Around the World By Tom Brockman, Editor
Ohio Dominican’s commitment to service extends far beyond Central Ohio. Every spring, members of the ODU community volunteer to participate in one-week service trips to locations both inside the United States and abroad. While many individuals tend to associate spring break with relaxation and adventurous road trips, ODU offers students an opportunity to spend this time volunteering, often in less than ideal conditions. In March, a group of students and staff participated in ODU’s annual Appalachia Service Trip. During this weeklong trip to Rutledge, Tennessee, participants completed a wide range of projects to help those who live and work in this poverty-stricken region. Led by campus chaplain, Fr. Paul Colloton, the group joined students from Saint Xavier University in Chicago and the University of Notre Dame to split and deliver wood to area residents, visit residents at a local nursing home, and clean up yard waste outside and complete improvement projects inside a children’s home. The hours were long and the sleeping arrangements were not the most comfortable, but the contributions made by this group in just a matter of days were profound.
Lives were touched that week, and work is already underway to prepare for next spring’s trip to Appalachia to build upon this foundation of hope, grace and love. At the same time the Appalachia trip is underway, ODU has ODU PA students provide medical care traditionally led a during a service mission trip to Haiti in service trip abroad to spring 2018. the island nation of Haiti. During this trip, participants volunteer at the New Life Children’s Home, an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, and Physician Assistant master’s students provide nourishment and medical care to individuals in some of the country’s many remote, impoverished villages. Traveling abroad presents its own set of unique challenges, as our volunteers learned this past spring. Unfortunately, this year’s trip had to be postponed after the U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory due to crime and civil unrest in Haiti. Despite the ongoing volatility that remains in this region, organizers are currently exploring the possibility of rescheduling the trip to take place later this year. The selfless work, contributions and sacrifice of the students, faculty and staff who participate in these trips illustrate ODU’s commitment to having a positive impact on the lives of others, no matter how far they may live from 1216 Sunbury Road.
McKinzie Bissel ’21 caulks window trim during a service mission trip to Rutledge, Tennessee in spring 2019.
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