While most students were sleeping in on Sept. 9, the McNicholas faculty and staff spent the day serving the community of Cincinnati at Stepping Stones and Clermont Senior Services , as well as working on the McNicholas , making blankets for Every Child Succeeds, and helping with flood relief efforts in St. Bernard.
The Faculty Service Day is now a decade old and happens every other year. One year the faculty and staff attend a facilitated retreat, and the following year they go into the community to serve.
Theology teacher and Campus Ministry Director Jeff Hutchinson-Smyth organized the event. “It’s a good way to build relationships with people who teach on the other side of the building that you don’t see often,” Hutchinson-Smyth said.
Receptionist Jill Cheek spent the day weeding and trimming bushes for Clermont Senior Services. “It was a nice way to spend with coworkers,” Cheek said. “You could tell it meant a lot to the people living there.”
Others traveled to the community of St. Bernard to help clear rocks out of an elderly man’s backyard that had washed into his yard due to the flooding Aug. 28. Besides making blankets for Every Child Succeeds, the teachers and staff used their lunch money to buy school supplies to benefit Upspring, an organization that educates children who are homeless. They were able to purchase 115 units of supplies to donate.
At Stepping Stones, the organization does not have enough people to help with the maintenance, so they rely solely on volunteers to help maintain the property. Faculty and staff spent the day trimming rose bushes and pulling weeds. At McNick, other volunteers weeded garden beds, trimmed the raspberry canes, and harvested some of the vegetables. On the other side of McNick, others cleaned up the land lab by picking up trash and trimming the foliage to open up the trail more.
Twelve faculty and staff members attended the Prayer for Peace Mass celebrated by Archbishop Dennis Schnurr at The Church of the Resurrection. Chosen as a Day of Prayer and Peace by the U.S. Catholic Church, the mass focused on promoting peace, racial justice, racial ethnic healing and gun violence.
“Archbishop Schnurr challenged us to not just speak out but to stand up and take action,” Theology teacher and Service Coordinator Sam Roflow said. This mass is the beginning of several programs that students will be able to take apart of in the future.