Wrapping up a semester full of service, CBA students embarked on two more service immersion trips last week, one to Homestead, Florida and the other to Camden, New Jersey.
Including the two trips to the De La Salle Blackfeet School in Montana, CBA Campus Ministry has organized four service immersion trips this fall, which is the most in a single semester in CBA history.
Seven CBA students and two faculty members, Mr. Tom Mulligan and Mr. Ciro Saverino, traveled to South Florida’s De La Salle Educational Center for a full week of service. The educational center is part of the South Dade Camp, where workers from many Central and South American countries apply for the United States Visa Program. If accepted, workers and their families travel to the U.S. to work on one of four camps in Florida.
While their parents are working, the children attend school at the De La Salle Educational Center, which is located right on the camp site. The CBA group worked with the after school care program, assisting as homework tutors and activity moderators for games and sports. They also helped the center sort through their Christmas toy drive and set-up a computer classroom for the adult GED program.
“Being that I have been to Montana in the past, the Florida trip was not quite what I was expecting,” senior Anthony Coniglio said. “After helping them with homework, we could play games like Uno and then go outside to play with them some more. It doesn’t seem like much, but to these students it is amazing and they were sad when we told them we were only staying for a week. Being able to make a difference in their lives in such a short time was incredible. They have their own struggles, but it seems that when we are with them, they forget for a couple of hours and just have fun.”
Aside from assisting at the center, the CBA students were able to tour the Biscayne National Park and the Little Havana section of Miami. They also attended an outdoor celebration of the Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in a nearby neighborhood.
Meanwhile, Mr. Matt Butler and Mr. Charlie Rooney took eight students to Camden for service immersion on Thursday and Friday of last week.
The CBA contingent volunteered at the community center, Urban Promise. Their mission is to equip Camden’s children and young adults with the skills necessary for academic achievement, life management, spiritual growth, and Christian leadership.
They also spent some time at the South Jersey Food Bank, helping organize donations for the holiday season. Overall, they were touched by the challenges that grip the greater Camden community, including the crime, drugs and violence that affect thousands of families in the area.