Tag: Service Trip

Moore, Oklahoma

sober living

The random destruction of natural disasters has always been something intangible to me, a 2 minute news story to be consumed for small talk fodder. Even when I lived in NYC during Hurricane Sandy, my life was marginally inconvenienced at worst. I have lived a sheltered, self-centered life that I very nearly took from myself in active addiction. I viewed community service through that paradigm: a school or work mandated chore to be slogged through. Then I spent an evening in a walk-in fridge, in Moore Oklahoma while a tornado indiscriminately ravaged homes and took a life. My senses undulled, I was afraid in that moment, grateful to be safe, and then struck by the undeserved suffering those next two days. I won’t soon forget the families huddled together in destroyed homes or the throngs of volunteers that flooded the streets to help those in need. As our group wandered…

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It Makes a Difference

“It makes a difference to this one,” said the young man as he returned a beached starfish to the sea.  We of Solutions made a small difference as well after spending 5 days in the La Sal Mountains working with the Grand Canyon Trust to preserve wilderness environments.  A wetland fouled by free range cattle, an old growth Aspen stand compromised by grazing and man’s lack of understanding, both in need of our help.  If recovery is about returning to our true nature, than the path we and the planet on which we walk have common ground. What better way to experience it than to immerse oneself in the common quest of healing? Our efforts in the grand scheme may appear miniscule, but when we make a difference to just one, we claim our place on this planet.    Peace! For more pictures of the trip please click on the picture…

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My Life has been Blessed

I have been anticipating the Solution’s trip to Pine Ridge since the first time I heard about it.  I knew that going into a new environment could potentially be out of my comfort zone but could be a whole new experience for me. In the past, I had gone to the Cherokee reservation in North Carolina with my church so I thought the experience would be similar. However, when I arrived at Pine Ridge I was overcome by the amount of poverty and division amongst the tribe; what I had read about could not describe what I saw.  I found myself feeling a mix of emotions for the reservation and the Lakota people. There was anger towards the history of the broken treaty and massacres, confusion as to how the People stood united, compassion towards the significant social issues (suicide, alcoholism, health issues, poverty) that they faced, and frustration as…

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Serve Moore

“ I can’t believe people are still coming! 4 months after the storm and you’re still coming to help our town.” said a pastor as we sat eating lunch in the parking lot of his church.  It was evident to us that many more will be needed for months to come to aid this ravaged place.  It is always that way in these places of catastrophe, and it is always true that people will keep coming. It is a fellowship of giving in which the spirit of our humanity resides.  All are welcome.   Our tasks in Moore were building fences and hanging dry wall. Our witness was home after home either gone or shattered, looking as if cannon fire had been unleashed.  Our experience was humility as we were thanked repeatedly for being there.  Our reward was that same pastor pledging to do whatever he could to aid the victims…

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Pine Ridge Service Trip

Jaywalker has been going on service trips to the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota for 4 years.  We work with a group called Re-Member, a non-profit volunteer organization.  Many told me it would be an intense experience.  Dan said to the guys “this is usually one of our most impactful trips”.  There were no play days planned, no trips to the hot springs.  It was going to be a total immersion into the culture of the Oglala Lakota Sioux, a people who have been incredibly wronged by our government.  The Massacre of Wounded Knee, the stealing of their ancestral homeland, to just name a few.  We have wronged them and they respond with integrity and pride. Pine Ridge is considered to have some of the worst poverty in the country.  The poverty, suicide rates (especially among teens), and alcoholism are all very bad.  Alcoholism rates are supposedly as high…

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