Difference is made through “domino effect”

By Nick Luchko
March 15, 2001

You wake up and the clock reads 6:30am. You get up from the floor you slept on and you feel a shiver down your back. You go to the kitchen and get a cup of coffee. You look outside and all you see is mountain tops with snow on them, a river rushing by and the inspiration of the people that are around. That is Appalachia.

For the past two years, I have been going on the “Alternative Spring Break” trip to East Bank, West Virginia with Campus Ministry. Now you might ask “why would you want to travel over eight hours with 16 people in a van to the poorest state in America?” Well, honestly, I don’t know why, but I know what I do and what so many other students do: make a difference. That is Appalachia.

I know that sometimes people here at Cabrini (I’m guilty of this too) feel that things suck and complain about the little things, and that’s ok. We are accustomed to that. It’s our nature. However, learning and talking to the people of West Virginia has made me think about what is important, like family, friends and God. The attitude that we display is somewhat of a “domino effect” to the people of Appalachia and they see what we can do and in turn change their attitude toward life for the better. That is Appalachia.

There is one family in particular that Cabrini College has helped for the last four years. We have installed drywall in their home. Last year, we put a roof on and this year we finished the bathroom. The family has made Cabrini students a part of their family. The mother has gone back to school and is on her way to getting an education. The last night we were in East Bank, she and her son shared dinner with us. It was so great to see the smiles and inspiration that were in their eyes. Knowing that we, Cabrini, helped change this woman’s life was awesome. That is Appalachia.

This trip is something that every student should at least consider. Campus Ministry does a great job providing service trips that meet not only the needs of the students but also that of the college. I think that the college should provide more service trips for the students so that they can help more people who are in need and carry out the mission of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. After all, our mission does state “the College assists students in actualizing their potential, personally and professionally, so that they better understand themselves, be more sensitive to the needs of the global community, and contribute competently to society. That is Appalachia.

Service to the poor is something that I really didn’t think about when I came to Cabrini. However, from my trips to Appalachia the past two spring breaks and Mexico this past summer, I have found an interest and a calling. The people of West Virginia love life. This attitude has hit me too and I hope that after graduation I can serve these people and make their lives as happy as they have made mine. That is Appalachia.

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Nick Luchko

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