Somehow I was granted the privilege of being a chaperone for 10 Nardin High School young ladies along with Stephanie Malinowski and Rosalie Sperrazza. In two mini vans we headed to Cincinnati, Ohio to give a week of service to others.
I cannot tell you the amount of people who said to me, why Cincinnati? We have so many opportunities to help people right here in Buffalo. True enough. But staying in your own city fills you with distractions, and you stay in the safe zone, and the unknown tends to bond with the group together.
The best reason to go on a service retreat is that you see the world differently and you see each other differently too. You really grow in admiration of each other. New friends. New perspectives. And you become so grateful for what you have waiting for you back home. A family, a home, a comfortable bed, a dog, a school you are proud to attend, and the list goes on and on.
Please watch the movie to better understand.
Our world was expanded in the city of Cincinnati. Driving over the Ohio River into Kentucky a few times, all the hills, all the stairs, the trains, and the historic row houses. We over came fear and we had a boost in our confidence that we can return home and paint a deck for someone too. We discovered the positive difference you can make in someones life. You witness immediate results and see the smiles on their faces. The young ladies saw the good in their own city of Buffalo too. Little things that they took for granted like our beautiful view of Lake Erie, walking along Canalside and the cooler temperatures. No matter where you go, you always stay loyal to your hometown and getting out of town just reinforces that.
We lived in simple housing, cell phones were restricted, mirrors were hard to find in the house, and meals were prepared together.Each day began and ended in the chapel for reflection and prayer. What a peaceful way to live.
We all have opportunities to mentor, to share our talents, to influence for the good , to life people up, to love and encourage each other, to believe and help others. I hope that Ava, Amelia, Adrianna, Caroline, Isabella, Leah, McKenzie, Melanie, Shannon, and Tori all realize how much I care about them and see their goodness and light shine so bright.
Thank you to the City of Cincinnati who opened our eyes to the amount of non profit agencies that we don’t have to help people along when they need it most. The generosity of it’s residents is so impressive.
See the world differently. Leave our distractions behind and go on a service trip. You will return home in a new light.