In honor of National Volunteer Month and Loras’ amazing commitment to service, the alumni office is dedicating April as a month of service – a time for Duhawks to share what they do in their daily lives to serve those around them. It may be work through your church, in your children’s school, in your neighborhood or just helping a complete stranger. Many of us serve out of instinct and don’t even think about how much we help others!
We will be asking for stories, photos and videos of you serving in your community. Loras’ focus on service, through our Catholic heritage, often instills in our students a lifelong thirst for service, from everyday acts of kindness to week-long services trips.
Alumni, we want to know how you continue to live those Loras values! Next month, we will share with you ways in which you can share your service with the alumni community. We hope you will join us in dedicating the month of April to Share Your Service
To kick off the month, a young alumna, Rosie Guerrero
(’08), shares with us how she continues to live a life of service five years after graduating from Loras.
“The great Mahatma Gandhi once said, ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’ During my time at Loras I was able to participate in service and today I feel very blessed to be able to share the importance of service in my daily life.
“I graduated from Loras five years ago this May, and to be honest, and thankfully, it hasn't felt that long. I've lived in Dubuque, originally from Kewanee, Ill., since graduating with my degree in biochemistry on a gorgeous spring day in 2008. I've stayed involved in the Dubuque area, keeping and establishing new relationships, and most recently joined Plant Site Logistics as assistant manager, shipping all the construction and forestry equipment for John Deere in Dubuque.
“Today as I work my 40+ hour-a-week job, I still try my best to nourish the desire to, in some way, serve others. I believe that Loras showed me that it's not only the big acts of service, but also the little ones that matter.
“My senior year, I was given the opportunity to go to Honduras with an amazing group of peers and staff as part of a Loras official service trip. On that trip, I learned more about myself and the life I wanted to live. I learned that education is a gift some of us take for granted, that you are much happier living simply than full of commodities, and that the way you make a person feel is what truly matters in life.
“I’ve realized that in the real world I don't have the time to take a week off and go serve somewhere, let alone a couple of spare hours just lying around. Having a week off for service would of course be the ideal situation for all, vacation and service, but reality sometimes does not provide those blessings. Instead it provides other blessings that still allow us to feed the desire and obligation as Catholics and as human beings to help others.
“Staying in Dubuque allowed me to continue building the relationships I had while at Loras. I still am able to serve a meal at the Hope House every once in a while or help chaperone an event or trip with the St. Anthony's youth. I've also become more involved in the Dubuque community and have attended Circles meetings (weekly meetings in which support and solidarity is provided to families in low income situations), in hopes of becoming an ally and helping those in low income situations preserve and move forward.
“I serve five hours or so each month, and when I can't find the time to spend a few hours volunteering, I try to provide service in the form of small acts of kindness. Usually this consists of me giving a compliment, helping co-workers meet a deadline, putting the dishes away (sometimes your roommates or loved ones appreciate this more than you know), saying a prayer, smiling at someone--all the little things in life. Providing a smile is probably my favorite form of service because you get to see a bit of happiness and love in the eyes of that person and it's a reward in which you usually get a smile back and are also filled with love and joy.
“Service is and should be an important part of our daily lives. So the alumni office’s challenge to serve this month shouldn't be much of a challenge. We are given many opportunities, big and small, to serve. As Catholics, service represents all the themes of the Catholic social teachings. As alumni, we are joining in solidarity with the 50,000 hours that were served last year by current Duhawks. For ourselves, serve because sharing the many blessings God has given us is what He called us to do. As Blessed Teresa of Calcutta once said, ‘If we pray, we will believe; if we believe, we will love; if we love, we will serve.’”