Students Spend Fall Break Serving in Oklahoma CityOctober 28, 2013

Nearly 50 Rockhurst University students spent the first two days of their fall break on a service trip to Oklahoma City to help build homes with the Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity. The group departed on Wednesday, Oct. 23, with their first stop in Moore, Okla., where a Habitat for Humanity representative led them on a guided bus tour of the disaster area left behind by a devastating tornado that hit the Moore community on May 20, 2013.

From there, the student group, led by Bill Kriege, assistant director of campus ministry and director of service-immersion trips, headed north to Guthrie, Okla., and spent the night at St. Mary’s Catholic School.

The hard work began bright and early Thursday morning as they headed to the Habitat for Humanity site just west of downtown Oklahoma City. There, they broke into groups and assisted with the building of two different homes.

Students constructed and sealed walls, built and nailed in roof trusses, installed insulation barriers, helped with overall site clean-up and more.

“Leaving the site, the construction manager was so grateful for our help he was brought to tears,” said Kriege. “He sees a lot of volunteers on an annual basis, so for him to be that touched by us speaks volumes about the goodness of our students and what a special community Rockhurst is. I work there every day, but it is through times like this when we go outside and work in the community that I’m reminded of who we are and what we’re trying to do.”

Throughout the service trip, students participated in prayer and reflection – a steadfast component of Rockhurst service trips.

“During the school year, it’s easy to be focused on yourself, but when you take a service trip it puts you outside your comfort zone,” said Colleen Smyth, ’14, who is studying accounting and nonprofit leadership. “It opens your eyes and your heart to what’s going on around you and how you can live more in solidarity with others.”

Learn about upcoming service trips and opportunities here. More photos from the Oklahoma City trip are available on the Rockhurst University Facebook page.

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