Friday, March 23, 2012

Student reactions from the trip

After working with the Frazee Dream Center, Diligent Hands Gracious Hearts, Project Host soup kitchen and Harvest Hope food bank, we asked the students about their experiences and how the trip affected them.  Here's what they had to say.

Angela Wasko – Public Relations major / Adversiting and IDM minor / Senior
“This was my fourth year participating in ASB.  Each year has been different and taught me more about myself and others.”

Jessica Kunkel – Organizational Communication major / General Business minor / sophomore
“I loved knowing that I could make a difference in the lives of others.  I learned a lot about communicating with a diverse group of people.”

Danielle Crawford – Elementary Education major /Psychology minor / Senior
“This trip has opened my eyes to things I could never have even imagined.  I feel more blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of ASB and to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children.” 

Natalie Bannister – Elementary Education & Special Education major / Senior
“These experiences will help me to be a better role model as a future teacher for my students, whether that be a parent, shoulder to cry on or someone to look up to.”

Kasha Tafoya – Elementary Education / Spanish minor / Senior
“When Mr. Matt said that there was a child in Maryville, MO that needs me, it just made me realize that I need to open up my eyes, arms and heart to the communities I’m a part of and start making a difference there.”

Lindsay Stapley – Psychology and Comprehensive Crisis Response major / Senior
“I’ve done service work before this trip, but I realized that I need to take the initiative and inform others about poverty in America and get them involved in making a difference.”

Jena Sosnowchik – Elementary Education major / Early Childhood Development and Spanish minors / Sophomore
“The trip really opened my eyes to all of the things that I’ve seen on the news, such a kids who live in poverty and such. The trip was a really great way to make a difference in their lives and show the children that there is a different kind of life out there.”

Kathryn Burnett – Industrial Psychology major / Sophomore
“ It really put things into perspective, such as how we think marriage is something that just happens or college, but for these children, that’s not their first priority.  Things like getting food and surviving are their main priorities.”

Madilynn Kettle – Elementary & Special Education / Senior
“What I took away from this trip the most was how good that we have it and how bad some people have it.  They don’t even realize how bad they have it, because they don’t see how good we have it.”
“The thing that affected me the most was when my child for the week, Xavier, said ‘When I’m big, I’m gonna go to college just like you, Ms. Madi.’  That made me want to stay in contact with the Frazee Dream Center, and I am already planning a trip back for this summer.”

Jessica Pedraza – Child and Family Studies major / Family Education minor / Freshman
“The Frazee Dream Center gave me hope for the children’s future.” 

Diana Reyes – Spanish major / Business minor / Sophomore
“All three organizations were really eye-opening for me, especially Harvest Hope food bank and the Frazee Dream Center.  I have always known that children have gone without food or are living in poverty, but I never realized the severity of it, especially in South Carolina.  They gave me inspiration to do something in my own community.” 

Andrea Potter – Pre-Pharmacy (Chemistry) major / Senior
“One thing I learned is that people who have needs, like food or shelter, are closer to my world than I originally perceived.  I really enjoyed interacting with everyone that we got to help.  It’s cool to see how people, even though they are busy, still want to help others and recognize that they make a difference.”

Shelby Oatman – Middle School Education major / Math, Social Science and Spanish minors / Sophomore
“This trip made me appreciate what I have and it made me realize that everything can be gone in a moment.”

Lindsay Brison – Elementary Education major / Early Childhood Development minor / Sophomore
“I learned that it only takes one person to make a change in the lives of others.  I didn’t realize how privileged I was growing up and this trip made me appreciate everything that my parents have done for me.”

Hannah Jelden – Pre-Dental Hygiene major / Freshman
“It made me realize how ungrateful I was for the things I have.  I don’t have to worry about not eating lunch or that I won’t have a place to live.  It made me feel so fortunate for the life I have and made me realize that I shouldn’t complain about how good I have it.”

Silver Love – Pre-professional Zoology major / Biochemistry minor / Junior
“Working with the children and seeing how underprivileged they are, made me see how good we have it here, but we just go on living our lives never thinking about it.  Getting the chance to see it firsthand, makes you think about how we take the little things in life for granted, but those things to them are unknown.” 

Sarah Zajic – Biology/Psychology major / Freshman
“Things such as listening to the children’s stories about all the struggles that they went through, and yet children would walk up and grab my hand, made me realize how happy they were for us to be there.”

