Gannon President, Students Making Service Trips

Gannon President, Students Making Service TripsPosted: February 27, 2012

During his inaugural address, Gannon University President Dr. Keith Taylor spoke extensively about the importance of service and volunteerism.

Dr. Taylor is putting those words into action during the University’s week of spring break by joining seven Gannon students on a service trip to Croix-des-Bouquets, a suburb of Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince.

For the trip, Gannon is partnering with International Samaritan, an organization dedicated to addressing extreme poverty internationally. Dr. Taylor and the students will spend the week of Feb. 27 working in an orphanage.

Their trip is one of four alternative break service trips (ABSTs) being made by Gannon University students and staff. The students have elected to forgo their spring break so as to focus on serving their neighbor and making a difference in impoverished communities and those struggling to rebound from natural disasters.

More about the 2012 ABSTs

Gannon’s alternative spring break service trips are based on four key pillars: service, simplicity, community and reflection. Gannon’s 2012 trips represent new destinations for the ABSTs.

  • Haiti – Dr. Taylor and the students will interact with children at the orphanage in a variety of ways, including teaching them sewing, first aid and basic computing. The University is donating to the orphanage several sewing machines and a laptop and will help the orphanage’s staff with renovations to the building. In addition, the University is partnering with Catholic Relief Services (CRS). The Gannon group will spend a day with CRS staff to get a first-hand look at some of its projects in the area, including removing rubble from the earthquake that devastated the country in 2010.
  • Joplin, Mo. – Fifteen Gannon students and three staff leaders will spend the week in Joplin, which in 2011 was struck by a powerful tornado. The students and staff will focus on helping with tornado relief efforts in the area, to include rebuilding projects. They also will meet with survivors of the tornado. Gannon’s main partner for the trip is “Team Matthew 25,” an outreach effort of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Joplin.
  • El Salvador – Seven students, one staff member and one faculty member will work with Project Fiat (Faith In Action Together). The Gannon group will help with a number of building projects, to include a greenhouse and housing. The trip also has a social justice component in that the team will visit a number of sites related to the Salvadoran Civil War. Their visits will include the home and chapel of Archbishop Oscar Romero, a bishop of the Catholic Church in El Salvador who was assassinated in 1980 while celebrating mass. The group also will visit Central American University, where six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter were murdered.
  • Richmond Hill, Ontario – Seven Gannon students and one staff member will live in homes of L’Arche Daybreak, a community for individuals with emotional, physical or intellectual disabilities. The group will share in daily living, including worship, with the people living in the community, referred to as “core members.”