Students will be spending their spring break going across the United States to help people and communities in need. The five trips include Baltimore, Maryland, Bronx, New York, Camden, New Jersey, Glenmary Farm, Kentucky, and Greenbriar, West Virginia. These trips all have many different types of service including homeless outreach, building homes, watching children, and mission work. These service trips are meant to allow students to see poverty first-hand and make a difference in the lives of others.
Alexis Johnston, sophomore and student leader for the West Virginia trip, said, “I am very excited to be working with Habitat for Humanity. Habitat gives us a chance to work side by side with those in need of a home, which forms a very special bond.” She elaborated, “Being able to build a home, not only for someone, but alongside them, seeing their excitement and gratefulness, gives you such a rewarding feeling.”
Merrimack has a long-standing history of sending students on these meaningful trips. With a Catholic Augustinian foundation, the Grace J. Palmisano Center for Campus Ministry strives for the growth of students intellectually, spiritually, and morally with an emphasis on community life and serving one another. These types of service experiences will guide students to a more rich and fulfilling life for themselves and others.
Annie McDonnell, sophomore and student leader on the Kentucky trip, explained, “I think that it is a great opportunity to give back to the greater community, build meaningful relationships with others, and step out of your comfort zone.”
Many faculty and staff also take part in these service trips by serving as advisors to the students. Domenic DiVincenzo, Associate Director of the Sakowich Campus Center and long-time service trip advisor, notes, “Not only has this experience encouraged my spiritual development, it allows me to be present with our wonderful Merrimack students in a meaningful way. To see them truly shine when working with and for others in need, to be witness to their personal growth and to see learning in action is truly a blessing. I am grateful to Merrimack College, as an employer, that not only affords me these service opportunities, but also truly encourages these efforts.”
If interested in learning about other service opportunities, visit the Grace J. Palmisano Center for Campus Ministry on the 2nd floor of the Sakowich Campus Center.