Samantha Sciara – Speech and Theater Education / Senior
“It’s different to know that there are people out there who are struggling with food and shelter, than to actually see their faces and see the whole Frazee Dream Center full of kids who are struggling.” 

Ashley Herring – Public Relations major / Senior
“The most impacting part of this year’s trip is seeing people of all ages who are in unfortunate situations but still approach life with the most positive attitude and are always smiling. It puts whatever is troubling in your life into perspective and makes you realize that what may seem bad is not as bad as it seems. I learned that waking up everyday determined to make each day  a positive one for you or someone else, is the best way to approach life.

Jamie Harrison  - Psychology major / Administration of Childcare Programs minor / Senior
“Being the president of ASB and having people come up to me with their ideas and feelings, seeing them connect with others on the trip and the people we worked with, showed me how much love human beings are capable of and inspired me to continue serving others after I graduate.”

Amanda Parr – Psychology and Sociology major / Senior
“This trip has helped me realize that even if you have a little, you can still help people a lot.  For instance, the family of the two girls I worked with, even though they were in a tough situation themselves, took in another child from the Frazee Dream Center.  Even if you don’t have a lot to offer, little things can go a long way.”

Tamika Beasley – International Business major / Senior
“’Change the world one person at a time’” has always been one of my quotes to live by.  Prior to this trip, my interpretation of the “one person” was the one who was being helped. However, after this trip it occurred to me that that “one person” could actually be yourself.”

Shawnta Addison – Business Management major / Senior
“I was pleased to be able to come on this trip to try and make a difference in others’ lives. It was not so much a learning experience for me, but a chance to go and help others and let them  know that the world is bigger than where they live and they are able to go beyond Greenville. I was once one of those children and I have grown and have overcome my hard times as a child. One day I hope to go back and work with the kids at Frazee!”

Tara Eckrich – Psychology and Sociology major / Freshman
“It was a big eye-opener that there are actually kind people out there like Matt and Jenny that would drop everything for kids in need. It was also a big eye-opener to see and hear some of what the kids’ lives are actually like. Life-changing experience is the only way I can describe it.”

Elizabeth Bettes – Child and Family Studies major / Psychology Minor / Sophomore
“On this trip, I learned to view people differently, not take things for granted and to respect people for who they are.”

Anna Sutton – Missouri Academy
“ I went on the trip because I had someone in my life who made a difference and I wanted to be that for someone else.  I was surprised by how attached I got to the children at the Frazee Dream Center and how hard it was to leave.”

Allie LaRocca  - Physical Education major / Senior
“It reinforced the fact that any little bit you do can help and that the amount of people you’re reaching is greater than you think.  You have to start out with the means you have and then greater things will come.”

Liz Pleskac - Spanish major / Journalism minor / Sophomore 
"I loved working with all the organizations we partnered with and all the members of ASB.  I became friends with people who I might never have even met if I didn't go on this trip.  It was an amazing overall experience and I wouldn't have traded it for any other spring break experience."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Work Day 4

Our service part of the trip came to an end today.  We split up between the three organizations in the morning that we had done for all the other work days.  Then, we went to the Frazee Dream Center a little bit early, so that we could have some time to talk about the week with the owner, Mr. Matt.  It was really hard for everyone to say goodbye to the kids, but we know they are in great hands at the center.  We are so grateful for being able to experience working with such great people this week.  
Here are a few pictures from today. 

Andrea, Ashley, Lindsay, Tamika and Jessica with the woman whose lawn they mowed today

Pushing the truck after it broke down
Jena serving pink lemonade at Project Host soup kitchen
Anna, Shelby, Natalie and Sam working at Project Host soup kitchen
A group of girls playing a game at the Frazee Dream Center 
This little man learned how to tie his shoes today with Jamie's help!
Tamika reading with her child for the week
The frame we gave to the Frazee Dream Center, as a token of our appreciation for their hospitality and something to remember us by
We arrived in Nashville safely, and will be heading out tomorrow morning at 8 a.m.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Work Day 3

Just as the first two days, we split up into three groups in the morning again and worked with the same organizations.  During lunch, we went back to the hotel so that we could get a little relaxation time before going to the Frazee Dream Center.  After having a great day working with the children, we went to supper at a pizza place downtown called Trios.  Some of our group stayed in the downtown area, others went to the mall and some just back to the hotel to hang out.  Here are some of our experiences we want to share with you from our day. 

