Acts of Sustainability – St. Mary of the Woods, IN

Over Spring Break, I was gifted with the opportunity to coordinate a trip on sustainability to the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence in St. Mary of the Woods, IN. Being a first-time coordinator, it was great to not only have an impactful experience myself, but to also share the experience with the participants in my group. On our trip, we had helped with different chores around the Center and farm. We moved compost to prepare for planting season, participated in a favorite activity of doing alpaca chores, and helped collect eggs from the chickens. I particularly enjoyed being able to assist with the alpacas and learning what care and time an alpaca farm requires.


It was also great to immerse ourselves in the community that we were in as we were able to help at a thrift store and at a food pantry. The food pantry was an impactful experience for several members on our trip as we were not just handing out bags of food, but instead were helping to run a pantry that allowed those coming in to choose what foods they wanted to take. It was great to see this pantry and how it uplifted the dignity of those that we were serving. The trip also offered many experiences to learn from like why sustainability is such an important issue. It really showed me that even though there are many systemic issues related to sustainability, there are also steps that I can take in my daily life to be more sustainable. I am going to, after experiencing the trip, try and plant a garden at home, as well as pay more attention to where my food comes from and try to eat more local options. I think this trip really put into perspective for me how important it is to be aware of how my actions affect things and to be more intentional in all that I do.

Jacob Benne
Class of 2021

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