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Iona Students on Break: Serving Those in Need

Every season, selfless Iona students use their breaks from classes to serve others. While they could be home catching up on sleep, instead they are putting their energy and their own money into traveling to places where they can help those in need.


Port Ministries in Chicago, a Franciscan-inspired Nonprofit Organization
Gaels learned about the root causes of poverty, hunger and despair and assisted residents of the south side of the city with these issues.

Student Leader: Ashley Blake ’21
“My trip has taught me about the difficulties that are present in Chicago and how to better advocate.”


Coastal Fairfield County in Bridgeport, Conn., Habitat for Humanity
Students spent a week repairing and building homes for families and veterans in need.

Student Leader: Kara Wilson ’20


Nazareth Farm in West Virginia
Students learned about the economic and environmental injustices and cultural richness of Appalachia and engaged in service constructing homes and visiting community members.

Student Leader: Lindsey Echausse ’20


New Orleans
The Iona in Mission team partnered with and served at community organizations to explore the social realities of poverty, racism and environmental restoration efforts, while also exploring the unique and rich culture of New Orleans.

Student Leader: Sarah Newman ’19
“This trip allowed my team and I to serve the city,
hear its history, meet its citizens and learn that New Orleans is a city of resilience.”


Puerto Rico
The Iona team joined with organizations to help the community rebuild and recover from challenges it is still facing from Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Student Leader: Samantha Ortiz ’19


Philadelphia, Saint Francis Inn Ministries
Students worked in the restaurant-style soup kitchen feeding up to 400 people a day while also providing other services.

Student Leader: Alyssa Colon ’20


Houston, Texas
SBP, a nationally awarded disaster recovery organization, relies on volunteers such as the Iona Gaels.

Student Leaders: Kaitlin Ferretti ’19 and Allison Parrett ’20


L’Arche, North Boston, Mass., and Syracuse, N.Y.
The Iona in Mission groups shared time and living space with the L’Arche members to witness their community and the dignity of every person regardless of ability. 

Student Leaders: Emily Dembek ’20 and Kate Tagliareni ’20 Kate shared, “The most rewarding part of leading my immersion was seeing my team interacting with all the Core Members and all the relationships they formed with the members in such a short time.”  


Rochester, N.Y.
Students were hosted by the Sisters of St. Joseph for a service retreat. They served the poor and marginalized in schools, a soup kitchen, at a safe house for women and children, a daycare center for medically fragile children and a community medical center serving families who are uninsured.

Student Leader: Lauren Talty ’20


Camp Friendship, Miss.
Gaels served as counselors at Camp Friendship, a weeklong overnight camp experience for children living in poverty and of which a third to a half of the campers live in foster care.

Student Leaders: Matt Saljanin ’19 and Meghan Wright ’20


Zambia, Africa
The group served at the Christian Brothers’ Changa Changa Community School, the City of Joy home for at-risk girls and accompanied home caregiver teams on visits to the elderly, sick and people living with HIV/AIDS. The team also visited the Magoye Village to experience rural Zambian life.

Student Leader: Emma Moloney ’19

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