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Students Spend Spring Break Serving Others

March 01, 2012

Laura Rossi Lemire
Communications and Marketing

student at a site in Manchester, NHFor the 22nd year in a row, 140 Saint Anselm students spent their spring break on volunteer service trips to 10 sites in the United States and Costa Rica as part of Saint Anselm College's Service and Solidarity Missions program.

Beginning Friday, Feb. 24, students left campus for Arizona, Louisiana, Costa Rica, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Maine, Mississippi, and New Hampshire. Each group stays 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. Two Saint Anselm faculty members, Marigen Learnard and psychology professor, Maria McKenna, traveled with students to Costa Rica. Each trip is lead by two Saint Anselm students. The groups return to campus at the end of spring break, on Saturday, March 3.

Follow along with the student-groups: see photos and read updates from student leaders on the college blog.

Updates from Mississippi
Anselmians are hard at work at Camp Glenmary in Mississippi where they are preparing the camp for this summers children, raking and burning leaves, cleaning cabins and windows, and helping Brother Terry on the tractor. Student leader, Morgan Seney said in a recent email:

"We started off the morning with a home cooked meal provided by Mr Kelly, a member of the Aberdeen church community. He made us biscuits, grits, and sausage- a traditional southern meal! The group has been working hard raking, cleaning, and preparing the dorms for when the kids arrive this summer. As we clean and prepare the camp we can start to picture the kids running and playing on the fields, having bonfires, and having the time of their lives at summer camp! We can't wait for another day of work in this beautiful Mississippi weather!!!!"

Camp Glenmary, running since the 1970s, provides two weeks of camping for low-income kids in northeastern Mississippi. It also offers two weeks of "Catholic Camp," a time when Catholic young people from that same area gather as a group to experience the uniqueness of not being in the minority. Father Tim Murphy, the camp's director, says without hesitation that our volunteers "make camp possible."

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.

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