Promethean News

Giving Back: Service Trips in Spring 2012

 Giving Back: Service Trips in Spring 2012

By Chelsea Campbell

    Siena College follows the Franciscan tradition of giving back and serving the community. During spring break, both the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy and the Sister Thea Bowman Center for Women are holding domestic and overseas service trips. The Bowman Center is holding a trip to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In Santo Domingo, the team of students will stay with Franciscan Nuns who live in a convent located in Los Tres Brazos. The Nuns run a school, medical clinic, and pharmacy. After they collect donations and make lesson plans, the students will teach in the school and work in the after school programs to help teach English to the children. Upon speaking with the director of the center, Shannon O’Neil, I was made aware that the applications for the trip had gone out by the end of the October and that the 14 students going on the trip were already selected. After a group interview was conducted, the students were selected and surprisingly, there were around 5 to 6 males going, which is a higher number compared to last year.

    In a similar fashion of giving back, the Franciscan Center is holding two trips. The first trip is going to the St. Francis house in Boston, Massachusetts and the second one will be at the St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia. The students attending the trip to Philadelphia will be working at the soup kitchen as well as volunteering at the thrift store. Similarly, the students going to the St. Francis House will be staying in a Friary and working with a variation of activities with the Friars such as serving healthy meals to the less fortunate and donating clothes. While the trip to the inn will be accepting 8-9 students, the trip to St. Francis House will be taking 7 students and both trips are open to all grade levels. The students have not been selected. However, anyone who is interested should attend the informational meeting coming up in early February. After speaking with the Associate director of the Franciscan Center and Habitat for Humanity advisor Judy Dougherty, I was also made aware that the Habitat for Humanity club will be conducting 5 trips going to Lynchburg, Virginia; Marion, South Carolina; New Bern, North Carolina; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The tasks consist of rebuilding houses for those in poverty and trying to eliminate the amount of people that are currently homeless. Along with the president of the club, Casey Chiuasa, roughly 80 students and chaperones will be attending these trips. The students were chosen during spring break and there is no room for applications.

    When I asked Judy what Habitat for Humanity does she stated, “They build a community within themselves and then join a larger team.” With an abundance of trips like this one taking place during spring break, there is no shortage of love and selflessness within the Siena community and St. Francis himself would be very proud.