Thursday, March 24, 2011

Back in the E.C.

Today was a bittersweet end to an amazing trip filled with service, friendship, leadership, and fun! We did so many great things in our time in Indianapolis and I cannot express enough how wonderful this group was!  They are so considerate, welcoming, motivated, intelligent, passionate, and so many other things that will help them succeed and accomplish anything they set their hearts to in the future. I know they will continue to work together as a team to give back to the Eau Claire community and strive to better themselves and the world they live in. It was an absolute honor to work with such outstanding student leaders and watch them grow, challenge themselves, and serve the Indianapolis area together.  They are amazing role models and really have embraced the servant leadership lifestyle. There is no doubt in my mind that they will continue to do all they can to better themselves, the world, and those around them. Thank you for a wonderful week!

Alternative Spring Break Group 2011
Third Row (from left to right): 
Anna, Emily, Stephen, Charles, Sam
Second Row (from left to right): 
Felicity, Megan, Amanda, Stella, Katie, Jake
Front Row (from left to right): 
Sai, Lindsey, Sarah, Katy, Emily, Aimee

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Providence Cristo Rey

Providence Cristo Rey is a College Preparatory School in Indianapolis Founded just a few years ago there school currently has 80 students. The students attend classes four day a week and work in a local business or organization the 5th day. These organizations in turn support the school by paying the students.

We met Sister Jeanne who is the founder and principal and someone who embodies the essence of the Servant Leader! We got to meet some great students who spoke with us, got pizza and a tour of the school. Students were really impressed by the school and want to go back to do a service project next year! Below is Sister Jeanne with the gang!

Gleaners Food Bank

We had a fantastic day!!
We spent most of the day at the Gleaner Food Bank After a tour we got to work filling boxes for the elderly. In each box were two boxes of cereal, canned fruit, meat, milk, pasta etc, Each box weighs forty pounds.

Align Center

By lunch we had done about 400 in about 1.5 hours.

At lunch we decided to set a goal of 1000 boxes. In the end the students did an amazing job, worked really hard, had great attitudes and team work and by 3pm when we needed to leave hit their up-dated goal of 1200. Below the boxes the team is in front of is about 1/3 of the total!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday Group 2

 Katie, Amanda, Emily, Stella, and Anna

Today our group was able to switch with the others and go and help out with Rebuilding the Wall.  The second group consisted of Stephen, Aimee, Sarah, Stella, Amanda, Emily, Anna, Katie and Katy.  We were able to help with such projects as removing nails from boards and shoveling dirt for community gardens. We all found this experience to be very rewarding and definitely time well spent.  We were also able to interact with the staff of RTW and hear about their life experiences and how they came to be a part of such an honorable mission.  Many of the group members even said that they wanted to come back next year to see how their projects had progressed and help with the next phase. We will try and make that happen!

Aimee, Sarah, Stephen, and Katy

Wheeler Mission

Today we went to the Wheeler Mission for Women. After getting a tour and learning about the amazing work this facility does we did some kitchen work and then joined the women for lunch. In the afternoon some of us did trash detail around the building and parking lot and others cleaned showers, washed walls, mopped floors etc. At the end of the day we joined the kids in the day care facility which was a nice and hopeful way to end.

On a more sober note, while were were there one of the residents had a medical emergency. The facility went into near lock down. I happened to be in the lobby as they rushed her to the waiting EMT truck giving her CPR along the way. While I did not recognize her specifically, this was one of the women we ate lunch with and we most likely saw on our tour. It was a good reminder that for the women in this program life is very challenging, always.
Tomorrow we are off to the Gleaner Food Bank!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Group Service Projects

