From Sitting to Serving at Siena Francis House

Katherine Osterman

This semester as a senior at Creighton, I am taking Art and Civic Engagement: Empty Bowls, a course where students create bowls to donate to the Empty Bowls Project at Creighton University. The course is a unique approach to the complex goal of addressing world hunger. (more information at Handcrafted bowls are sold with soup at an event and the money raised is donated to an organization working against world hunger. Creighton is hosting an event in December and the money raised will be donated to Siena/Francis House.

While only a few blocks away, I have been to the Siena/Francis House only a few times. The first time was with the CCSJ as a part of the student coordinator week of formation a little over a year ago. I have returned a couple times since then and again sat with the guests to have dinner and then listened to a story of someone who is homeless or in the addiction recovery program.

This past week I had a different, yet meaningful experience. As a part of my ceramics class, a group of us went to Siena/Francis House to serve food. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed building relationships (no matter how brief) and community with the guests as I had previously by going with the CCSJ. I felt torn: I wanted to be in solidarity and talk with the guests, but I had to work serving food, filling coffee and water pitchers, and cleaning tables for the next dinner shift. One of the permanent server’s comments struck me. He mentioned how glad we were here to help because many times serving the food can be overwhelming. At that moment I realized the importance and value of sitting and listening to the guests as well as serving them.

Katherine Osterman
Class of 2014
College of Arts and Sciences
Service & Justice Trips Core Team

The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.