Volunteers Return from Alternative Spring Break
March 10, 2012
More than 50 members of the Emmanuel community participated in this year's Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program, which sent groups of students and staff to service sites in Arizona, West Virginia, Louisiana, as well as around Boston during the week of March 4th.
For the 10th-straight year, Emmanuel volunteers traveled to Phoenix, Ariz., to assist at Andre House and Society of St. Vincent De Paul. Andre House is a nonprofit organization, sponsored by the priests and brothers of Holy Cross from the University of Notre Dame, that serves the poor and homeless. Students worked directly with the Andre House staff doing office work, laundry, clothes sorting and distribution and food preparation and service. With the Society of St. Vincent De Paul, a Catholic lay organization, Emmanuel volunteers spent the week performing several different tasks, including: food preparation and service, working in their thrift stores and inventory and containerizing in their food bank.
The group that traveled to West Virginia stayed and worked with the staff of the Laughlin Memorial Chapel, located in the urban core of Wheeling. Volunteers helped in the renovation of deteriorating housing within the town, participate in the Chapel's daily after-school program featuring academic enrichment programs, an achievement program, art and music enrichment programs, and evening youth programs, and provided service at the Catholic Neighborhood Center, a soup kitchen next to the Chapel.
Emmanuel once again returned to New Orleans, Louisiana, after a one-year hiatus, having sent a group to Eagle Butte, South Dakota, last year. The Emmanuel volunteers assisted with the St. Bernard Project (SBP), an award-winning rebuilding, nonprofit organization whose mission is to remove physical, mental and emotional barriers for vulnerable families, senior citizens and disabled residents who are struggling to recover from the devastation and trauma caused by Hurricane Katrina. The volunteers worked "in the field" around the city, helping to rebuild while also providing homeowners with support and encouragement during the emotional rebuilding process.
Additionally, Emmanuel hosted a Boston ASB group this year in collaboration with the Colleges of the Fenway. The Boston group lived in the Jean Yawkey Center for the week and served at various sites in the city with a focus on children in poverty, including Boston Catholic Charities Nazareth Residence for Mothers and Children and Cradles to Crayons.
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