Students go ‘M.A.D.’ for community service

By Nicholas Guldin
September 24, 2009

Shannon Keough

The Cabrini van set out Saturday morning on Sept. 19 with seven students traveling to Norristown. They were heading to the Coordinated Homeless Outreach Center to serve their community by interacting and having fun with some of the community members there.

CHOC can house up to 50 residents. Its goal is to keep their community members healthy and content. It also connects them with helpful resources in society to get them back on their feet financially.

One of the students along for the trip was senior secondary education major, Christian Hoffman. “People should have concern for those in need. That’s why I’m here today,” Hoffman said. Though he admitted he felt a little bit out of his comfort zone, he was excited and eager to get involved.

Cristin Joy, junior elementary education and early childhood major, is used to doing a lot of service activities being a member of student government. Although this may have been just another day of volunteering for Joy, she seemed as enthused as ever. “I’m looking forward to meeting new people and forming positive relationships,” Joy said.

As the group arrived at CHOC, the community members’ eyes lit up in happiness. The teams were quickly split up and the softball game began. The residents laughed and cheered on their teammates through nine innings of intense play. The sun was shining brightly on the smiling faces of the residents and Cabrini students.

Elizabeth Sutter is the Coordinator of Community Outreach here at Cabrini and founder of “Make A Difference” and has been slowly evolving over the past year.

“M.A.D. is the first time the Wolfington Center is doing a consistent schedule of activities for people to get more involved in community service. I have been putting this together since last year and I am very excited to see all the preparations and efforts put into action,” Sutter said.

As the game came to an end, the group intertwined and students and residents walked back from the field to the residential building. They worked their way to the van and were met with many “thank you’s” and “can’t wait to see you guys again” from every resident.

Francesca Pizzigoni, junior math and secondary education major, said, “The experience was fulfilling for me but I think even more fulfilling for them.” Francesca also said that she has not done a lot of service work in the past but hopes to change that after such a fun learning experience at CHOC.

Jackie Ozzimo, senior history and political science major, on the other hand, has been involved in a large amount of service activities on campus and said that this was just another great experience to notch onto her belt. “It was good to have fun and laugh with them. You could tell they didn’t want us to leave.”

M.A.D has flyers up all over campus for anyone interested. Students don’t have to feel the need to come every Saturday. “They can pick and choose which days work for them,” Sutter said.

When the students arrived back on campus they branched off back into their normal lives after a hard days work. They’re simply “Making A Difference” one Saturday at a time.

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Nicholas Guldin

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