by Chris Sullivan, Boston College High School
Our sojourn for service in West Virginia of April vacation had a significant impact on my peers, the chaperones, as well as myself during and after our efforts. Despite the fact that the trip was a school required trek, I felt that each one of us approached the trip with open minds and genuine hearts. Over six days in WV, we served the poor by working in soup kitchens. We served the poor by helping organizations that recycle just about everything you can imagine and redistribute it to those in need all around WV. We served by tearing down and rebuilding homes that had been entirely flooded out. We learned about the struggles and injustices that the poor peoples of WV face each day. I believe the combined contributions of our group touched those who were in need. But what was most surprising was the way we all changed and progressed during our time spent in West Virginia.
Through spending time with the people of West Virginia, we dispelled the previous stereotypes that we had of one another. Everybody came to the realization that we are not all that different from one another. We realized that being human unites us in a way we should be sure to consider while we live our lives. We are all human and here to love and serve one another. This was the most remarkable characteristic of the trip for me. Everything else took the backseat as people began to help people solely because of this profound connection and calling. The experience of breaking down and rebuilding houses in Logan, West Virginia was perhaps the greatest example. It was amazing to realize that at that very moment we all had the power to make a difference in this world. The needs of this family were immense and we were called to be there to not only build a home, but to reform and build new relationships based on hope and love. Overall the trip took a physical and emotional toll on each and every one of the participants, myself included. However, undoubtedly it was a sincere act of kindness by a concrete troop of “men for others.”