Mission: I’m Home is celebrating its 10-year anniversary by taking Stevenson students to help rehabilitate disaster sites, including New Orleans, Baton Rouge, New Jersey, Staten Island and even locally in Baltimore. These relief trips give students the opportunity to spend their spring break helping those in need.
During spring break 2018, March 10 through 17, a group of students will travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to continue building homes for those affected by natural disaster.
On their first trip to Baton Rouge, 18 students attended, sleeping on the floor of a church each night after a full day’s work. Now over 600 students have attended these service trips, which have helped bring over 50 families back into their homes, according to Morgan Somerville, director of student engagement.
Mission: I’m Home (MIH) was founded by several students along with Somerville, Arthur Fifer, an assistant information systems professor; and Romas Laskauskas, an assistant management professor, all of whom volunteered through the St. Bernard Project.
These three leaders and many other volunteers have made the trip what it is today, working with a variety students, varying from trip to trip.
They have helped the Sisters of the Holy Family with work needed in the school, contributing computers to classrooms through the generosity of Stevenson University and under the direction of Fifer. In the winter semester he teaches a course which allows students to get three credits in under three weeks in Baton Rouge, switching out old computers with refurbished ones.
MIH allows students to come together, “regardless of where you are coming from or what you’re doing. We are all coming together to get people back into their homes,” said Laskauskas. Being a part of one of these alternative spring break trips offers an experience that cannot be learned in a classroom, he added.
For the future of Mission: I’m Home, “Morgan Somerville has been looking into Houston and even the possibility of Puerto Rico,” said Laskauskas. The women’s ice hockey team will go to Houston for a week in May with Somerville, and although one day they are hoping to travel to Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria devastated the country to such an extent the group is unsure of when that would be possible.
For those interested in making a difference, without being able to go on the trips, the club holds a BINGO night to raise money for students participating in the service projects, and allows for the possibility of donations though the website: https://apps.stevenson.edu/givetosu/