Monday was our first work day. We divided into two separate groups. My group went to Rebuilding The Wall! We worked with Angel and Harry. We spent the morning and afternoon doing two main tasks. Group one consisting of Sam, Sai, Lindsey, Felicity and Megan worked with Harry pulling nails out of lumber. This is important so that the lumber can be reused in other projects or as fire wood. They got through most of a huge stack of wood. Group two consisted of Jake, Charles and Angel. They removed topsoil from part of the site and loaded the pick-up three times and transported the soil to a site for a community garden. At lunch Mary shared her story and the goals of RTW. Over the last 15 years they have purchased properties which are being renovated. RTW's goal is to get people already in the neighborhood into a situation where they can own a home; to date they have placed five community families in their own homes, and have about six projects on-going currently. Many of the clients of RTW are not able to qualify for a Habitat for Humanity house. RTW works with them to prepare them for home ownership. We were also privileged to hear Angel's story, it was really moving and very powerful, it was an honor to have it shared with us. Checkout their website at

In the afternoon we worked in our same teams continuing what we had done in the morning. WE returned in the afternoon to the Jameson Camp and get ready for dinner with Ginny Carroll. Ms. Carroll explained her new foundation the Circle of Sisterhood foundation at While a new organization they have already made their initial grants giving girls in Africa the opportunity to go to school.

When we got back to camp we were all pretty fired up and had a fantastic two hour discussion about what we had seen/learned and felt about the day! Everyone was great about listening and sharing, we have an awesome group. Everyone says HI to Angie & James!!

Tomorrow we head over to the Wheeler Mission. We found this little pirate smurf (above) on the site and he has become our mascot...we need a name, any ideas?

The other group had the opportunity to work with Wheeler Mission.  This group consisted of Katie, Sarah, Aimee, Stephen, Stella, Amanda, Emily, Anna, and Katy.  They were able to visit all three centers of the agency within Indianapolis including the Men's Residential Center, the Lighthouse Center, and the Women and Children Center.  They spent the day learning about the programs offered by the agency, talking with former residents, helping with housekeeping duties within the homeless shelters, serving lunch, playing with the children of the center, and many other things.  Today really showed the students about how shelters are run and taught them about what some outstanding community members are doing to help out as much as they can.  It was quite the inspiring experience that really gave them insight into all the tasks that make an operation run and be successful. Such a great day!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 1 in the Books!

Hello Again!

Today was a great day where we all got to explore the city of Indianapolis! We were able to play mini-golf, shop, walk around downtown, visit important Indianapolis monuments, or even rent a bike to go along the canal.  We all found our own things to look at and enjoy! (Some of them more simple than others...)

Jake and his treat for the day

Once we returned from our day out and about, we went to visit the Robert Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.  Prior to leaving for the trip, the group read a book written by the center's CEO discussing what is servant leadership.  During our time at the center, we were able to meet with a staff member, Courtney, and discuss the key practices, definitions, and how we can apply servant leadership to this week and the rest of our lives.  The group definitely found this session to be highly valuable as well as a way to get excited for our service sites tomorrow.  We are all eager to do our part down here! 

 Group outside the Greenleaf Center

Tomorrow we will be visiting two separate sites; Wheeler Missions and Rebuilding the Wall.
We will also be eating dinner with Ginny Carroll, from the Circle of the Sisterhood Foundation. We will definitely be sure to add pictures from our experiences so that we can share them with you!

Until tomorrow...

The Indy group

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Finally Made It!

After a long journey and cramped leg space, we finally made it to Indy! Here is a picture of the group as we stopped on the way down. Since the day was long and we were all quite tired, we decided to have a nice night in and get to know each other over some pizza.  We played plenty of ice breakers so we should have each others names down. ;o)

Tomorrow we will have a free afternoon to explore Indianapolis (there have been talks about visiting the zoo) and then we will be having dinner and attending a workshop at the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. We are all very excited to be here finally and cannot wait to go to our week's activities.  Check back again tomorrow for more pictures and updates!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Starting Out

Hello Blog Followers!

Just wanted to see how this all looks, so you can all follow up on our trip and actually be able to read about what we are doing.  We are leaving Eau Claire tomorrow morning, bright and early, and will be heading down to Indianapolis for six days of service, leadership, and fun! There will be 17 of us on this adventure, 15 students, me, and Charles, so it should bring a wide variety of experiences, perspectives, and make for great conversations! Hopefully we will be able to get some of the students to contribute and tell you all about their personal experiences along the way. 

I hope you all enjoy reading about our travels (and the exciting or interesting experiences that we will be sure to have) and we will see you all when we return!