SOUTH BEND — Saint Joseph High School held its second annual Christian Service Camp on July 9-10. More than 60 students participated in this year’s camp.
“Christian Service Camp is a hands-on, summer learning camp emphasizing the spirituality of Christian Service. Students will gain greater insight and understanding of our mission,” said Kathy Kershner, Christian service coordinator at Saint Joseph High School. Students at Saint Joseph are required to perform 20 hours of service each year. Participants in the camp will earn 10 hours of service for the upcoming school year.
The camp focused on three organizations that help those in need — Unity Gardens (a community garden), St. Vincent de Paul Society’s Thrift Store and the Center for the Homeless. Students worked in shifts at all three locations.
Enrico Lazareto, a junior, worked at Unity Gardens on the first day.
“I moved dirt with wheel barrows, pulled weeds, carried plants and even got to play with some chickens,” Lazareto said. “I realize how much needs to be done. A lot of people need help.”
Sophomore Grace O’Brien spent two-and-a-half hours sorting clothes with her group at the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s Thrift store.
“We filled 17 carts and five boxes with clothes. They told us that we freed up three days of work off the volunteer’s hands,” O’Brien said.
Another sophomore, Jake Snyder typically performs all of his service hours at the Center for the Homeless. “I wanted something new, and it’s also a good way to meet people,” Snyder said. He spent the first day at Unity Gardens and thinks he will go back again. He learned a lot about the work that goes into growing food and reusing energy.
Incoming freshmen Alma Nuñez and Leslie Alvarez came together. Nuñez attended the camp because “I wanted to help and I wanted to know where I could go to help people in South Bend.” Alvarez was eager as she waited for the day’s events to begin. “I love to garden, so I’m excited to go to Unity Gardens. I was in a group that started a garden earlier this summer,” she said. Alvarez intends to ask her pastor if they can plant a vegetable garden for the parishioners to use.
“I know what Unity Garden is, but knowing about vocation and seeing it in action is a totally different experience,” said Alex Daugherty, a senior. “Unity Gardens lives the motto ‘God calls, we answer.’”
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