Each year, we look forward to welcoming a group of students from Michigan State University who dedicate their time, over their Spring Break, to participate in service and this year was no different. On March 1, seven students and their adult advisor arrived at the Province Center eager to begin their week of service with us.
Over the course of the week, the students learned about the mission of the Sisters of the Redeemer while also visiting some of their sponsored ministries such as Drueding Center, St. Joseph Manor and Redeemer Valley Garden. The students also visited several other non-profits in the Philadelphia area. These sites included: The Joy of Sox, Blessed Sarnelli Community, and Cradles to Crayons.
As the students learned about the mission of each organization and interacted with the people they serve, many students walked away from this experience gaining a new perspective on what life is like for those experiencing poverty. They were inspired by the work each organization is doing to offer support and care to those in need. The students all agreed that they appreciated the emphasis each site placed on honoring the dignity of those they served whether it was by providing quality clothing items to children living in shelters, allowing pantry guests to choose their food items, or by offering hospitality and a warm meal to those experiencing homelessness.
The care, compassion and love the students shared during the week was unwavering. They brought new life to the Province Center and each site we visited. On Wednesday evening, the students and Sisters joined together in a “Celebration of Life”. This celebration included getting creative by depicting where they saw life being celebrated that week through art. We then gathered for a prayer service on this theme inviting each person to reflect on who or what inspires them and brings them life.
We are grateful to the students for their enthusiasm and commitment to service. We hope they will carry this experience with them and continue to find ways to be of service to those in need.