It’s About More than Sheetrock

			IT’S ABOUT MORE THAN SHEETROCK Service involves solidarity—finding common cause with others, particularly with those in need. Solidarity involves long-term partnerships, community building, time, and trust. That’s why Wheeling Jesuit students continue to serve in New Orleans nine years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city. During winter break, fourteen students and two staff joined our friends at Youth Rebuilding New Orleans (yrno.com) hanging drywall in a rebuilt house in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood. But it’s about more than sheetrock: it’s about the relationships, the interactions with organizations and individuals that, in the words of Elizabeth Nawrocki, ’16, “showed hope for the area in the future.”

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Being Homeless in Washington DC

It has been said that the more you put into something, the more you get out.  This could not be more true of the Immersion to Washington DC, that included 48 hours being homeless on the streets of our nation's Capital.  Students are part of a 25+ year tradition of participants who have completed the challenge through the National Coalition for the Homeless. First Year Brad Kakos said it best, “We got the feeling of how it feels to beg someone for a handout or to get the stares from people who can't comprehend why you're there or what you're doing. There are a lot of misconceptions about the homeless and I feel fortunate to be able to learn and see better what they deal with. It was an eye-opening experience."  It’s about service, solidarity and awareness. Taylor Cameron ‘14 and six others learn about homelessness by living it for two days.

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Service Isn’t Just for Students!

Service isn’t just for Wheeling Jesuit students anymore!  26 university employees left campus on September 11th for the annual Day of Caring sponsored by the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley.  They volunteered at such sites as  the YWCA, Children's Museum,  Salvation Army, Sandscrest Boy Scout Camp and Sanford Center.  Becky Forney, Director of Professional and Graduate Studies, has been doing this for 12 years.  She says that, "It's a chance to do something for the community… It's fun to be with your co-workers and get to see a job through to its completion in a single day." WJU employees are able to take up to three days off a year for mission-related activities such as this to celebrate the spirit of our Jesuit tradition.  Keep it up!

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20th Annual Make a Difference Day!

 Free Food! Free Fun! Free wheelchair Mission! This past Saturday WJU first year students offered free food to raise awareness for Free Wheelchair Mission as part of the 20th annual Make a Difference Day! Here 235 first year students set out to serve the Wheeling Community. Students worked with community partners like Sandscrest Boy Scout Camp, The Children’s Museum, Faith in Action Caregivers, Welty Home, Holy Family Childcare Center, Mt Saint Joseph, Schrader Environmental Center, Vineyard Hill Green Wheeling Initiative, East Wheeling Community Garden, Appalachian Outreach, Marshall County Animal Shelter, and Laughlin Memorial Chapel. What a great way to introduce new Students to what being a WJU student is all about!

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And That’s a Wrap Folks!

And that’s a wrap folks!  The 2012-13 academic year has ended with lots of excitement. The Special Olympics, as one of our largest events of the year, was a great success with over 160 athletes from six counties. More than 250 volunteers joined participants as “buddies” to navigate the  various aquatic and track field events. Other activities included arts and crafts, music, and dancing. A special thanks goes out to all of the WJU teams that helped make this a meaningful event for everyone.  It has been a great year and we wish the best of luck to students leaving campus, especially the graduating class, as they keep serving God and each other.  As St. Ignatius said, “Go set the world on fire”. Special Olympics Athlete Competes at the WJU Track

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Mother Jones Goes To The Beach

Four weeks! What? Yes, that’s right! There are only four weeks left in the 2012-2013 school year. Four WJU students who are living in the Mother Jones (MOJO) House and Mentor, Will Grogan, went on a weekend retreat to Sea Isle City, NJ. The group reflected on how the year has affected their views of the world, and especially God. They also had fun visiting the beach and exploring what the city has to offer. For future MOJO residents, weekend retreats like this are something you will have to look forward to. 	To find out more about the trip, come to MOJO Community Dinner this semester on Fridays at 5:15 PM, where there’s great food 			     and great people. Don’t forget to bring friends!

 

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Thanks For The Shoutout, Mr. President

WE DID IT AGAIN!  Wheeling Jesuit University has been admitted to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the second year in a row!  WJU has been recognized as one of the leading universities in promoting actions to solve community problems while involving students along the way.  The SSAC would like to congratulate WJU students, staff  and community partners who gave their time and effort in serving to make a difference in the Wheeling community and beyond. 	Furthermore, WJU students are committed in helping communities as close as Wheeling, WV and as far as Central America.  Seven students spent Spring Break on a service trip in El Salvador. Kara DeSantis, Senior, said "You grow as a person when you do service, and that's what college is about."

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Where Did Your Food Come From?

Ten WJU students  have chosen to spend their Spring Break participating in the Food Justice Immersion Trip. They enjoyed exploring backyard gardening, urban farming and industrial agriculture in the Ohio  Valley. These students experienced milking cows, building compost piles and planting seeds. They learned the importance of nutrient cycling by planting gardens in vacant lots in neighborhoods in Wheeling, WV. The Food Justice Immersion Trip has taught students about the problems and opportunities of our food system in the 21st century. Community gardening, food co-ops, faith-based food initiatives, regional food hubs are some healthy alternatives to supermarket food that cost a fortune. “This experience was not only fun but informative as well. I am glad that through this trip I have made an impact in the Wheeling community.” says Rachel Enders ‘16.

 

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“Lovescaping” in downtown Wheeling

Valentine’s Day is when we show appreciation and extra love to others. This year, students from WJU’s Mother Jones House, art students and organizations such as Youth Rebuilding the Ohio Valley, Students for Life, Hess Mentoring, and Enactus, not only wanted to express love to humans but to vacant buildings in downtown Wheeling as well. There are a number of buildings that offer historic significance but are in need of TLC in the area. Some of these building are either for sale or rent. In honor of Valentine’s Day, students made cut-out hearts with catchy phrases written on them, and hung them to buildings as part of the “All We Need is Love Campaign.” This was an effort to gain appreciation of historical buildings. Messages such as “find me somebody to love” and “love gets  better with age” were presented in hopes to occupy the buildings.

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Hola NOLA!

“New Orleans is called the ‘Big Easy’ but I found it the city of ‘Big Love’”<br />–Rebecca McDaniel (Right)<br />Along with Rebecca are fifteen others who visited<br />New Orleans, LA to participate in a number of service<br />activities such as reconstructing homes and organizing<br />a warehouse. A week spent in New Orleans has been an eye-opening experience, which helped students realize the challenges that people encounter in other parts of the country. Meeting New Orleans natives who have faced struggles in life has taught students that they can overcome any challenges with courage and love. While in New Orleans, the group also had the opportunity to check out Bourbon Street’s many historic buildings in the French Quarter, the oldest neighborhood in the city. We at the SSAC cannot wait to come back. See you next year New Orleans!

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