Our students live the mission each and every day from small acts of kindness to organized philanthropy. Each year, students from the Egan Service Living Program (ESLP) organize a service trip during an intersession break. This October 1-5, 18 students; two Student Development and Campus Life staff members, Audrey Cecil and Janelle Rae; and two Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Sister Luke Boiarski and Sister Nancy Gerth, rehabbed two elderly community members’ homes in Bardstown, Kentucky.
“We spent the week at the SCN campus at Nazareth. We worked on the homes of two elderly women, who were not able to work on their own or afford the help,” says Cecil, coordinator of student activities and recreation. “When we weren’t working, we spent time processing our thoughts, doing some intense reflection, and generally bonding as a group. This trip was incredibly intense for everyone, in the best way. I have never seen a group work so hard. The students we have in ESLP are so special, and we are so lucky to call them our own.”
During their time spent in Bardstown, the ESLP team spent several hours each day painting the exteriors (porches included), cleaning gutters, and weeding and landscaping the yards of the two owners’ homes. The physical strength required only matched the mental strength necessary for such an intensive project.
“At times it was very discouraging to see all of the work we had left to do,” says sophomore Logan Popp. “Although we were exhausted, we continued to work hard each day and give 110%. With much group effort, we were able to complete our service project and leave knowing that we had left a positive impact on the lives of these women, who had worked hard their whole lives.”
Many of the ESLP students remarked on the relationships formed during their trip, especially the friendships they built with the homeowners and the Sisters, who also participated in the service work. The common desire to do something good and help others shortened the gap between generations. The Egan students spent additional time with the Sisters while staying on the Nazareth campus, where the Sisters organized a cookout and activities for students to unwind after a long day of work.
“Part of the service project is meeting new people and letting them impact our lives,” says Egan student, Liz Schooler. “The highlight for me was working on Miss Olivia’s house. She is an awesome lady, who was happy to have our help each day. She would talk about her family and even showed the group some pictures. She led us in prayer every day before work and even brought us doughnuts one morning. Her passion and caring made us as a group work harder.”
Look for more information about the Egan Service Living Program trip in an article in the forthcoming issue of Spalding Magazine. In the meantime, check out the Egan Trip 2012 short video at http://www.youtube.com/user/SpaldingSDCL.