VILLANOVA, Pa. – As an Augustinian Catholic institution, Villanova University is deeply committed to serving the needs of others. Each year, the University’s Campus Ministry Service Break Program provides students the opportunity to take part in two service Semester Break experiences – Habitat for Humanity and Mission Service Experiences. Next week, some 320 Villanova students will participate in the Service Break program, traveling to 24 locations across the country and internationally – from New Jersey to Costa Rica.
During this year’s Fall Break, three service groups will travel to assist areas affected by natural disasters. Two teams will travel to two New Jersey shore towns to aid in the ongoing Hurricane Sandy relief, while another group will travel to Oklahoma City to help the communities that were devastated by the spring 2013 tornadoes.
“As the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches, we found it important to involve Villanova students and volunteers in the recovery process,” says Timothy O’Connell, Associate Director of Campus Ministry. “Millions of people were affected by this storm, and many are still in temporary housing and unable to move forward with their lives. Our service break trips are designed to help those who need it most, and that includes our neighbors in New Jersey who are still recovering from such a devastating event.”
Working closely with Habitat for Humanity affiliates in New Jersey, Villanovans will travel to Ventnor, N.J. and Spring Lake, N.J. to assist in the repair and rebuilding of new sustainable and energy-efficient homes. Volunteers will also work on a project to mitigate damage from future storms, a program piloted in hurricane-prone regions in the Gulf.
In addition, Villanovans will partner with the Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity chapter to help construct homes for those affected by the recent tornadoes. Having just celebrated its 25th year, the Central Oklahoma affiliate is completing construction of its 700th home and plans to build 43 additional houses by the end of the year.
Villanova volunteers who participate in Service Break trips describe the experience as transformative. The trips help students connect with the global community as they experience other cultures, religious traditions, and socio-economic situations. Participants are challenged to become global citizens who use their education to change the lives of the disadvantaged. To learn more about Villanova’s Campus Ministry and Service Break program, click here.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.