While plenty of IHA students went about their summers down at the Jersey shore or away traveling the world, 55 IHA girls got down and dirty on the IHA mission trip building homes and spending their time with the homeless and disabled.
In the hot days of August, girls from all grades entered a retreat center with open minds and open hearts, ready to serve others and hoping to make a difference in someone’s life. Not knowing what to expect, the IHA girls started off their trip with different ropes course activities and an opening mass. The same night that the girls waved goodbye to their families, they piled onto buses to go to New York City for a Midnight Run.
The next day, the IHA girls went to Camp Acorn to assist the other volunteers at the camp and went to Crestwood Lake to swim with campers. The mission trip then proceeded to Habitat for Humanity where the girls completed a large variety of jobs to make homes for people who need them. Their jobs included digging foundations for homes, finishing staircases, and painting walls.
As the days progressed, girls found themselves in shock of how true it really is that the mission trip changes how you look at life. Girls found themselves crying, laughing, and finding what it truly meant to be an IHA girl because it is so much more than just a kilt and a diploma.
After spending only three days doing service, Carly DePhillips, Class of 2018, said, “one of the greatest things I have ever done was apply for Mission@theHeart and the experience is one I will remember for the rest of my life”.
The group of girls who attended the trip did not think that sleeping in bunk beds and eating Spider-man ice pops would change their lives as much as it did. When Mrs. Shutrop stood in front of the parents and IHA girls on the last night of the trip, she said, “I truly have the best job in the world. I get to talk about Jesus and watch the lives of a bunch of 16 year olds change almost overnight on this trip.” As parents looked around at each other and wondered if this was actually true, girls began once again looking into the eyes of their new friends and began to tear up at how changing the three days were.
An unspoken about part of the mission trip is that the girls who attend experience an adoration of the Eucharist and get to have a serious talk with Jesus about where they are in their lives. If you have ever been in a room of inspired people, you would know that it is the most inspirational feeling, to know that there are people around you who care so much about a cause, or in their beliefs, that you can’t help but cry.
After the three days, the girls were eager to return back to IHA and enthusiastically work on different service projects that they had begun to think about on the trip.
Emily Bommer’18, Arts and Entertainment Editor