Raking for a Cause

Fall foliage at Saint Anselm CollegeI’d like to tell fun stories about Halloween and to say that I spent it with my friends, but unfortunately, I have been locked away in the library until 11:00 p.m. or later every night this week writing papers and reading through research. Luckily, this morning I got to have some fun and enjoy the beautiful fall weather! Every fall, each Winter Break Alternative (WBA) and Spring Break Alternative (SBA) trip rakes yards in the Manchester local community as a fundraiser for the trips, and this weekend, my trip, Phoenix, raked the yards of a woman and her daughter, who lives right next door, in Bedford. It was been very cold up here lately, but today was beautiful fall weather with sunny, clear skies and a temperature of mid 60s—everyone in my group kept commenting on how it was a perfect day for raking! We really lucked out, especially since it may snow tomorrow morning! Looks like we got one of the last fall days before the weather starts heading toward winter.

This morning we met at 8:00 a.m. to head off to work with Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate and donuts in hand. But we didn't even need it! When we pulled up to the houses, the homeowners had donuts, snacks, coffee, and water waiting for us! They invited us in to have breakfast, gave us a tour of their absolutely beautiful houses (furnished with furniture that the husband even made himself), and told us about their children and grandchildren, one of whom even helped us with the yards. They collect prints and paintings from auctions and different stores, and they let each one of us choose one to take back to school to decorate our rooms and apartments. One of the girls chose a Mona Lisa print, but the rest of us walked away with landscape scenes of lighthouses or snowy villages, which I can't wait to hang up in my room. Their collection was amazing, and all of the other trips are going to be jealous I am sure when we tell them what great families we raked for!

We were all overwhelmed by the warm welcome and enormous sense of hospitality we were shown. We were really welcomed as members of their family, and they watched over us and made sure we were not working too hard and had everything we needed. We really wanted to make sure we did the best job we could for such a nice couple, and we had a great time getting to know more about each other. After three hours, we were able to rake two yards and head back to school for a group lunch at Davison. We exchanged emails and can't wait to send them pictures of our group from the trip and invite them to campus to share a dinner with us, so we can return the favor of hospitality and welcome them into our SBA Phoenix family.