As a high school student Benjamin Craig's motto was, "Here's my plate, load it on." He brought that mentality with him to Emmanuel, where he has always been ready to take on a new opportunity.
Despite multiple flight delays due to a Boston nor’easter, nearly 60 members of the Emmanuel community participated in this year's Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program, which sent groups of students and staff to service sites in New Orleans, Houston, Phoenix and Boston during the week of March 5th.
The New Orleans crew spent the week working with SBP (formerly the St. Bernard Project), a nonprofit organization founded in Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish that helps to rebuild the homes of low- to moderate-income residents (with a special focus on senior citizens, veterans, people with disabilities and families with children) still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina. The organization has rebuilt nearly 700 homes for residents in the New Orleans area since 2006.
ASB NOLA’s first day of SBP & volunteering at St.Mary’s School this morning! They also took a trip to visit the levy wall and the lower 9th ward. A great first day in NOLA! #drywallpros #ECASBNOLA18 pic.twitter.com/XIVsTv4jOT— Mission + Ministry (@ECMission) March 7, 2018
A small group of five students and two staff members also made the trip to Texas to work with SBP’s new office in Houston, where the organization in beginning long-term recovery operations after Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.
For the 16th-consecutive year, the Phoenix group served at Andre House, a nonprofit organization sponsored by the Priests and Brothers of Holy Cross from the University of Notre Dame that serves the poor and homeless, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP), a Catholic lay organization. SVdP recently opened a two-acre urban farm that produces hundreds of pounds of produce for their kitchen and food box program.
Emmanuel hosted the Boston ASB at the College’s Notre Dame Campus in the Fort Point/Highland Park neighborhood. For the sixth year, the group focused on food justice, a goal that seeks to ensure that the benefits and risks of where, what and how food is grown, produced, transported, distributed, accessed and eaten are shared fairly. During the week, the group served at the Greater Boston Food Bank, Rosie’s Place, Daily Table, St. Francis House, the Food Project, Pine Street Inn and more. They also worked with students from nearby OLPH Mission Grammar School, planting seeds in the greenhouse on the main campus, which will be transported to the Notre Dame Campus urban garden, and held a cooking competition, preparing healthy dinners on a budget.