After an incredibly rewarding week serving with Christmas in Action in Spartanburg, South Carolina, we made it back to St. Norbert College! We are back safe and sound and in one piece, and we just wanted to thank everyone for their support, thoughts, and prayers! Each of our participants wrote a little something to highlight our week and convey the impact this experience had on us!
Speaking with the homeowners was my favorite part of this week; each person has their own unique story to tell, and listening to their stories and helping them be even slightly happier is the reason for the service. The kindness and gratitude we were shown from the church, organization, and homeowners, made me feel important and at home.
My favorite part of this week was speaking with each of the homeowners, and hearing their stories. Each has had so many experiences and was so eager to share with us their wisdom and advice. To see their gratitude was amazing and really made me realize how our small actions impacted their lives so much. Seeing the reaction of Mr. and Mrs. Owens when they saw their finished handicap ramp and how much it will impact their life really made me realize the importance of human dignity and our work here this week.
I truly enjoyed going forward into the community and working with a group, that became family, to make a big difference, through our little intentions and actions, especially in building a ramp, that inspired a renewed sense of autonomy and hope for people otherwise dependent with a limited sense of mobility and individualism. It was gratifying to experience the depth of community we lived.
This week was all around enjoyable and full of memorable moments! One thing that really stuck out to me was working with the great group of people, including those in the TRIPS group (who really became just like family), and those involved in Spartanburg’s Christmas in Action. Also, talking to the homeowners and seeing their reactions when we showed them the completed projects was what really made it all worth it.
My favorite part about this week was experiencing the South Carolina culture. Throughout our entire visit, everyone was so friendly and each person we met treated us like family. The best part of the trip was going out into the community and helping those in need. Though these actions seemed small, they had a huge impact on the person we had helped. Their reactions alone were priceless and I will never forget this experience.
What really stuck out to me on this trip was being able to talk with and get to know the homeowners that we served. Their gratitude for our service was extremely overwhelming and truly rewarding for me. I will never forget just how happy we made these people and how much of a difference we were able to make in their lives. I felt like our group grew together as a family as we fulfilled our mission of caring for others.
Interacting with the community was the highlight of my trip. Through this trip, our group was able to experience the culture of South Carolina and interact with the locals. Those who we helped such as the Owens family and Ms. Cunningham were immensely grateful for the service we completed. However, even those who we did not directly serve, such as the members of the church, were grateful and thankful that we aided their community. The hospitality that we encountered was unprecedented. Also, working and bonding with our trips family throughout the week was a blast.
My favorite part of this week was interacting with the people whom we were helping. It’s one thing to build a ramp or paint a house because you are told that’s what the homeowners need, but it became so much more meaningful when we could hear the stories of the homeowners themselves and constantly be reminded of how thankful they truly are.
I feel so blessed to have been able to lead a wonderful group of people on this trip with an AMAZING co-leader, aka “Pa” by the end of the week! I was overwhelmed with the generosity and gratitude of every single person we met or worked with; they really made our group feel needed, important, and right at home. Being able to interact and have meaningful conversations with the homeowners was by far the most impactful part of this trip for me. Both the Owens (we built a ramp for Mr. Owens who is confined to a wheelchair) and Mrs. Cunningham (we painted her house) shared with us their life stories and graciously welcomed us into their homes. This trip and my interactions with them showed me the importance of helping to maintain human dignity of all individuals despite their age or abilities.
It was a privilege to lead a group of fine individuals, who all brought so much to the group, which made my FANTASTIC co-leader, aka “ma”, and I very proud! Together as a group when we were serving this week, it was honestly like we have been born and raised together because it just seemed natural when we were working together. I truly believe that the people we have met, ranging from volunteers to the homeowners we served, will truly leave an everlasting impression in my head and a new outlook on life. The whole community itself was so grateful that we were there serving all the way from Wisconsin because they talked about problems with their own community members getting involved down there, which I thought was strange at first, but then realized that most communities have that problem and going and serving around the country or world is just as important as serving in your very own community. So in a nut shell, simply just love and care for your neighbor no matter the distance or problem always be there for one another, because we are a big old family!