Several McAuley students and faculty members recently participated in two different summer service trips. One group traveled to to Kissimme, Florida, to the Give Kids the World Village, a 70-acre, nonprofit "storybook" resort where children with life-threatening illnesses and their families are treated to week-long, cost-free fantasy vacations. The students performed various tasks such as helping the families get their meals with ease, serving food and snacks, working kids' rides such as the train and carousel, as well as helping with a variety of kids' games.
"What I found most rewarding was putting a smile on the kids' faces and seeing how happy they are even though they are sick," said McAuley senior Ashley Hartig. "My favorite part of the trip was interacting with the families and doing everything possible to help them have the best week of their lives. At Give Kids the World Village, the answer is always 'yes' and everyone is so happy and nice! One day we were serving dinner, and a little girl wanted a hot dog and a side of scrambled eggs. Even though we weren't serving that food at the time, the cooks made her a hot dog with a side of eggs"
Those who participated in the trip to Give Kids the World Village included Katie Geckle, Campus Minister & Theater Director; Lisa Heiert, Social Studies Teacher, as well as the following students: Holly Berrens '18, Ashley Hartig '18, Lily Clark '18, Nicole Armbruster '17, Katlyn Havlin '19, Brooke Ryan '18, Allison Koenig '18, Holly McGarvey '18, Elena Kluener '17, Hanna Creighton '18
Another group of students, alumnae and chaperones travelled to Jamaica, where they served children at the St. John Bosco Center for Boys, located in the town of Mandeville. St. John Bosco, established by the Sisters of Mercy and opened in 1960, is home to nearly 160 boys in need of structure, care, education, and support for personal development. During their trip, the McAuley students performed tasks such as scraping and sanding the metal bars that covered the school's windows, weeding the garden, and interacting with the boys at the school. They played sports and games with them, danced, flew kites, and other fun activities. One day, they also attended Mass in Mandeville and had their photo taken with the Archbishop.
"These boys loved people unconditionally and didn't judge people by their looks," said McAuley senior Jaclynn Ruberg. "They were so grateful for the littlest things! We would make kites from garbage bags and play with muddy cards. I'm glad I had this humbling experience to get closer to God."
Those who participated in the trip included: Cassie Fulks, '17, Katie Ernst '17, Annie Klare '18, Jaclynn Ruberg '18, Elizabeth Belleman '19, Emma Brunst '18, Jill Allaben '19, Samantha Roll '18, Sydney Jung '13, Allie Klare '18,
McAuley Technical Theater Director Randy Kent, and his wife, Mary Kent.