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Nazareth volunteers work with Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity trip to Solsberry Hill, Ind., for Nazareth students:
Robert Tworek of Westchester, Mike Heene and Caitlyn Degnan of Chicago, Kevin Saladino of La Grange and Anna Gustafson of Western Springs. | Photo courtesy of Nazareth Academy
Nazareth students Cody Roll, Ryan Minik, Kerry Kilcoyne, Kaitlyn Yarka, Catherine Gutierrez, Eileen Kennedy,, Megan O’Kane, Mary Grace Chizewski and Jennifer Salata participated in the trip. | Photo courtesy of Nazareth Academy
Cody Roll of Lyons and Ryan Minik of Western Springs do some work during the mission trip. | Photo courtesy of Nazareth Academy
Eileen Kennedy of La Grange on the Habitat for Humanity trip to Solsberry Hill, Ind. | Photo courtesy of Nazareth Academy

A group of 25 Nazareth Academy faculty, students and an alumni traveled to Solsberry Hill, Ind., to fulfill the essential pillar of service.

This was the eighth Habitat for Humanity trip for Nazareth students, who worked and lived in rural Monroe County on a farm/retreat center recently.

Working in small groups, the volunteers packed meals, painted, sorted, cleaned, constructed and landscaped on a number of sights to improve the lives of Monroe County residents. They helped out at a Head Start school and at Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, a resale shop run by donations and volunteers in support of building projects. Students also had the chance to work directly with residents to improve their homes.

“Our kids witness extreme poverty and get to understand the struggles others endure daily,” said Joe Wejman, Nazareth social studies teacher and seven year adult leader. “Students see a world that on the surface is much like their own, but they see how there are people struggling amidst a seemingly well-to-do area.”

The students incorporate prayer into their daily life and are taught to understand the connection between making a difference with Habitat and how that action fits into the gospel.

“It is a great combination of work, play and prayer that allows me the opportunity to get to know students and fellow faculty on a new level,” says Social Studies teacher Anthony Gonzalez, who made his fourth Solsberry trip this year.

Science teacher Sean Banasiak, social studies teacher Anthony Gonzalez, religion teacher Laurie Stanton, social studies teacher Joe Wejman and Emily Duranty from the Class of 2008 accompanied the students.

Students attending were Madison Waun of Hinsdale, Francesca Fiermonte, Erin Getty, Emma Holly, Eileen Kennedy, and Kevin Saladino from La Grange, Mary Grace Chizewski from LaGrange Park, Anna Gustafson and Ryan Minik from Western Springs and Robert Tworek from Westchester.

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