continues their work with SBP (St. Bernard Project) using power tools (safely!) for their projects. The group has obtained a vast amount of knowledge and skills already!