During the first week of spring break, MVNU’s CoSMO group Mandate traveled to Indianapolis, Ind., to spread love by rehabilitating a local neighborhood.
The 10-student team was led by senior biology major Anthony DeMarco. They spent the week working with Shepherd Community ministry.
Shepherd ministers to the community through health care, education, food provision, church and after school programs. The multifaceted ministry is currently building up its social networks to rehabilitate the community.
DeMarco says the value of their work was showing the community that “there are individuals who care to get to know them, wish the best for them and are doing what they can to help them live better lives. In short, that they are loved.”
The Mandate team spent time with children in the community during a heart health and exercise event. Students helped kids with homework, passed out community flyers and provided childcare services.
DeMarco loved seeing his team work with the children: “I could just tell that the kids were excited to be with my team, and it was even better to observe that my team was happy to be with the kids.”
The students also helped Shepherd cleaned and painted the church, helped demolish old buildings and threw out debris and trash.
In their free time, members of the group also spent time sightseeing and spending time together. DeMarco says these debriefing times when students opened up with each other were some of the most important in the entire trip.
“It is not easy admitting the truth and our weaknesses, but there is so much freedom in doing so,” he said. “Not to mention it allows us to get closer to [one] another.”