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 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!

A Glimpse Into the Work Week

Just two days into the work week, Winter Break Alternative 2017 is in full swing with service work happening at all of our sites! Pictures and stories are still coming in from many of our groups. We are eager to get more and more updates from the groups as the week goes on, especially from the groups who are farther away!

Appalachia (Salem, WV): Reported this morning with a brief check in to say that wood splitting and wood work have been keeping the group busy. Looking forward to pictures to come!

Baltimore: On Monday, WBA Baltimore Group served 671 meals in just 2 hours at Our Daily Bread!
Baltimore Our Daily BreadDC: WBA DC served those who are homebound throughout the city with Food and Friends. They are seen wearing their hairnets with pride!

WBA DC hair netsHabitat VA: WBA Habitat VA has been keeping busy with demolition of porches and old structures. There also seems to be some dumpster diving taking place!
habitat-demoNOLA: WBA New Orleans has been "sheet-rocking and rolling" and framing in the beautiful sunny, warm weather.

Mid-week updates will be coming in from the groups between Wednesday and Thursday, so stay tuned!

WBA 2017 Weekend Wanderings

With some of the WBA trips at their destinations, trips were able to explore the area and acclimate before their official workweek began! An important objective of the Service and Solidarity Program is to expose the participants to new cultural experiences and environments. Be it the food they eat, the music they hear, the art they see or the historical nature of their location, the goal is to take advantage of all that is around them.

Baltimore and DC: After taking some time to rest after the long commute Friday night into early Saturday morning, WBA Baltimore WBA DC attended mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and were warmly welcomed! They then braved the cold weather and view the monuments in our nation's capital!

WBA DC and WBA Baltimore at the White HouseNew Orleans and Baton Rouge: WBA NOLA was joined in the French Quarter by WBA Baton Rouge for the day. The leaders were able to grab a lovely cup of joe and pastries as their groups took their time enjoying the sunshine and all the area had to offer.

baton-nola-leadersHartford: WBA Hartford did not let the snow and frigid temperatures stop them from having fun! After assisting their community in shoveling, they visited the local outdoor skating rink, carousel, and posed in front of the capital building.

hartfordAppalachia and Habitat: Finally arrived at their work sites and had a few hours of sleep before awaking Monday morning to begin their work week!

Look back for more updates in the middle of the week!

WBA 2017: Travel Day, Part 2

Despite significant winter weather down the east coast today, most groups have had a relatively hassle-free travel day. With the exception of Appalachia and Habitat — who will depart at 6 a.m. Sunday — all other groups are en-route or have arrived at their host sites as of 5 p.m.

WBA Baton Rouge at the airport10 p.m. Update

All trips that departed from campus today have safely arrived at their host sites. Appalachia and Habitat will depart campus early Sunday morning. Check in later Sunday for an update as groups settle in, and begin their week of Service & Solidarity. Thank you for your continued prayers and good wishes for a wonderful week ahead.


Groups En-Route

Dominican Republic: Passing through customs now, and adjusting to the change in weather! The group will soon travel to the children's home Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos where they will spend their week.

Phoenix: After a quick, but easy connection in Atlanta, the group is now in the air to Phoenix. They are scheduled to arrive after 7 o'clock local time in Arizona (9 o'clock eastern).

Baton Rouge: On the ground in St. Louis, awaiting their connecting flight to New Orleans, with a scheduled arrival of approximately 6 o'clock local time (7 o'clock eastern).

New Orleans: Following a missed connection in Atlanta, the group has been booked on Southwest flight 726. This flight is currently delayed, but is scheduled to arrive in New Orleans around 8 o'clock local time (9 o'clock eastern).

Safe Arrivals

Baltimore, D.C., Hartford and Manchester are all safely at their host sites, and are settling in.

WBA 2017: Travel Day, Part 1

Winter Break Alternative 2017 is underway with several trips en-route, while others delay their travels out of concern for today's winter storm. Campus Ministry staff and trip student-leaders are making decisions regarding travel with the safety of each group as the top priority. Please check in throughout the day for updates as groups continue their travel.

Mid-Day Update (12:30 p.m. / 1:30 p.m.)

Hartford has arrived at their host-site, while Manchester will soon trek across the river to their week of service and solidarity. Our Phoenix group has boarded their first flight to Atlanta, with a connection this afternoon to Arizona.

New Orleans and Baton Rouge have departed from Boston, with a connection in St. Louis around 3:30 p.m. local time to their final destination in Louisiana. We will continue to share updates as they are available!

Appalachia and Habitat, Virginia will depart campus at 6 a.m. Sunday morning.

Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Following last night's send-off Mass, our Baltimore and D.C. groups hit the road for an overnight drive to their host sites. They have safely arrived, in advance of today's storm.

Dominican Republic

With a 1:30 a.m. departure from campus, the D.R. crew arrived at the airport very early this morning for their first flight to JFK in New York.

Hartford, Connecticut

In anticipation of today's weather, Hartford departed campus at 8 o'clock this morning. They will make the drive to Connecticut in advance of today's snow.

Phoenix, Arizona and New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana

All three of these flying trips departed campus around 8:30 this morning for the airport, in advance of flights later today. We will monitor their connections throughout the day.

Manchester, New Hampshire

With the shortest travel day, our Manchester group will depart campus around noon to begin their week in the Queen City.

Appalachia and Habitat, Virginia

Due to the weather, our driving trips to Virginia and West Virginia will not leave campus today. We anticipate they will depart on Sunday.

Baltimore, D.C. Depart Early!

It is said that "preparation is the key to success". With this is mind, the WBA Baltimore and WBA D.C. trips have hit the road  around 9:00pm in order to arrive before Winter Storm Helena does! We expect them to  arrive at their housing sites in the wee hours of the morning. Please check back for updates in regards to other remaining flights and their travel times.

Sending Forth Winter 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 144 Winter Break participants will journey throughout the United States and internationally to Baltimore, Maryland, Baton Rouge Louisiana, Hartford Connecticut, Manchester, New Hampshire, New Orleans, Louisiana, Phoenix, Arizona, Virginia (Habitat), Washington D.C., West Virginia (Appalachia), and the Dominican Republic

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 WBA send off Mass on Friday, January 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the Lady Chapel, Lower Church.

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

Peace and Happy New Year,
Susan Gabert '91
Director, Campus Ministry