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Students Spend Spring Break Volunteering

February 27, 2015

Laura Lemire
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7242

Saint Anselm College students volunteering during spring breakOn Saturday, Feb. 28, 96 Saint Anselm students are departing the Hilltop to volunteer across the country and in Haiti during spring break. They will become part of a long history of students embarking on service trips during winter and spring breaks through Campus Ministry's Service & Solidarity Missions. This spring, students will serve in Pine Ridge S.D., Aberdeen, Miss., Phoenix, Ariz., Philadelphia, Pa., Gulf Coast, Ridgely, Md., Vanceburg, Ky., and Grand Goave, Haiti.

This year marks 25 years of Service & Solidarity trips. The first, in 1991 saw 19 students travel to Orland, Maine.

Students will work in orphanages, soup kitchens, and schools. They interact with children and adults with disabilities, people suffering from homelessness and poverty, and those still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

"This is our 25th year of service trips, and the experiences students have are both rewarding to the communities and to the students, enhancing what they learn academically and spiritually here at the college," said Susan Gabert, Director of Campus Ministry.

"We send hundreds of students each year to really make a difference in the world, but the greater impact we see is the difference made in each participant, as they reflect on who they want to be and how they want to impact the world."

This spring marks the first time Saint Anselm students will embark to Haiti where students will build a house and spend time at the Be Like Brit Orphanage.

Campus Minister Abbot Matthew Leavy, O.S.B., and Associate Professor Nicole Leapley, a professor in the Modern Languages Department, will accompany students to Haiti.

The trip to Vanceburg, Ky., is the third education discipline- specific trip where education majors are volunteering at the David School. Working with the school ahead of time, education Professor Kelly Demers and the student-leaders assessed their needs and sent the group with much needed supplies including text books, digital cameras, and other technology. Participants will act as teacher assistants and tutors, some may teach a class.

Trips are led by 16 student-leaders who were selected last April. They undergo training in Catholic social teaching, crisis management training, and group dynamics. The leaders work closely with Campus Ministry staff in meeting deadlines, trip details, and managing fundraising efforts.

This year, 217 Service & Solidarity participants (more than 10% of the student body) have traveled to sites as close by as Manchester, as well as to those as far as Washington D.C., Louisiana, South Dakota, Arizona and the Dominican Republic to help those in need.

Updates from the various locations are being posted throughout the week. Follow the trips on the Service & Solidarity blog and on Twitter #SACSBA.

Story by Dominique Del Prete '15

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