Summer Service Trip 2018
Kerry Madden - March 1, 2018
The Summer Service Trip will span the entire Chesapeake Bay area. We will pass Ocean City, Maryland into quiet, non-tourist shore towns that are all but cutoff from society—each town often poorer than the next. This service trip combines direct service with educational elements regarding region as well as environmental concerns and struggles.
During our stay, we will be working with a few different organizations, including Salisbury Urban Ministries and Chesapeake Housing Mission, two volunteer organizations we have enjoyed working with in the past. For Salisbury Urban Ministries, we will be volunteering in their Kid’s Café, an afterschool program for children below the poverty line. Kid’s Café offers dinner, homework help, and a safe place for children during after school hours. For the Chesapeake Housing Mission, we will be building a wheelchair ramp for a family in need of increased accessibility.
A new site that we have added this year is the Christian Shelter. They are a temporary emergency shelter for homeless men, women, and children. There, we will be serving meals and assisting with their clothing ministry.
In addition to our direct service component, we are excited to learn about and explore Smith Island, a community of descendants from the original English Colonial settlers. This community has preserved their language and culture for hundreds of years, but due to economic and environmental concerns, their population and land are shrinking. In a decade, without any environmental change or a breakthrough in technology, their land will sink below sea level and their culture—which has been sustained through their island living—will be threatened.
Throughout this experience, the members of our team will challenge one another to step out of our comfort zones (not only in service but also in our daily efforts) to live simply and develop an enhanced awareness of our environmental impact and how we contribute to issues that affect the Eastern Shore and our own communities. We will be living in a small, one room shed, cooking organically and sustainably on the only outdoor grill, while enjoying nature and the acreage around us. By living simply, we can serve and be present to those who we encounter on the Chesapeake Bay of Maryland.