Saint Mary’s students rebuild together
Aubrey Clark | Monday, April 13, 2015
A group of Saint Mary’s students gathered Saturday to rehabilitate homes in South Bend as part of National Rebuilding Month, a month-long call to service. The Office of Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE) hosted the community outreach event to clean up and beautify homes in the local community.
According to a college press release, the Saint Joseph chapter of Rebuilding Together began in 1989 and each year focuses on a different area of the county. More than 75 Saint Mary’s students were stationed at four houses in the Olive Street and Lincoln Way West neighborhoods to complete tasks such as painting, cleaning, raking and planting at a home. The primary recipients of these home improvements are those who might not be able to physically or financially provide these changes on their own.
Erika Buhring, director of the OCSE, said in the press release, “Rebuilding Together is a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to make an immediate change in the lives of community members. By donating t
me and skills, volunteers not only make a difference in the home itself, but they also learn how to collaborate with others and give of themselves in the process.”
First-years Katie Long and Liz Mason said participating in this project allowed them to connect to members of the community and provided them the chance to give back for the support Saint Mary’s has from the neighboring areas.
“The community here is so supportive and interested in what Saint Mary’s does,” Long said. “I think we need to show our thanks for everything they do for us.”
“I think it is important to volunteer and take time out of your week to give back to your community,” Mason said. “Working hard with our fellow students on these homes for Rebuilding Together lets us do that.”
First-year Emma Green said she recognizes the difference they can make through volunteer work in the community and why it is important to participate.
“I feel like we live in a bubble here at school,” she said. “I want to experience what it’s like in the community we live in.”
According to a college press release, Saint Mary’s has been participating in this program for ten years now, and will continue to offer participation to the students annually.