To Write Love On Her Arms
My break consisted of getting in contact with the Western and Bradley To Write Love On Her Arms University Chapters to potentially bring a University Chapter to Illinois State! I have been working with different organizations on campus raising awareness for the cause and have successfully gained momentum with this. If all goes well, Illinois State will have a TWLOHA UChapter by Fall 2013. The Chapter will be a way to raise awareness to break the stigmas surrounding depression, suicide, addictions, self-injury and overall mental health. It’s a message of hope and healing that needs to be heard.
–Written by Student Life Senator Leah Rolando
Mission Trip to Mexico
On Saturday, March 9, 50 Illinois State University students loaded a bus headed for Chicago. Their ultimate goal was Magdalena, Mexico. This group of young Christians decided to spend their spring break serving those less fortunate and spreading the love of Christ. At Casa Vida y Esperanza, an orphanage for children, missionaries are hard at work parenting to orphans and spreading the Gospel. The goal of this orphanage is one that reflects God’s word and through many years of hard work, they have built a safe place where children feel comfortable and can come to be free from the trials they face on the streets of Magdalena. These children come from backgrounds we only hear about in books or movies.
During this week, the students poured concrete floors, stuccoed houses, painted, and fixed roofs. As a part of this group, I was able to participate in working around the orphanage, but also was able to play with the kids and express care for them. My hope is that going on this trip benefited the children, the orphanage staff and most importantly brought glory to God. Please take the opportunity to go on a mission trip or alternative spring break once during your college career, you will not regret it!
–Written by Academic Senator Lynnae Braker
Pay It Forward Bus Tour
This year for spring break I decided to go on the Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF) Pay it Forward Bus Tour. I am currently a senior and have always wanted to go on an alternative spring break trip. So I thought this year was my last chance to do it and I am so glad I did. I spent nine days with 46 wonderful people while helping others. We completed service projects in Benson, Mo.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Amarillo, Texas; Santa Fe, N.M.; Pueblo, Colo.; and Denver, Colo. Every place and project was unique. In Missouri, we cleaned up and painted a youth summer camp. In Oklahoma, we worked with Feed the Children and packed boxes of food and hygiene items for kids and families. While we were there I was absolutely touched by this program. Something we were told that I will never forget is, “42% of homeless people in the United States are children.” This blew me away and my heart still breaks for those children. Needless to say we pack as many boxes in four hours that they would normally pack in three days.
Other projects we did included: yard work, farming, picking up lots of tumble weed (which are very sharp and thorny by the way) making mulch and planting trees. I am going to have to say planting trees was the hardest thing I have ever done. For anyone that knows me I am not the strongest gal but I planted three with the help of my news friends.
Overall, I learned so much about myself on this trip and was able to make a difference in other people’s lives in the process. I received this amazing feeling after completing every project. Being able to meet and talk with the people from the different states we went to, and hear their stories were inspiring as well. I look back on the trip to the first day in Missouri and remember what the owner of the summer camp said, “For those of you facing that time in your life to choose a path, just think, do you want to successful or significant.” And that is what I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
–Written by Executive Director Allyson Corona