Sophomores Serve Needy of Inner-City Milwaukee for Annual Service Trip


Sienna Callaway, Lily Arkens, Staff Writers, Journalism I

Notre Dame sophomores went on a service trip to City on the Hill in Milwaukee last weekend to help those in poverty.

Eighteen sophomores went on the trip, Morgan Gokey, Emily Kukieka, Kinsey Gallagher, Emma Zankoul, Greta Fangman, Ava Parker, Sawyer Klein, Ethan LeCaptain, Cayden Kiefert, Graham Koehler, Christian Collins, Jack Collins, Pietro Auricchio, Giuliano Auricchio, Max Bonkowski, Joseph Hunt, Sam Behrend and Calvin Tilkens.

“I loved my entire job because I got to talk to the people. The other jobs just served the people but I got to know them too. I made them feel important. If I was seeing them on the street, that would have not happened, so I loved seeing them come to us so I could talk to them,” said Zankoul. 

Zankoul decided to go on the trip because she needed her service hours, but in the end, she realized how fortunate she was to have the things she needs. 

“The phone-a-thon is a great way to get your hours but you just ask for money, but here you help the poor. They can get free lunch, hygiene stuff, groceries, etc. I just feel like I am making a greater impact,” said Zankoul. 

The volunteers had breakfast around 8:30, set up around 10 and the people could come in from 12-4.

They set up different stations like prayer stations, preaching, stretching/workout, thanksgiving meals, and more.

“My job was to talk to and pray with people who looked like they were going through a lot, and although it was hard to start so many conversations with people I have never met, it was an amazing experience. I got the chance to hear so many hard stories, but they all had awesome lessons that will stick with me for a lifetime,” said Hunt. 

This year the service trip changed from being in Chicago to be in Milwaukee. 

“It was different in Chicago. Compared to the Chicago trip, I am going to utilize the City on the Hill organization again. It was safer and more interactions in a safe setting. It is also more convenient,” said Daniel Kriegl.

About 117 people were helped over the weekend. 

“It was an awesome, impactful trip, and I would definitely do it again if given the chance. I would totally recommend it to others. I met a lot of really awesome people and had some really impactful conversations,” said Hunt.  

The students and chaperones left after school on Friday and came back around 12 on Sunday. 

They took three vans with six students in each.

The City on the Hill organization dates back a long time ago.

“It was a hospital in 1863 and turned into a homeless shelter by some nuns. Then it went vacant for a while because they could not keep it up and running. They donated the place for others to build it up and keep it moving forward,” said Kriegl.

There were multiple places that our students could have gone to help out, but City on the Hill fit very well because it was “very faith-emphasized even though they were evangelical Christians.”

Trinity Bible College from North Dakota also helps out the second week in November, “which will be cool because we will be able to interact with them every year now,” said Kriegl. 

“My main takeaway from the trip for me was, interacting with the people in need and even more so, watching the students interact with the homeless. They will never forget this moment even if they try. It also made us realize how wealthy and blessed we are,” said Kriegl. 



A second student-journalist, Lily Arkins, wrote the following story.

This past weekend the traditional sophomore mission trip, led by Campus Minister Daniel Kriegl, took place in Milwaukee at City on the Hill.

Eighteen sophomores left after school on Friday in three different vans with six students and a chaperone in each van. They arrived back home on Sunday at noon. 

“The trip is always the second week of November because sophomores need their service hours,” said Kriegl. 

Emma Zankoul, Morgan Gokey, Emily Kukiela, Greta Fangman, Ava Parker, Kinsey Gallagher, Sawyer Klein, Ethan LeCaptain, Cayden Kiefert, Graham Koehler, Christian Collins, Jack Collins, Pierto Auricchio, Giuliano Auricchio, Max Bonkowski, Joseph Hunt, Sam Behrend, and Calvin Tilkens all attended with Ciera Gerl, Molly VandenHouten and Kreigl as their chaperones. 

They stayed at City on the Hill, a hospital that has been renovated into an inter-city rescue mission. 

City on the Hill provides hygiene supplies, a free lunch and groceries for poor people. 

“I worked with the receptionist to register those that came in and gave them coupons for supplies. I loved my entire job because I got to interact with the people that were coming in. I got to make conversation and get to know them a little bit,” said Zankoul. 

Announcements were made about the trip on the Morning Show. Those interested had to write an essay on why they were worthy to go. Only about 60% of those were accepted. 

Joe Hunt was one of the students that prayed with the homeless people. 

“When I was praying with the people, it was super compelling,” said Hunt. 

Kriegl hopes to stick to this destination in future mission trips because he felt the students were able to interact with the homeless in a safer setting instead of being out on the streets with them. 

Students had to cover all their own expenses for the trip. 

“This trip was a great time to spend time with God and show service to the less fortunate. The kids will never forget this experience for their entire life, even if they try to,” said Kriegl.

Alex Thomas contributed to this story.