Guest Blogger: Patrick Rogers
As much as I would like to go on forever boasting about my recent experience with thirteen other students and a campus minister while doing service and exploring the fantastic city of New Orleans, I cannot. To try to put into words how much the city has given me and how much it has changed me would be impossible. Amidst the tangible livelihood and celebratory atmosphere you can feel when walking through the city’s streets, there runs deep devastation even after ten years since Hurricane Katrina. While I cannot capture the full impact New Orleans has had on me into this post, here’s my best attempt.
Along with venturing through the city, our group worked at four different nonprofit organizations during the week. Driving around neighborhoods with houses still boarded up and empty lots with just cement steps leading to what was once a front door was a scary reality that I witnessed. The hardest thing for me to grasp while standing in front of lots that were once houses was the fact that it has been ten years. Ten years. I was only in fifth grade when Hurricane Katrina hit the city in the late summer of 2005. I remember seeing pictures and hearing news reports, but nine-year-old me was more concerned about my upcoming fifth grade year. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have changed and grown and matured in immeasurable ways over the past ten years. To think that the past decade of my life would have been halted is nearly impossible for me to even grasp. This in-between transitioning period still remains a stoic and fixed reality for the people who were forgotten about in New Orleans.
The damage didn’t end with Katrina either, there were incredibly high rates of contractor fraud, houses were ruined, neighborhoods were vanished, and people who called New Orleans their home were forced to relocate for months (or for some: permanently). The city had several problems before the hurricane struck; blaming Katrina for all of the currently existing problems would be giving the storm too much power. The city cannot be defined by the catastrophe. Instead, it is defined by the culture, the food (definitely the food), the faith, the smiles and laughter, the strength, the resiliency.
The most remarkable aspect of New Orleans is that through inconceivable devastation and failure, there is still triumph over such terrible realities. Of the many people that you talk to while you’re in New Orleans, they will say that volunteers rebuilt the city after Katrina – and it’s volunteers that still continue to rebuild. Providence College gives students so many opportunities to be a part of something greater than the bubble that we live in here on campus. I luckily have discovered this just as a sophomore. New Orleans has become a place of reconstruction and great strength. To say that they have been able to overcome – and are still working to overcome – a category five storm shows how strong and determined they are. And how much pride they have in their home. New Orleans is a community that you cannot leave behind. It will stick with you. New Orleans will always hold a special place in my heart, and if you’re ever feeling lost, I can promise you New Orleans will take you with open arms. The community and volunteers from all over the world in New Orleans are rebuilding, restoring, and restructuring a place that has been victim of destruction and devastation. I did not expect that it would rebuild, restore, and restructure my own life in the way that it has.
Guest Blogger: Patrick Rogers As much as I would like to go on forever boasting about my recent experience with... MORE
Coordinator: Alex Rawson ’15
Major: Health Policy and Management/Business Studies
What is Special Olympics?
Special Olympics organizes several events throughout the year – including a soccer tournament, two basketball tournaments in Peterson Recreation Center, and an on-campus swim meet. Each year hundreds of PC student volunteers help coordinate these athletic events with Special Olympics of Rhode Island.
Why did you decide to get involved?
Because I find this to be the most rewarding and fulfilling experience not only for myself, but for the athletes and volunteers, too!
What are you looking forward to most about being involved with Special Olympics this year?
Seeing how many volunteers we will have and deciding on the spring sport!
Upcoming; The Unified Basketball Tournament Saturday December 6th 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Meetings: Tuesdays at 7:00 pm in the Chapel Basement. All are welcome!
Coordinator: Alex Rawson ’15 Major: Health Policy and Management/Business Studies Email: email@example.com What is Special Olympics? Special Olympics organizes several... MORE
Guest Blogger: Aylin Corapcioglu
Although midterms are coming to an end, the semester is still incredibly hectic for many of us PC students. Finding time to just sit back, and reflect on our lives is a rarity, however it so very important. Last Thursday, we had a fantastic night to reflect about the importance of service in our lives. It is easy to get caught up in the logistics of serving others, as well as in the stress and the chaos that often comes with service.
However, it is especially in those chaotic moments of service that we have to remember WHY we serve. This question was the main subject of our reflection night. The night allowed students to enjoy some fall snacks and take the time to share their reasons for their service. Students were able to talk with each other about their individual experiences, ask themselves why they enjoy being involved in service opportunities, and actually create a short personal quote so they could articulate why service is important to them-look for the poster in Campus Ministry! It was great to be reminded that in serving others, we are serving God. God has given each of us different gifts, and it is very special when we can realize these gifts and share them with those around us.
As we discussed on Thursday, for many of us, service is where we feel our faith the most. Serving others is a chance where we can actually see God’s grace in action. We often call moments of service “service opportunities” or “service projects,” and that is exactly what they are. Service grants us the opportunity to be stewards of God’s love, to not only show those we are serving God’s love, but to actually be serving God directly! Service has ups and downs, so it certainly is a constant project. But, service is always an opportunity to grow in our relationship with God, and to spread the love and grace of God that He relentlessly shows us.
Guest Blogger: Aylin Corapcioglu Although midterms are coming to an end, the semester is still incredibly hectic for many of... MORE
Coordinator: Ryan Bonomi (aka Cupcake, Kittens, Squid, Bone Saw, or Nugget) ’16
Major: Finance with an Economics Minor
What is Elderly Outreach?
Elderly outreach is a local service club that enables students to provide friendship and entertainment to residents of local nursing homes. As a member of the club, students will get the opportunity to talk to, make crafts with, and watch performances with the residents of Capitol Ridge Assisted Living Home. It is a fun and relaxed atmosphere, allowing students to easily connect with residents.
Why did you decide to get involved?
I have been visiting nursing homes my whole life. From the time I was in first grade all the way to high school, I used to join my dad with his high school Christmas club, the Singing Santas, as they performed at nursing homes. We sang a bunch of Christmas songs while we were there and it always brought so much joy to the residents. So when I came to college, Elderly Outreach gave me an opportunity to do this kind of service again and it has been a very rewarding experience for me!
What are you looking forward to most about being involved with Elderly Outreach this year?
The thing I’m looking forward to most would have to be getting to meet so many new people. I’m really looking forward to getting to know the residents at Capitol Ridge better. They all have such interesting stories, so it’s a great experience to get to talk with them. Also I’m excited to get to know the other volunteers better. We have a great group of volunteers. They make Elderly Outreach a wonderful time!
We have our Spooktacular Halloween Party on Friday, October 31st
Every Friday in Campus Ministry at 2:45 pm
Coordinator: Ryan Bonomi (aka Cupcake, Kittens, Squid, Bone Saw, or Nugget) ’16 Major: Finance with an Economics Minor Email: firstname.lastname@example.org... MORE
Stop by McPhail’s tomorrow night (10/22) at 7 pm for a chance to bid on a meal with your favorite PC faculty/staff! Bids start at $10/person and there will be FREE CHIPOTLE!
Stop by McPhail’s tomorrow night (10/22) at 7 pm for a chance to bid on a meal with your favorite... MORE