NDA Service Day Changes Student as Well as the Community

Danielle Lippert, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

On April 21, every student at Notre Dame will be doing a service project throughout the Green Bay area. Students had the option to choose service sites such as elementary and middle schools, local churches and community organizations, and public parks like Baird Creek.

Having this opportunity to go out and serve the community means the world to me. It’s amazing the impact you can have on someone with just a little effort to help.

I spend my summers volunteering with the Miracle League and the Brown County Library’s Ashwaubenon branch, but NDA’s Service Day gives me the opportunity to do something a little different than what I usually do.

My freshman year, I went to St. John the Evangelist homeless shelter. When we first arrived, we were shown around the facility and learned the rules for the people staying there.

The homeless people who stay at St. John’s usually sleep on mats in a big room in the center of the building. Women have a separate room, and people who are working also have a separate room.

Individuals who stay the night at St. John’s are expected to leave at a certain time in the morning, but if an individual has a night shift at his job, he can stay longer to get enough sleep.

Walking through St. John’s homeless shelter really woke me up to the homelessness problem in Green Bay. I didn’t realize there were so many people without basic needs like food and shelter.

St. John’s is doing an amazing job of keeping the homeless people off the streets at night during Wisconsin’s cold and brutal winters.

Service opportunities at homeless shelters, retirement homes, grade schools and many more show us a different perspective. We can get so caught up in our lives that we forget about all of the other people out there and what they are going through. NDA Serves gives students an opportunity to have their eyes opened to a new group of people.

NDA Serves isn’t about the friends you go with or the day you get off school. It’s about the new connections you make within the community and the new perspective on life you get after it.