Building Houses and Relationships: Students attend West Virginia mission trip


Natalie Martinez

Over Spring Break, students including sophomores Taylor Cooper Balandron and Emily Lueckenotto had the opportunity to travel to West Virginia and provide service to those in need.

Jamie Weiss, Staff Writer

The rush of waterfalls combined with the woods and hills of Dunlow, West Virginia surrounded Sophomore Edgar Ludwikoski as he spent time with his classmates on a camp-out-like excursion. This acted as the end to a week-long volunteering opportunity over Spring Break.      

This trip was originally started by Mary Perrini, the former Campus Minister, which gave students the ability to receive 60 service hours for performing a variety of labor projects for low-income families in the area. Ludwikoski spent the week installing soffit, which acts as a weather protector for rafters on a house, and was able to learn about the woman whom he was assisting.

“You get to see the impact on the person when you talk to them,” Ludwikoski said. “We were working with a lady establishing software in her house, and you could very clearly see how she felt; it is so unique and felt very real.”

Senior Alina Jeffries also attended the mission trip, working with a different group to build a ramp and a gate. She said that she was able to grow from the experience and learn about compassion.

“I was able to make an impact not just on other people, but also on myself,” Jeffries said. “I served others and got to know everyone on a deeper level.”

 Volunteers who worked alongside the students acted as chaperones on the trip. Richard Sulzen said that he attended the trip to help students strengthen their faith through service.

“I try to help provide opportunities for people, young and old, to serve the Lord through their love for others in need,” Sulzen said. “I hope that you will get the chance to experience this trip, and that you will get as much out of it as I have. God bless and try to have fun.”

When students were not working, they had the chance to bond with each other and experience nature.  

“You were just able to hang out with people in the hills of West Virginia,” Ludwikoski said. “You could just eat and enjoy everything.”

CMT offers the trip each year to students who want to work with those in the community who are less fortunate and complete direct Corporal Works of Mercy at the same time.    

“I would honestly say to go, because it is so meaningful,” Jeffries said.” I know that you are there for 60 hours of service, but it is such a beautiful experience.”