It was our first meal of the week. The Stroud President of Habitat for Humanity walked us into an older looking Mozzios Italian Restaurant. As we walked in, our group went to get a couple Pizzas, but Marilyn (the president) immediate went to say hi to the only other group of people at the restaurant. We went to find seats and Marilyn introduced us to the group eating. They immediately showered us with thanks. At first, I thought that we would be working on their house for the week. They were very appreciative of the work we were going to do even though we hadn’t even started it yet. I was shocked to find out that we weren’t working on their house though. They were just people who lived in Stroud. They were thanking us because we would be helping better the community as a whole. It wasn’t their house we would be finishing but by helping with the house the whole community of Stroud would be improved. They also were excited for us to help the owner of the house. After this interaction I realized that Stroud was different from any place I have lived or been. Their small town was connected in a very special way.
Our group learned about this more when we met the adults we would be working with throughout the week. First off, they were all retired. On their time off they decided to volunteer their time working on houses throughout Stroud and bettering the community. All we did was take our spring break off; they took their retirement to do this. They all volunteer because they take pride in the quality of Stroud. Building houses is a way for them to improve the community they love. Throughout the week, they set the tone with their energy and attitude towards the project. Specifically, the leader of the project, Joe Bill, set the tone every morning with his prayers. These prayers focused on realizing all that we have and our blessed with. He said we can use what we have to help others and that’s what we were doing this week.
The sense of community was experienced again at every meal. At every lunch and dinner, the image was the same. Many different women and men behind the counter in the kitchen making us homemade meals. This meant fried chicken, potatoes, beans, corn, ham, turkey, and sometimes even pie. Different members of the community took the time to feed us because they saw the value in what we were doing. Through these meals we got to know the people of Stroud and learn about their lives. These meals brought us into the connectivity of Stroud.
My goal for coming back go Creighton is that we can take back the connectivity and care that Stroud has. Everyone in that community cares for each other and feels connected to one another. This is something that we can take back to our Creighton community.
Class of 2020
The SCSJ 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 Schlegel Center for Service and Justice (SCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the SCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.