In accordance with the Cabrini mission of providing an “education of the heart,” a small group of students gave up their spring break in order to aid a family in need in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
The trip, which is organized through Cabrini’s Campus Ministry and partnered with West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy and Workcamps, took place over the duration of spring break and consisted of a group of students willing to escape their comfort zone in order to help others who are less fortunate. This particular situation brought Cabrini to a new area in which they were put to the task of rebuilding a house that was taken down by an electrical fire and was in dire need of assistance.
Beginning on the first Saturday of spring break, March 1, these Cabrini students took the eight hour drive to Point Pleasant where their journey started with a day of rest and recuperation upon arrival. Senior liberal studies major, Kyle Johnson, described the trip day by day. Johnson stated that once they settle into their “barracks style living” provided by their church partner, they were given their assignment and start their work by 8 a.m. Monday.
The week went on with the students working on their project on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday being a day of pre-planned activities for the volunteers.
Aside from the official work that the students do through WVMAW, the experience that they had as a whole seemed to be the most memorable. The group was assigned to help in the refurbishing of a home of a young family with a 10-year-old son named Gary. The family attempted to continue living in their home after the damage was done. Unfortunately they had to relocate to a trailer until their home was livable again.
This is where Cabrini came in. From Johnson handling electrical work in the basement to the other members of the group putting up new walls, these students did their best to restore the home to what it previously was.
Johnson described one touching moment in particular in which Gary’s grandmother came around to the students and gave each one a hug and kiss on the cheek for their work. It was this instance that Johnson felt how nice it was to see the family and “to see how inspired they were that [they] were there to help.”
Naturally, when working for such a positive cause, certain bonds will be made among those who are working together. Unfortunately, Johnson was faced with a personal issue during the trip. However, rather than being shut out from the group, “everyone in the group was really supportive of” him.
Rather than maintaining the usual group of friends the students may have had going into the trip, they all became one united group, all supporting and growing together. Being someone who was inspired to attend the trip by his friend, Johnson said “you may have had a friend or two that you would’ve brought with you but then everyone comes together. Everyone enjoys each other’s company.”
The week then ended with a successful finish of the group accomplishing what they had set out to do for this young, inspiring family.