Over the weekend (Feb. 14-17), I was able to go on one of the service trips that Villa offers the Junior class. “Urban Challenge” is a trip in which 11 Juniors are able to travel to Camden, New Jersey, to help and learn about the people there. Since we are learning about morality and poverty in our Theology class, this trip was an especially eye-opening experience for me.
We traveled to Camden on Thursday and arrived at the Oscar Romero Center, which is where we were able to stay during the trip. Our first full day of service was Friday, and I went to the New Visions Soup Kitchen in Camden. New Visions is a place where the homeless are able to have breakfast and lunch and just a place to hang out and keep warm. While I was there, I was able to talk to several of the visitors, who told me their stories of how they got to be in such a horrible situation, and how they keep their faith and hope alive during tough times. The second service day, I went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Camden, which is a thrift store where the proceeds all support the building of new homes in the city of Camden.
This experience is something that I have absolutely no regrets about. The plethora of service opportunities that Villa provides is unrivaled. In fact, we have a special new service opportunity coming up soon! I’m sure everyone’s heard of Penn State’s THON before, which is a dance marathon fundraiser for pediatric cancer. Villa is having our own mini-THON on March 22, so if you have nothing else planned for the day, make sure to stop by for a day filled with dancing, games, guest speakers, and of course, food!
- Kelsey Endo '14