2018 SPRING BREAK INTERFAITH SERVICE TEAMS
Helping Houston Heal: Hurricane Harvey Recovery
On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall over the Texas coast and the greater metropolitan area of Houston, dumping record amounts of rainfall and causing devastating flooding. While we hope to send people to assist with the clean-up process, this team’s specific mission will be contingent on the actual needs of the community at that time. With the flexibility to face changing plans and needs, we will serve with the people of Houston as they seek to rebuild their homes and lives.
Facing Florida’s Tempest: Hurricane Irma Recovery
On September 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma—one of the strongest storms in recorded history—made landfall over the state of Florida. Over the next days and weeks, we will discover what the needs of our neighbors to the south are. Like many teams, this team will require flexibility as we not only discover what we can do but also where exactly we will travel to lend the help of our hands and hearts.
Re-New Orleans: Hurricane Katrina Recovery
Years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans still struggles to recover! Many people have yet to restore their homes or rebuild from their loss. This team will be part of the ongoing effort by OWU students, faculty, and staff to remember and continue to stand in solidarity with those whose lives have been so irrevocably altered by this disaster. Team members will spend the week working with the St. Bernard Project (a non-profit formed specifically by an OWU alum to assist with hurricane recovery), either gutting damaged homes so that they can be rebuilt, or starting the rebuilding process on already-gutted homes. The team also will explore the greater issues of community building, as well as national and global responsibility for disaster restoration (not only in New Orleans, but world-wide).
Dare to Understand: Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, PA
OWU’s strong and vibrant interfaith community will partner with The Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia for an intense week of community service, leadership learning, and interfaith encounters. The “Dare to Understand” team will work with the Philly staff to develop a customized experience for our personal growth by confronting our preconceived notions of “The Other," and then transform those ideas into a deeper respect for diversity and difference which goes beyond mere tolerance to active cooperation and care.
Building and Rebuilding: Lakota Nation, SD
This intentionally interfaith team will engage in the long-term mission to rebuild Lakota-Anglo relationships through respectful conversation, deep critical reflection, and dedicated service. We will work with Milk’s Camp, located on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Milk’s Camp is an organization serving an important function for those living on and off reservations as a site for cultural learning and growth, guidance for youth, and aid for Lakota people with physical impairments. With an open mind, an open heart, and a desire to learn from perspectives far beyond our own, we will thoughtfully examine both the damage done by Christian missionaries in this place, and the powerful potential for healing between our broken cultures.
Connecting with the Community: Bucerias, Mexico
In any kind of cross-cultural experience, the power of direct, respectful contact between two different groups can’t be overestimated. This team will be working with Human Connections, an organization that specializes in cross-cultural immersion with an eye towards growth and learning for all involved, in the town of Bucerias, Mexico. Together, they will explore the economics of social responsibility and sustainable practices as well as serve with community members as needed. Past projects have included construction, education, art, clean-up, and more, but the exact tasks of this team will depend on the expressed needs of the people in the community as the year progresses.