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!

Mississippi

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.

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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!

Sending Forth Spring Break Alternative 2017

Each break at Saint Anselm College, the Office of Campus Ministry sends students (and a handful of faculty/staff) to do service in several locations both domestically and internationally. The Service & Solidarity Missions program, now in its 27th year, provides its participants not only with the opportunity to serve others but also with an experience that further develops lessons learned in the classroom.

SBA Send Off Mass 2015Throughout 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.

This year’s 95 Spring Break participant’s will journey throughout the United States to places such as David, KY; Orland, Me; Ridgely, MD; Aberdeen, MS; Newark, NJ; New York, NY; and Pine Ridge, SD.

We ask for your prayers for these participants, for the work they will be doing, the communities for which they will be serving, and the personal challenges each participant will face.

Participants will gather for the SBA send off Mass on Thursday, March 2 at 7:00 p.m. in the Lady Chapel, Lower Church.

On behalf of the Service & Solidarity: SBA leaders and participants 2017, and the entire Campus Ministry staff; I thank you in advance for your prayers and support.

Peace,
Susan Gabert '91
Director, Campus Ministry

Spring Break Alternative 2017: Service Site Descriptions

This spring will mark the 27th year that Office of Campus Ministry has offered Service and Solidarity Missions. These week-long service trips provide an alternative way for Saint Anselm students to spend their spring break. By living and working at sites across America, volunteers learn about Catholic social teaching while enjoying the unique opportunity to have a lasting, positive impact on individuals and communities in need.

2017 Spring Break Alternative leaders

Aberdeen, Mississippi:  Camp Friendship

Camp Friendship is a summer camp in rural Mississippi for underprivileged youth. Saint Anselm student-volunteers will assist in various tasks such as yard work, painting, and light construction to prepare for summer. They will also engage in the local community and experience southern hospitality.

Vanceburg, Kentucky: The David School

The mission of The David School is to provide a comprehensive educational program for Appalachian high school dropouts and at-risk youths who have limited financial resources and the potential to succeed in a non-traditional setting.

Our Saint Anselm students will serve youth in grades 9-12 at The David School, working with the youth of rural Kentucky in an educational setting as teacher assistants, tutors, and even teaching a class.

New York City, New York: God’s Love We Deliver 

Students will travel to New York City to work at this site helping to fulfill their mission to improve the health and well-being of men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses by alleviating hunger and malnutrition. The group will prepare and deliver nutritious, high-quality meals to people who, because of their illness, are unable to provide or prepare meals for themselves. All of this organization’s services are provided free of charge without regard to income.

Orland, Maine: H.O.M.E.  Homeowners Organized for More Employment

An Emmaus Community, this site in rural Maine serves first those most in need. Our 27th year at this site (the oldest of our Service and Solidarity sites), student volunteers will engage in building projects, serving in soup kitchens, farming, and childcare, while working alongside those who live in the community.  This experience helps to expose our students to the realities of rural poverty and the many challenges people in these communities’ face.

Ridgely, Maryland: Benedictine School

The Benedictine School in Maryland involves working in classrooms and residential life settings at a school for exceptional children and young adults (with disabilities). They serve nearly 200 children and adults ages 5-21.

Each student-volunteer works as a teacher’s assistant during school hours and works with students doing extracurricular activities. Students spend evenings socializing in the residence halls.

Pine Ridge, South Dakota: Re-Member

Saint Anselm College is returning to assist the Re-member organization at the Lakota reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Our student volunteers will be assisting in various projects designed to assist the Oglala Lakota people, which include building bunk beds and repairing roofs. They will also have the opportunity to learn about the culture and history of the Lakota people through nightly reflections, craft nights, and a tour of the badlands.

Newark, New Jersey: Saint Benedict Preparatory School

Saint Benedict Preparatory School was founded by St. Mary’s Abbey, the Abbey which sent the monks up to New Hampshire who founded Saint Anselm College. This all boys inner-city school in Newark, New Jersey is dedicated to guiding their students to achieve their full potential as mature, responsible, and well-educated young men.

Saint Anselm students volunteering at Saint Benedict’s will assist the teachers in their mission, providing a valuable in-class resource for the students. While the volunteers’ primary focus will be servicing the school and the students, they will also support the surrounding community by lending a helping hand at a local soup kitchen.

Mid Week Check-Ins: Enjoying Every Moment

All groups called for the mid week check-ins yesterday and everyone is fully immersed in the rhythms of their temporary homes. We've been blessed to have smooth trips, great leaders, and willing participants who are making the best of every moment of SBA 2016!

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SBA Updates : The Service Begins

After a busy travel day and then an eventful 'free day' of touring and sightseeing, all groups have started their service.

SBA Maine took advantage of the nice weather and spent most of the day stacking and cutting wood…LOTS of wood. Then, they rearranged and cleaned out a garage and a barn. Some participants also helped put shingles on a roof for a new craft center. There's always more work to do at H.O.M.E.!

We have several groups who were doing various forms of home repair, deconstruction, and clean up. SBA Carolina spent the day doing black mold removal and home repair on a trailer that had been damaged in the South Carolina floods last fall. They had lots of laughs while wearing their anti-contamination suits.

SBA Gulf Coast also spent time doing demolition work and roofing; they're loving the warm weather down in Biloxi, Mississippi.

SBA Detroit is doing their own deconstruction, though the weather is not quite the same! Despite the cold temperatures they are representing Anselmians well, and were told by their coordinator that they accomplished twice as much as other groups usually do…"You guys aren't afraid to get dirty!"

