Sunday, March 25, 2007

Phoenix Group

The following was written by student Philip Klees of Burlington, Iowa.

The college spring break is a time much anticipated as the semester presses past its midway point and heads for a late April finish line. For some Waldorf students, spring break meant they would be catching a flight to some place exotic like Jamaica or the Cancun; for others it simply meant making a trip home to work or spend time with their families. But there is a more fortunate group of students at Waldorf College who allowed themselves the opportunity to see a different side of spring break, a different side of life.
Last Saturday, thirty four students and faculty boarded planes en route to Phoenix, Arizona, to pave their own remarkable road of service, friendship, and laughter. For five days these fortunates sacrificed privacy, sleep, and sometimes showers to better ensure that many families would not rest their head on an empty stomach or under a leaky roof.

By the time it was said and done they packaged enough food at St. Mary’s Food Bank to easily feed all of Forest City for an entire month, painted a home through Habitat for Humanity and the Guzman family, and hammered enough nails to pre- fabricate nine homes slated to be built in early May also through Habitat for Humanity. All of the while tired, smiles were never far from the lips of all who shared a special week together.

Days began nearly an hour before sunrise; students awoke every morning to find that they were serving, but also being served. Before the students were to rise, it was Dianne Hanson or Kristi Osheim or Dan Hanson preparing a quick breakfast and gathering together the lunches made the night before. After a short devotional, usually led by a student volunteer, the group set out for a day of work.

Days sometimes lagged on, but it didn’t seem to matter. Being volunteers, lunch breaks tended to be an hour long- a time some used to make up for the previous nights lack of sleep. Others students, especially Yannick Mulolo, took the time to meet those outside the group who were more often than not troubled teens who seemed to just be looking for someone to listen. By listening he extended a fortunate hand to few who otherwise would have not known of its existence.

For the many who cannot call themselves one of these fortunates, you missed out. This small group of Waldorf family proves that there is an untapped reservoir of service inside of every heart. This vehicle of service allowed a little effort to blossom into something more concrete and meaningful; it turned into a week of selflessness.

Philip Klees

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