We witnessed challenging situations, engaged prophetic people, heard powerful stories, and helped where we could. The challenge for us now is to decide what to do with our experiences. “Now What?” We offer here a few suggestions of how to get involved here in Omaha and beyond. We do not have all the answers, but we can help you to stay engaged in the seven pillars of the Service & Justice Trip program while you ask better questions and live into the answers.
Check out the Trip Specific Opportunities page to view volunteer opportunities similar to what you did on your service trip.
- “If every American donated five hours a week, it would equal the labor of 20 million full-time volunteers.” – Whoopi Goldberg
- SCSJ weekly service sites (transportation provided)
- Local Service Agencies
- Get involved with your residence hall’s community partner
- Catholic Relief Services has many programs and ideas
- Organize a drive for the food bank, school supplies
- Try an academic service-learning course to integrate community service with your academic work
- Participate in Project Homeless Connect
- The U.S. bishops say “at the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.”
- Participate in local community organizing events (Omaha Together One Community, etc)
- Think of no one as “them”
- Notice the workings of power and privilege in your culture
- Know how your lettuce and coffee are grown: wake up and smell the exploitation
- Visit people, places, and cultures- not tourist attractions
- Watch films with subtitles, learn another language, culture and history
Know that no one is silent though many are not heard, work to change this
- View Fr. Boyle and his talk about working with LA gangs as part of Homeboy Industries
- Service & Justice Trip Gatherings
- Keep in contact with your Service & Justice Trip group, write letters to your host site- consider spending more time with them
- Join a service, justice or cultural student organization
- Get to know diverse communities of East Omaha through one of the Community Orientations through the SCSJ
- Consider the Cortina Community for sophomores.
- Consider studying abroad with the Encuentro Dominicano program
- Go to conferences to meet others doing similar things across the country (Fair Trade, Sweat-free, Hunger & Homelessness)
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Compost
- Clean out your closet- donate anything that you don’t use
- If you have to buy something, consider buying second-hand
- Fix or sew what you can instead of buying something new
- Take time to listen to people’s stories
- Go for a week without TV, iPods, E-Mail.
- Story of Stuff
- The Great Garbage Patch
- Check out the Green America website
- Ignatian Advocacy Resources
- Use your voice- tell your senators and representatives about your experience and your concerns.
- Go to the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington D.C., in November.
- Sign up for action alerts about Immigration, Hunger, OxFam.
- Get involved in local community organizing Omaha Together One Community.
- Read international news sources for other perspectives (NPR, Al Jazeera, BBC)
- Support sustainable agriculture
- buy locally- at farmers’ markets across Omaha- downtown on Saturday mornings). Before or after farmer’s market, check out Shadowbrook Farms
- Check out the Nebraska Food Co-op
- Learn about vegetarian options
- Buy organic (try Whole Foods or Jane’s Health Market in Benson)
- Walk, ride a bike, carpool or use the shuttle, try riding the bus
- Bring your own shopping bags
- Local Sustainable Education on the news in Omaha about bottled water.
- Support the idea of building green buildings on campus
- Conserve! When It Comes To Shampoo, Less Is More.
- Check out Washington DC’s Lenten Carbon Fast for ideas on reducing your carbon footprint
- Sign up to share your story at the Student Stories Lunch to tell the CU community about what you learned and how you grew over break
- Consider joining a small faith sharing group like a Christian Life Community (contact Campus Ministry)
- Keep a Journal or Blog (send your Service & Justice Trip reflections to Jeff Peak to be put on the SCSJ website)
- Seek out a spiritual advisor/mentor
- Go on a retreat
- Take a Faith and Moral Development course (Justice & Peace Studies)
- Do highs and lows with your roommate(s)
- Do a daily examen, yoga, meditate or pray with your faith tradition
Ready for another experience?
- Go on an another service or immersion experience.
- Coordinate next year’s Service & Justice Trips (applications are available immediately after break for the following year)
- Consider Post-Graduate Volunteer work
- Work or Intern with a non-profit this summer! (Check out the Career & Academic Planning Program)