Mount Mercy students head to Chicago for inner-city service work

Mount Mercy University students are skipping the beach and heading to Chicago for an inner-city service trip over spring break.

The group of students, faculty and staff will leave March 23 for the service trip to inner-city Chicago, returning on March 31. The group will partner with Port Ministries in Chicago, where they will be working to support the ministry’s outreach programs.

Working in one of the most impoverished areas of Chicago, the Mount Mercy team will provide support to programs such as the mobile soup kitchen, the youth sports center and adult education center. Port Ministries also supports a free medical clinic, where Mount Mercy students will help provide support for the medical staff.

The service project, the first from Mount Mercy to head to Chicago, will include reflection and discussion time built into the team’s trip, allowing students to focus not only on how they are helping those in need, but developing a deeper understanding of human service projects, and how to directly interact and help those in need.

“Often we become blinded to the needs in our own backyards. They are such a part of our lives that we no longer notice them,” says Brooke Oehme, coordinator of volunteerism and service learning, who will travel with the team to Chicago. “It is my hope that this trip will open our eyes to the problems of others and compel us to do more to help meet those needs at home.”

Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1928, Mount Mercy provides opportunities to integrate faith and learning for all students. Mount Mercy is committed to serving the community wherever human need exists through four interdependent goals: using reflective judgment, engaging in strategic communication, serving the common good, and promoting purposeful living. Students regularly participate in service projects that involved everything from helping flood-damaged homes in New Orleans to participating in Martin Luther King, Jr. Day community-wide volunteer projects.

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