For over a decade, over winter break, Redeemer Ministry Corps and the Sisters of the Redeemer welcome a group of 5-6 college students from the University of Notre Dame for their 48-hour Urban Plunge experience. The Urban Plunge is a one-credit experiential learning course designed to provide students the opportunity to learn about the root causes of poverty in urban areas both inside and outside of the classroom. After the classroom portion of the course the students then ‘take the plunge’ and visit organizations in their hometown who are working to support those experiencing poverty.
The students arrived on January 8. Most of them came from the surrounding area of Bucks County and the furthest came from Central PA. During their time with us the students served at Holy Redeemer’s Food Cupboard on Townsend Rd, visited with residents in St. Joseph’s Manor, served a meal and visited with the men at Old First Reformed Church, and learned more about the Green Light Food Pantry at Drueding Center. The students also had the opportunity to meet the Sisters of the Redeemer and learn about several of the ministries they sponsor.
The experience was eye opening for many of the students as they learned more about the different forms of poverty and heard first-hand stories from those experiencing poverty. During the final reflection many of the students shared how they were impacted by their interaction with those that they met. One student expressed the desire to stay longer at each site to offer more help. It was clear that this experience expanded the students’ awareness of the complex issues of poverty and challenged them to think about how they might be able to effect positive change.
We were grateful for the students presence and their desire to serve others.