Making a difference over break

By Staff Writer
March 9, 2006

This is one of the lines that I had trouble understanding, “Everyone can make a difference in the world.” It was difficult convincing myself that everyone can make a difference in the world. More importantly, I used to argue with myself about how exactly people could make a difference in the world. Not everyone is a superman or a superwoman. I recently found out that it is true that we can all make a difference with every little thing that we do.

I am one of 14 students and staff who spent their spring break in Gilbert, W.Va repairing a house that was damaged by a flood. The first day we started, I felt like giving up. I felt that we would not accomplish anything in five days. After figuring out the drilling, we got started by putting frames around the house which was damaged by flooding, while others spackled and painted inside the house. Although we only managed to finish a little over half of the work, I am happy that we achieved something. We managed to put the frame around the house and it will protect the house from being destroyed by a flood again. The little that we did manage to do was put a smile on someone’s face. Our work was greatly appreciated.

During the five days that I spent in Gilbert, I learned that the people in West Virginia are proud of the little that they have. They still manage to share a smile with strangers despite living in unpleasant conditions. The people in Gilbert are somewhat cut-off from the rest of the world. One can be forgiven for making a comparison to people living in a village in a developing country.

It was difficult to get cell phone service. I had no choice but to keep my cell phone off. While in Gilbert, I unwillingly gave up television and radio as the most popular form of communication.

However, West Virginia has two sides to it. Driving in the streets, one will see beautiful houses. Next to them were run-down houses. There is wealth in West Virginia but it’s not well distributed. Not everybody manages to make a living from the coal mine which has been the traditional form of manual labor in the state.

I had the best spring break ever. Although I did not spend my break in a mansion, I can now live with myself knowing that I managed to put a smile on someone’s face and made a difference. The trip was also a great eye opener as well a great learning experience. West Virginia’s slogan is “Wild and wonderful,” we were not wild but the trip was wonderful. The trip made me understand what the less unfortunate go through. It also taught me to be satisfied with the little that I have. Most importantly I learned that every little bit does count. We can all make a difference. I feel that I am now able to put a face to human suffering.

Hands up to Cabrini College for organizing trips like this. Most importantly, hands up to all Cabrini students who were willing to take part in the trip.

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Staff Writer

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