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Service at the Shamrock Series

| Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C. said, “This college will be one of the most powerful means for doing good in this country.”

It is hard to imagine if Sorin knew just how right he would be. Students, faculty and staff, let us prove him correct yet another time by participating in the Shamrock Series Service Project.

On Friday, the Notre Dame Alumni Association in partnership with the Notre Dame Club of Indianapolis will sponsor a community revitalization project in the Near Westside neighborhood of Indianapolis. Volunteers will help with landscaping, building raised flower beds, building a playhouse and bench and painting the interiors of rehabilitated homes while working alongside members of the community. The project’s mission is not only to leave a lasting impact on a marginalized community through physical restoration, but also to draw public attention to the fact that the area is worth investing in, that the children and adults who live there are undeniably worth it.

As Sorin knew well, the presence of Christ is felt strongest in community. “Where two or three have gathered together in my name, I am there in their midst,” Matthew’s gospel shares. With this in mind, to make the best impact this weekend, the Notre Dame Alumni Association is partnering with “two or three.”

Providence Cristo Rey High School is one of 26 schools in the Cristo Rey Network and a school Notre Dame played a key role in establishing. The Cristo Rey model is unique in that it combines rigorous academic coursework with corporate work-study. Many of the children who attend Providence Cristo Rey live in the neighborhood and work to make it a better place.

The Hawthorne Community Center has been operating in the neighborhood for over 90 years and is run by a lifelong resident. The center serves both children and adults, offering programming that includes preschool, summer camps, senior services and youth social development.

Hearts and Hands of Indiana is a non-profit under the umbrella of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Its executive director, Mark Buckingham, is a 1998 ND grad. The organization’s mission is to help individuals attain affordable, long-term home ownership through education and to provide mentoring and quality rehabilitated homes.

The call to love is the call to serve. As another exciting weekend of football approaches, the love of football can rally us around a community in need, giving us the perfect opportunity to serve our fellow brothers and sisters. The Alumni Association needs everyone’s help to respond to the needs of this neighborhood and to be the powerful source of good we are capable of being. Answer the call and email [email protected] to get involved.

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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