Fall Service Trips 2012

There are two service trips happening this November, one to McKee, Ky., in support of St. Paul Parish, and one to Fort Benning, Ga., as a social action trip to the School of the Americas. Both of these service trips are organized by the Campus Ministry office and are directed and planned by students. This year there will be 10 students traveling to McKee and 20 students to Fort Benning.
McKee, Ky., is the longest standing trip in Loras’ service trip history. This trip is focused on helping the local residents at St. Paul Parish through housing improvements, visits with the elderly and a focus on learning about the Appalachian people. Since the trip is during Thanksgiving break, students also organize a Thanksgiving dinner and entertainment for residents of the area. Loras students are also treated to a Thanksgiving meal hosted by a Loras alumna who participated in the McKee service trip when she was a Loras undergrad. Betty Dalsin Moore (‘90), who now lives in McKee, met her future husband through the trip. Now the couple hosts the Duhawks each year for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. 
School of the Americas (SOA) Watch Vigil is a yearly convergence at the gates of Fort Benning, Ga., that includes several different groups from all across the country who stand together in the joint struggle for social change. The watch is a way for Loras students to help create a strong community and a powerful force to close the SOA, end U.S. militarization in the Americas and dismantle the broader system of oppression of which the SOA is a part. Many students who attend this trip are a part of the peace and justice group on campus and are very interested in nonviolent social action. 
These are just two of the service trips Campus Ministry office organizes annually. Three more service trips will occur during J-Term and three more during spring break. 
Service trips are one way for Loras students to be involved in Campus Ministry. It is a great way for students to get to know other students, faculty and staff in an informal way. Service trips also allow for students to see a world outside of the one we live daily. This world often is very different from what students are used to and it is such a great way for students to grow personally and spiritually. 
Loras College’s service trips incorporate our Catholic identity well. The Catholic social tradition affirms a community built on justice and calls all of us to serve others. Loras’ service trips push students to think critically about the world we live in daily and to respect all of God’s creation in every shape and form. Many times students come back from service trips changed in a way they never imagined. These trips are service learning at its best and we are very proud of the long-standing tradition our current students have in daily service and our alumni have in lifelong service. 
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