CRESSON — Many college students spend Spring Break relaxing at home or head south for some fun in the sun. Not so for nearly 30 Mount Aloysius College students. With parts of Houston, TX still in shambles from Hurricane Harvey; students and staff from Mount Aloysius will spend the break in overalls, work gloves and hard hats.
Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley, himself a volunteer first responder during Hurricane Katrina said, “We are all very proud of the commitment of these terrific students and staff.”
According to Ms. Christina Koren, executive director of mission integration and community outreach at Mount Aloysius, the Houston spring break service trip is one of the larger service responses of the College. “The devastation in Houston is significant and we saw a real opportunity to get some families back on their feet. We’re excited at the willingness of our students and staff to help out.”
Mercy Center Coordinator, Brianna Baker will lead the efforts in Houston. “I’m inspired to give back because it made me realize how fortunate we are and how important giving back to others is,” Baker said. “And we decided to travel to Houston because of the devastation that happened this year with the hurricanes. The students saw the destruction and identified Houston as a place where they could really have an impact. By doing service trips like this all of us learn so much by stepping out of our comfort zone and reaching out to others who need our assistance. At the end of the day, it’s about engaging in the lives of the people we meet and making as much of an impact as we can.”
Mount Aloysius will partner with Catholic Charities in Houston. The group will help clean debris and reconstruct homes and buildings devastated by Hurricane Harvey. The group will work in the greater Houston area for their entire spring break.
Mount Aloysius senior Steven Niebauer, a Business Administration major from Irvona, Pa., is excited to participate in the relief effort. Niebauer has travelled internationally on past service trips. “Through my time at Mount Aloysius, I have learned the importance of Mercy values and helping people in need,” said Niebauer. “Whether the need is in our local community, across the country or around the world, we are fortunate to be in a position to help others and we are reminded that it is a privilege and our responsibility to do so.”