ASTRA Continues to Serve Despite Pandemic, Virtual Learning


Sophia Schauer, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

There has probably never been a greater need for ASTRA’s Thanksgiving Food Drive.  The goods donated by students and their families have been distributed to Paul’s Pantry and Freedom House. 

ASTRA, the service arm of Campus Ministry has also been doing meals for St. John’s Homeless Shelter, “more than we would typically do,” according to Campus Minister Daniel Kriegl. 

Despite virtual learning and students not in the building like usual, Kriegl is pleased by student response to the service opportunities. 

“There has been a lot of participation, and truly it is helping,” he said.  “We also have students making Christmas cards and such for some nursing homes and the Altrusa House. It is never hard to find ways to serve.”

Indeed, ASTRA has many more plans for the upcoming semester, including walking the 40 Days for Life when Lent begins and working with the Quad Parishes to help out with their ESL classes.

To stay organized during the pandemic the service club relies on Google Classroom which at the moment has around 180 NDA students in it. 

“We hold Zoom meetings around every other week, and usually 40-50 students attend the meetings,” said Kriegl. “The great leaders and students that want to get involved is what really keeps us organized.” 

Co-presidents for this year are seniors Alli Welker and Briana Fitzgerald. 

The campus minister is always welcoming new members. 

“Anyone can join. They just need to email me and say they want to get involved in the club,” he said. Several of my leaders invited their friends and then they spread it to their friends. That is the best way to grow I believe. Grass roots and word of mouth.”