Ten female students at Stonehill College are living together this year in a special-interest housing project called the “Students of Service” house.
The students are taking the mission of Stonehill – and the Congregation of Holy Cross – to heart. Holy Cross founder Blessed Basil Moreau said, “Let us then renew our generosity in His service, and if our work seems hard and difficult, let us remember that, after all, it will last only a short time, whereas its reward will remain forever.”
To that end, the students plan to complete 30 hours of community service each semester and two volunteer events each month, one of which will be for the entire Stonehill community.
In September, the group volunteered at the Stonehill College Farm and in October, they assisted the Children’s Museum in Easton, Mass., with its Halloween Romp. For their communitywide event, the Students of Service House collected donations for Big Brothers Big Sisters in September and inOctober they collected Halloween costumes for local homeless shelters. Over Columbus Day Weekend, members of the house traveled to rural Orland, Maine, to work with Homeworkers Organized for More Employment. The organization provides shelter, food, child care and job and craft training to those who are in need.
“Aligning our work with the mission of the College to create a more just and compassionate world, we spent the weekend reflecting, doing service, engaging ourselves with the community, and learning more about the social injustices in our area,” said student Lauren Bombardier (’13).
Among the many tasks the group completed included cooking for the soup kitchen, organizing and cleaning a thrift store named the “Bargain Barn,” working in the child care center and harvesting wood for wood stoves to prepare for the winter months. Each of the house members preformed more than 20 hours of volunteer work, resulting in more than 200 hours of service.
The special-interest housing program was created to support lifestyles and educational programs that uplift residence hall living for individual student groups. Special-interest housing groups enhance the connection between academic and student life at the College. As part of the spring housing selectionprocess, groups of students may initiate projects around a common interest and request to live together for the year. In such a setting, students learn from each other and share their knowledge with the greater Stonehill community.
A group of male students came together to create the Men for Others special- interest house last year. The eight male students spent their final year at the College immersed in the mission of My Brother’s Keeper and Stonehill by giving back.