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Sunday: Summary/Welcome

Hello to all the moms, dads, friends, family members, coworkers, students and … other wonderful people,

Let me formally introduce myself, my name is Kelsey Church Brunton from a small town in Rockingham County, VA where there are probably more chickens, turkeys, and cows than there are people.  I work for Christopher Newport University (my alma mater) as a University Fellow.  One of the worst parts of my job is facilitating this trip with my copilot Anita (she is the avid blogger and I was completely kidding about this being the worst part of my job).

The Trip: 9 students of all grades and majors from CNU with a desire to serve are dedicating their spring break to helping people suffering from poverty and hunger in Baltimore, MD with Catholic Charities.  The students will be introducing themselves and sharing their experiences, as Ebony and Spenser already have, as the week goes on.

REACH Out (Raising Educational Awareness through Compassion and Humanity, for those of you who are new to the blog and the program): A student organization whose goal is to develop relationships and gain a better understanding of the people and community around us through engaged service.  This is deep stuff here, we have come to Baltimore to do more than just make box lunches and drop them off (while that still is an honorable thing to do).   REACH Out is an organization at CNU that filled a void for students of any age, major, or religious belief, who wanted to give their time in the name of service, simply service with no strings attached.

Tonight we had our first of many reflections.  We asked everyone to share their hopes, fears, and goals for the trip.  I hope that they will continue to share and connect with each other, the people we meet throughout the week, and with you all because I was really inspired by the truth and heart that transpired.

My fears for the week are many, being one of the “moms”  of the trip, I worry that one of the students will be kidnapped and ransomed for all the money that CNU has invested in the new science building.  I fear that there will be a traffic report in my name… “there is a 2 mile back up behind a slow moving white passenger van in the city of Baltimore.”  I fear that I will lock the keys in the car, that I will drive off without one of the students, that I will ruin all of dinner, or that I will lose my laminated/color coded itinerary.  But more importantly are my hopes, I hope that I will be helpful and have the courage to learn and embrace the intimidating homeless peoples.

It has always been on my bucket list as Jack Nicholson would say, the buried life list as my brother, Cole, would say, or my life list as my coworker, Kimberly, would say, to serve in a soup kitchen and tomorrow I will be able to check that off my list!  Big day!  But my challenge/goal for the group was to have an experience this week that will move them to serve after this week, when they are not being bused to and from service sites.  I hope that this will be an experience that will start a lifetime of consciousness for others and a constant reminder to give your time to deserving people.

These students have been absolutely wonderful and I can’t wait to work along side of them!

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