SMC volunteers with Rebuilding
Caitlin Housley | Sunday, April 10, 2011
Saint Mary’s students, faculty and even a few mothers set their alarm clocks a little earlier Saturday in order to volunteer from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the South Bend community as part of the Rebuilding Together project.
“The goal of Rebuilding Together is to repair low-income homes and revitalize neighborhoods,” Saint Mary’s junior Cat Cleary said.
Carolyne Call, the director of Saint Mary’s Office for Civic and Social Engagement, said Saint Mary’s has sponsored a house for this event for the past seven years.
As a house sponsor, Saint Mary’s donates $3,500 toward repairs of the house and provides volunteers for the day, Call said.
Around 50 Saint Mary’s students worked on the west side of South Bend on Albert Street repairing three houses by painting and removing shutters and house numbers in order to make way for newer fixtures.
Three students, juniors Laura Glaub and Cat Cleary and sophomore London Lamar, said they did not mind waking up early to help with the event.
“Even though I had to wake up early on a Saturday after a long school week, the greater feeling was knowing I was giving back to someone who was in need,” Lamar said. “Every stroke of color that was painted on the house was a stroke of love.”
Since Rebuilding Together coincided with Saint Mary’s Junior Mom’s Weekend, some of the participants enlisted their mom’s help with the project.
“My mother and I wanted to do something different that would be fun together,” Glaub said.
Glaub and her mother removed house numbers and shutters, and Cleary and her mother repainted a shed.
“It was worth [getting up]. Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. I did look at my mom and say, ‘Let’s go back to bed.’ But coming home at 1:30 p.m., we talked about how much it was worth it,” Glaub said. “I made new friends and new memories doing projects I never thought I could do. I have so much appreciation for anyone who is able to take window shutters off.”
All the girls said they hope to see the program grow in the future, including Glaub.
“More days. More weekends. I love it,” Glaub said.
Cleary noted the importance of students giving back to the community.
“I continue to participate in Rebuilding Together year after year because it is a wonderful way for our college to acknowledge that we do not live independent of the South Bend community and that we have a responsibility to help all of our neighbors,” she said.