Natalie and Jena at Harvest Hope

Sorting food at Harvest Hope

The group who went to Harvest Hope today

Ashley helping her little boy during reading time

Jena and her child hanging out at snack time

Sarah playing with a child on the playground

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Work Day 2

Today, ASB dispersed again in the morning, sending different groups to each of the three organizations we worked with. During our lunch break, we checked out downtown Greenville. We finished up our day at the Frazee Dream center. Here are some highlights of our day. :) Enjoy!

Project Host workers with one of the men who came to eat

Playing basketball
Hanging out outside on the playground

Amanda and the twins after dinner
We got a kick out of this. :) 

Kat, Kat (adviser), Tara, Samantha and Jessica sorting food

Work group for Harvest Hope on day two

Work Day 1

Yesterday morning we split into groups to work at Harvest Hope, Diligent Hands Gracious Hearts, and Project Host.

At Harvest Hope food pantry, the supervisor summed up their mission: "If people are hungry, we feed them." In the city of Greenville, 47% of children are on free or reduced lunches at school. This organization receives food donations from local grocery stores, businesses and community members. Volunteers sorted food donations, preparing them for distribution.

Tamika, Shawnta and Jessica sorting food at Harvest Hope

Lindsay and Hannah checking expiration dates on donated food
Day One group at Harvest Hope

Diligent Hands Gracious Hearts is an organization that does many different service projects around the Greenville community. The group that volunteered there on Monday mowed lawns and started a painting project for elderly in the community who were not able to do it themselves.

"The Lawn Ladies" riding to their site in the back of the truck

Andrea gettin' her mow on

Project Host is a soup kitchen that serves a free meal to about 200 people in need Monday-Friday. These 200 people come into Project Host during a one hour time period. We helped with preparation for the meal, served it to those in need, and cleaned up after the meal was over.

The Frazee Dream Center was started 6 years ago by Jenny and Matt Reeves. While initially wanting to run the center on the side, a few months after opening it the Reeves sold their landscaping business and decided to make Frazee Dream Center one of the main focuses of their life. The center is a free preschool and after school program for 60-90 under resourced children. Matt explained during our training that there can be little moments which can change a child's perspective on different aspects of life. For instance, many of the children who attend the center come from single-parent families and do not know anything different. The Frazee Dream Center strives to create those moments for its children in everything they do. We played with them during game time, helped individual children with reading and homework, and helped serve supper.

Frazee Dream Center logo

Lindsay and Silver with some of the Frazee children

ASB members playing "pretzel" with some of the Frazee children

Angela and Jamie at dinner with the children

Yesterday definitely excited us to continue working with these organizations throughout the week. We returned to the bus smiling, with many stories to tell from our experiences that day. :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Free day in Nashville

Although we didn't get to go on the Music City Trolley hop, we had a great day exploring Nashville on our own.  In the morning, a few of us walked around and saw some sites, did a little shopping and some even went to the Country Music Hall of Fame.  

Some of the girls hanging out in the city!

Near Music Row

Hanging on Music Row

Hanging on Music Row

Group who went to the Country Music Hall of Fame

Inside the Country Music Hall of Fame

View of the city

Nashville Skyline 

After exploring a little, it was time for lunch.  Our group split up and went to a few different places including The Big River Brewery, Wild Horse Saloon, The Grilled Cheeserie and a local hot dog stand. 

Jamie's grilled cheese from The Grilled Cheeserie (She was super excited about it!)
After lunch, we drove to Centennial Park, hung out in the park for a while and also check out the Farmer's Market there. 

Beautiful trees at the park

Jessica, Angela and Ashley

Madi enjoying the Farmer's Market

View of the city from the park
We had a great day in Nashville! Right now, we are on our way to Greenville, SC and we are so excited to start our volunteering tomorrow!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Arrived in Nashville

We arrived in Nashville around 7 p.m.  After getting settled into our hotel rooms, we went out to supper.  We split up into a few different groups.  Some went to Subway, others Arby's and the last group went to a BBQ joint called Bar-B-Cutie.

Here is the group who went to Bar-B-Cutie. 

Tomorrow, we're headed out to explore this lovely city!