Tag: Service Work

Commitment to Service is More Than A Tagline

Commitment to Service is More Than A Tagline

Let me be honest with you: sometimes things are not what they seem.

(A shock, I know.)

Sometimes things are advertised or labelled without actually being true. Sometimes people say or write things that aren’t necessarily accurate in the hopes of catching your interest and hoping you’ll focus on other things instead of their tricks. (I’m looking at you, clickbait article headlines.)

I won’t name names or point fingers at other colleges and universities around the world, but I’ll tell you what I know: Loyola doesn’t do that.

(A shock, I know.)

Loyola really does have a huge commitment to social justice and social issues, commitment to service and cares about the individual. I could write a million blog posts on how Loyola really cares for the student, but I’ll keep myself focused on one particular topic – service.


First off, you might not know, but Loyola has Learning Communities that unite a group of like-minded people, whether it be Leadership, Honors, Research, or – you guessed it – Service & Faith. These people are very involved and are constantly involved in ways they can help.

Second, though (I believe) this is rote for all fraternities and sororities, our chapters are heavily involved in their charities and work tirelessly to go above and beyond to raise money for osteoporosis, the Ronald McDonald House, Make-a-Wish Foundation, and so on. There’s even a service-oriented co-ed fraternity, APO.


Third, clubs and organizations often do more than their focus. Honors Student Association, for example, not only hosts events and programs for Honors Program members but organizes weekly volunteer trips to places like Just Harvest to lend as many hands as they have. The Quidditch team raises money and support in ‘Febru-Harry’ for Relay for Life.

Fourth, Loyola requires every student to take at least one Service Learning class before graduation. This means that the class is tightly intertwined with volunteering and may require a set number of hours per semester at a site or other such actions that mean that the student and class are actively making a difference.

Fifth, Loyola has a program called Loyola 4 Chicago that sets up sites such as Misericordia or Sarah’s Circle and organizes groups of students that go weekly to lend aid. Though it may be nothing more than helping a person with developmental disabilities with their knitting project, they still emphasize the difference the students are making without, perhaps, realizing.


Although Loyola has many, many more ways that show how much both the student body and the administration are committed to service, I’ll leave you with these to think about. Of course you’re totally free to learn more, and if you have any questions I can help too! But trust me when I tell you Loyola really means every word they write on those stacks and stacks and stacks of paper they send in the mail.


Making the Pope Proud: Panini Distribution at the Vatican

Making the Pope Proud: Panini Distribution at the Vatican

Every Friday night at 8pm in the lobby of the John Felice Rome Center a group of about 20 students meet Student Life Assistant Pedro for panini distribution. We head over to Vatican City and distribute food to the homeless. For the last two weeks I’ve tagged along and have loved participating in this JFRC tradition.

The men who started this distribution have been doing so faithfully for about 50 years. And there’s no doubt in my mind that they enjoy it just as much now as they did when they started.

At 9pm a station wagon pulls up filled to the brim with food and supplies. The food is either leftover from bakeries or made by one of the couples who started the group. Unloading their car and setting up takes no time at all thanks to the help offered from friends, other volunteers, and our group of students. A buffet-style assembly line is set up with all sorts of food for the homeless to take away. As they wait in line, everyone is given a sack lunch (where the actual paninis come in). Then they are offered all sorts of pastas, some vegetables, meat, bags of fruit, a variety of baked goods, and hot drinks. With so much food to offer there is often leftovers which are left near where we set up.

Last Friday I was on pasta scooping duty and this week I helped serve vegetables and meat. I was happy to have a job where I could have a few conversations or when there was a language barrier at least offer smiles.  Everyone I’ve met so far has been kind and always grateful. I’m learning that there are few things as rewarding as making someone’s day better by providing them with something so simple.

After everything has been packed back up into the station wagon, Pedro has our group participate in a reflection. We sit among the columns of the Vatican and Pedro leads us in various forms of Ignation prayer or reflection. Taking the time to think about the significance of what we helped with is a great way to process the experience.

It’s safe to say that feeding the homeless is a good thing to do, but taking a time out and relating that experience to your faith and study abroad experience overall shines a different light on the situation. A light that makes you realize the significance of volunteering your time. And to me has made it all the more worthwhile.