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Students Spend Spring Break in Service

March 07, 2013

Laura Lemire
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7242

For the 23rd year, 102 Saint Anselm students are spending their spring break on volunteer service trips to 9 sites in the United States as part of Saint Anselm College's Service and Solidarity Missions program.

Students participate in a roofing project in MichiganBeginning Friday, March 1, students left campus for Detroit, Mich., Houston, Texas, Orland, Maine, Manchester, N.H., Ridgley, Md., Aberdeen, Miss., Philadelphia, Penn., Vanceburg, Ky., and Phoenix, Ariz. Each group is staying with a different organization, spending their time in service and solidarity with those less fortunate. Students are repairing homes, serving food, painting and cleaning, and doing whatever is necessary to support their site.

Throughout the week, participants learn about Catholic social teaching while also living and working with those most in need. Each trip is lead by two Saint Anselm students. The groups return to campus at the end of spring break, on Sunday, March 10.

In speaking about the program, campus minister Joycelin Raho said, "It provides participants not only with the opportunity to serve others but also with an experience that further develops lessons learned in the classroom."

"Throughout 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," said Raho.

Follow along with the student-groups: see photos and read updates from student leaders on the Service & Solidarity Missions blog and on Twitter #SACSBA.

In Philadelphia, students spent a day with Saint Anselm alumnus, Dan McVay '96 who shared the following reflection,

"I worked with the Philly group today at Temple Hospital. They participated in a program called Cradle to Grave which brings young people into the depths of the hospital to learn the realities of gun violence. It was an emotional day for all the participants as they heard about young people who had lost their lives in Philadelphia and from the parents of some of these victims. They also met a young lady who survived her gun shot wound but was confined to a wheelchair, having lost her right leg and had limited use of her hands. The tour ended when we came up to the trauma bay shortly after a gun shot victim had been brought into the ER. The victim had been shot multiple times in the East Falls section of the city and died while the group was in the hospital."

Service and Solidarity Missions Making History

Campus ministry first offered Saint Anselm students the opportunity to spend spring break volunteering in 1991, when it sponsored a trip to Orland, Maine. The program grew into today's Service and Solidarity Missions program. The program consists of student-led service trips overseen by Campus Ministry during winter, spring, and summer breaks. This year, the program will send a total of 217 students to 16 sites.

Photos courtesy of Amanda Marcotte /

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