In addition to the array of independent volunteer opportunities available, Saint Joseph's hosts various service trips throughout the year that are designed to challenge participants' perceptions and put their faith in action.
Spring Break Workfest
Challenge yourself to look beyond yourself. Ask how you can make a difference in the lives of others. Are you ready to take the challenge?
During Spring Break, SJC students participate in week-long programs serving the underprivileged in locations across the U.S.
The Center at Mariandale, NY
Mercy Farm, VT
Christian Appalachian Project, KY
On a typical day at a Workfest site, students are up and out early, putting in a full day to volunteer at
schools, food pantries and soup kitchens;
resource centers for the homeless;
building homes and repair projects;
and other special projects needed by the community.
Is this the year you join?
International Service Trips
The annual service trips to Haiti and Guatemala, taken during semester break in either December or January, are sponsored by Saint Joseph's in cooperation with Partners in Development (PID) of Ipswich, Massachusetts. Every year, students and other members of the College community travel to Central America and volunteer their time to help those who need it most.
For years, students, faculty, and staff from Saint Joseph's College have volunteered in small Mayan villages in Guatemala. They provide medical aid, help to build basic cinder-block homes, distribute hundreds of pounds of donated items, and spent time simply relaxing and interacting with local families. Generally, the week also includes excursions to the Mayan ruins, the colonial capital of Antigua, and to Panajachel, a scenic village nestled on the shore of beautiful Lake Atitlan.
Students, faculty, and staff complete a week-long service trip to Haiti where they construct new houses, volunteer in a health clinic, and assist on children's programs. Recently, one faculty member worked on an organizational handbook for the field director of the Haitian PID operation, designing training for employees and volunteers, as well as creating job descriptions for the Haitian directors.
This Student Government-produced video speaks to both our Mercy heritage, and how our community "Makes Mercy Real" in our daily lives at the local and global level through the work at our Mercy Center.
Each year, Saint Joseph's Mercy Center participates in a "Midnight Run." in connection with the Midnight Run Organization out of New York. In 1987, the Midnight Run organization was founded and has since grown into 1,000 relief missions per year. Midnight Run volunteers from churches, synagogues, schools, and other civic groups distribute food, clothing, blankets and personal care items to the homeless poor on the streets of New York City. Before we depart, SJC students make sandwiches and package up meals, sort winter clothing items donated by members of the community, and sort through and assemble packages containing toiletries. Then, Saint Joseph's students and staff pack up the goods, drive to New York City, distribute the food and toiletries to those in need, and return to campus--all within a 24-hour period. Midnight Run is an exhausting, but thoroughly exhilarating, yearly expedition that helps build a bridge between homeless and sheltered communities by reinforcing the human connection.