SARAH KICK | NEWS CORRESPONDENT
Over spring break, select St. Norbert College students decided to forgo sitting on their couches or going on vacation and instead chose to serve the community. TRIPS (Turning Responsibility Into Powerful Service) traveled to six different locations across the United States in order to better the conditions of individuals nationwide. Locations ranged from Milwaukee, Wis. to Spartanburg, S.C., and themes of the TRIPS ranged from building houses to education to helping those with disabilities.
“My favorite thing about the TRIPS experience was seeing how much the group was able to accomplish in the short amount of time we were there and the drive to continue to help others like those at the places we served,”said Brooke Draxler ’16, who led a trip alongside Brennan Schneider’16 to Memphis, Tenn.
The TRIP students in Memphis worked with LeBohneur Children’s Hospital, as well as the Ronald McDonald House and FedEx House in preparing meals, baking cookies and performing various other activities that had a big impact on the patients.
“The most memorable part of the trip for everyone was seeing how the little things we did—handing out hot beverages, delivering books to children and just playing with the kids—meant so much to the families and patients,”added Draxler.
Another TRIP was led by Gretchen Stutz ’16 and Margaret Uselman ’17 to Spartanburg, S.C., in order to help Affordable Housing–Christmas in Action. The TRIPS students helped build a wheelchair ramp for Miss Faye, who was trapped in her home due to a missing wheelchair-accessible route. They also helped Ken, a CIA warehouse manager, get a head start on the movement of their warehouse.
“They had received so many donations, they were not even able to walk through the old warehouse, so they were in desperate need of a bigger space. Ken never had volunteers, so we helped him get about a month ahead of the scheduled moving!”said Stutz.
There were various other TRIPS that occurred over spring break, and Stutz expressed the opportunities that TRIPS offers students throughout the school year.
“The TRIPS program is such a unique experience to be a part of at SNC. It is so nice to be involved with a group of students who are also interested in similar social justice issues. The relationships that you can gain through this program will last a lifetime!”said Stutz.
Along with various locations, TRIPS also focuses on a variety of social justice issues, allowing students to find one that they feel especially passionate about.