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Bishop Miege Press

The Student News Site of Bishop Miege

Bishop Miege Press

The Student News Site of Bishop Miege

Bishop Miege Press

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Building Up from Nationwide to Within: West Virginia mission trip brings together town and student communities

Creating+new+friendships%2C+the+service+trip+allowed+new+groups+of+people+to+come+together+and+share+a+bond+rooted+in+service.+%E2%80%9CIt+made+us+a+lot+closer+with+our+meaningful+conversations%2C+and+now+we+are+all+good+friends+even+after+the+trip%2C%C2%A0sophomore+Ryan+Hutchinson+said.
Courtesy Photo
Creating new friendships, the service trip allowed new groups of people to come together and share a bond rooted in service. “It made us a lot closer with our meaningful conversations, and now we are all good friends even after the trip,” sophomore Ryan Hutchinson said.

Over the past week, many enjoyed a variety of vacation hotspots – from tropical venues to winter paradises. However, some students gave up their time to take charitable means into their own hands. Volunteers set out over spring break for the school’s annual West Virginia mission trip to help less fortunate people and attested to gaining valuable life lessons along the way. 

Forty students were divided into small groups to tackle numerous projects across the small town of Dunlow, West Virginia. These projects included painting food pantries, repairing ramps, and helping members of a church’s community center. 

Junior Finn Madden reflected on how helping others impacted him inside and outside the mission trip. 

 “It made me realize how fortunate we are for what we have, and you connect with yourself throughout the trip,” Madden said. “It completely changed our perspectives on seeing the bigger picture in life. In general, I am not a huge working guy, but when it comes to charity I get very passionate since helping others deeply resonates with me.”

The groups consisted of kids from all grades, which provided them an opportunity to bond with people they would not see on a typical school day. Sophomore Ryan Hutchinson was a member of Madden’s group who expressed his appreciation for this diversity. 

“Especially when we did reflections, it made us all so close since we never see these people throughout the whole day like we did on the trip,” Hutchinson said. “It made us a lot closer with our meaningful conversations, and now we are all good friends even after the trip.” 

Participation in student reflections and physically demanding projects over the mission trip contributed to student bonding, as volunteers faced tasks together. One challenge for Hutchinson came from dislocating his arm while painting, which made him rely further on his group for assistance. 

“We had to paint the roof, so it was really hard on my shoulder,” Hutchinson said. “We also had long hours and work non-stop. I could not have done it without the generosity of my group to help reach certain spots or uncomfortable angles, and was very grateful for them.” 

Junior Rose Lopez, a member of Madden’s group who came on the trip along with her mom, could be seen coating spots from up above where it would be tough for Hutchinson to paint. Lopez spoke on how serving others alongside family impacted her trip experience.

“Each member put in a good amount of work, but I pushed myself to work harder because of how much my mom contributed,” Lopez said. “We are teenagers while she is in her 40s, yet she was bending down painting this floor on her knees just like the rest of us. Her effort inspired us all.”

Projects in West Virginia turned out successfully aided thanks to volunteers giving up their time like these students. The volunteers worked every day for multiple hours, leaving them with a total of 60 service hours by the end of the trip.  

Madden recommended this trip to other students who are potentially interested in next year’s trips. 

 “If it seems like something that is right up students’ alley, definitely look into it because it was extremely worth it and fascinating,” Madden said. “From even a change of scenery, a different state of mind, or the friends I made, I know I made the memories of a lifetime.”

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MC Dunn, Staff Writer

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