Down in Los Chiles, SBA Costa Rica is well under way with their own construction work. They are building a house with no power tools, which involves carrying and stacking large slabs of concrete, and digging holes for wall beams and the septic system. Not afraid to get dirty and muddy themselves, the group has enjoyed what down time they have by drinking out of fresh coconuts and enjoying a passing rain shower in the tropical temperatures.

SBA Kentucky arrived Sunday night at the David School after their long two-day drive. They were greeted by alumna Molly Frost, '15, who led the SBA trip to Kentucky last year! She is currently doing a year of service at the David School after having such an amazing experience during her trip last year. I was told there may have been a few tears shed at the reunion of Anselmians and friendly faces.

Both SBA Kentucky and SBA Maryland spent Monday in the classrooms of their schools. At the Benedictine school the group is helping in residential and classroom settings for children and adults with developmental disabilities. The group has been blown away by the powerful experiences and interactions with both residents and staff.

SBA Mississippi is getting started on camp cleanup with Fr. Tim Murphy at Camp Friendship (formerly Camp Glenmary). They experienced a beautiful Spanish Mass followed by a feast prepared by local residents. Southern hospitality is very real in Aberdeen!

SBA NYC said that their first day at God's Love We Deliver was 'incredible'. As a new trip and new program, its nice to know that it is such a good missional fit. On Sunday night before beginning work the group met up with 2 alumni for dinner, Norma Dhanaraj and Josh Dupuis, both class of '09.  They talked to the group about their role this week and the issue of homelessness in New York City. The group is having a lot of discussion about the contrast between the haves and have-nots in a city like New York.

As the week continues there will be lots of time to reflect on why these trips are taken and the role of service in our lives. One way to sum it: "Service is what prayer looks like when it gets up off its knees and walks around in the world."

Detailed Travel Updates and Day Off Plans

SBA South Carolina was the first group to arrive at their site in Manning, S.C. They landed in Charlotte, rented some vehicles and headed towards Columbia. On the way they stopped for a quick lunch in Great Falls at a local house of pizza. After arrival they quickly got settled in to rest up for a long week ahead. Today the group is excited to spend their free day taking a walking tour of historic Charleston.

SBA Detroit was the only group to have a direct flight. They used their extra time to explore the drive between Detroit and Port Huron, Mich., where they will be serving. Last night, the group enjoyed the scenic views on the beaches of the third largest fresh water lake in the world, Lake Huron, stopping to take a selfie! Today the group is headed back to Detroit for Mass and to explore the art, music, and culture that Detroit has to offer.

SBA Mississippi touched down at the Memphis Airport in the late afternoon and were met by Fr Tim Murphy who oversees Camp Friendship where they will be serving. One participant's luggage did not make the flight, so the group made a quick stop for some necessary back up supplies. Fortunately, the luggage was found and is being delivered this morning. If that's the biggest problem we face, this group is in good shape!

SBA Gulf Coast had the longest layover of any trip, spending about three hours in the Atlanta terminal. They used the opportunity to people watch, and spotted former Senator Rick Santorum. Seems like Anselmians will always find the politicians, on or off the Hilltop!  The group eventually arrived in Biloxi, Mississippi, where the weather is beautiful. After being in planes and airport terminals all day, the group is excited to spend the week outdoors doing environmental cleanup and ecological restoration. They got started right away by taking pictures of the sunset over the water at their campground and new home for the next week.

SBA NYC had a busy day of connections, taking a bus to a bus to a subway train. By the end of the week, they will be masters of New York City's public transportation. There's been a lot of laughter as the group adjusts to their new surroundings on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  With so much to see and do in the Big Apple, the group was getting started early today with Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

SBA Maine had the shortest drive. They made a quick pit stop in Portland, Maine for lunch and then pushed on through to Orland. They got settled in at the Emmaus house and made a quick shopping trip for supplies. Then they settled in for baked pasta and salad prepared by three of their participants: Kelsey Leblanc, Eleni Petromelis, and Meghan Golden. On SBA Maine, everybody gets their chance to make a meal!

SBA Kentucky has a long two-day drive, but are using the time for good group bonding. They arrived at the appropriately named 'Super 8 Halfway' in Hagerstown, Maryland around 8 p.m. on Saturday. They were tired and hungry and indulged in some local fried chicken before heading to sleep. They began the day with a bilingual Mass in Hagerstown and then hit the road. Their drive takes them right along the north/south border of the country and close to many historic Civil War sites. They're currently enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery, and hoping to take in some history with their lunch!

SBA Maryland had the latest arrival after some traffic and vehicle delays. Everyone finally arrived safe and sound, but a few hours later than originally planned for. They walked into their new house to find out that one of the local nuns had stocked their fridge with breakfast supplies, and left fried chicken for them. After being tired and hungry, it was more than they could have asked for.

And last but not least, SBA Costa Rica had a long day of travel, and finally arrived at their site tired and hungry (a theme among our last three trips!). The group is staying in Los Chiles, on the Nicaraguan border, and had a several hour bus ride after their flight to San Jose. It afforded them a chance to see much of the country side. The common expression "Pura Vida" is used in many forms in Costa Rica, from a greeting, to a synonym for "excellent."  Strictly translated it means, pure life, in other words…life is wonderful; enjoy it. Every one they've met has been nice and helpful, and they are looking forward to pura vida.

Tired, hungry, but with full hearts and grateful spirits, SBA 2016 is well under way! Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes, and keep following along on Twitter for constant updates and pictures.

Saint Anselm College service trip to NYC