The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Volleyball teams up with VDP Society

Cancer is a malignant tumor or growth caused when cells multiply uncontrollably, destroying healthy tissue. In many cases cancerous diseases do not only destroy the healthy tissue of a person but also that person’s life as it is, having an effect on everyone who knows that person. For a child, this can be especially hard.

This is why the Ronald McDonald House of charities was created. It is a non-profit organization that lends a hand to the families of children that have cancer or any other terminal disease.

St. John’s University Campus Ministry recently became involved with the Ronald McDonald house of charities, including it as one of the many volunteer opportunities that they provide. The St. Vincent de Paul Society was assigned the task of finding university volunteers for the program.

“We are trying to create a culture of reflection, to incite thought, and to ultimately understand the impact of our actions on the people we serve,” said Campus Minister Tori Migliore on behalf of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Tuesday Jan. 24, the first group of volunteers from St. John’s University visited the Ronald McDonald House of Charities in New Hyde Park. This group of volunteers was composed of various girls on the volleyball team and Paula L. Migliore, who went as a moderator.

“Community Service is all about you wanting to do it and going in with a helping attitude,” said Elizabeth Austin, one of the volleyball players that volunteered. “It gives you a whole different perspective of service because no one is making you do it.”

A total of seven team members attended last Tuesday: Shameka Mitchell, Laura Sudano, Latoya Blunt, Lisa Tedder, Patti Hardimon, Caitlin Rimgaila, and Austin.

The girls began the evening with an orientation and soon afterwards they were preparing a large meal for 25 to 30 people.

While they were cooking, some of the girls were taken on tours of the house. They were shown the rooms, which according to Austin “were homey, and very similar to hotel rooms, but the best part is that they were only 300 steps away from the hospital.”

This commodity allows the families to keep in touch with their sick loved ones, and serve as support for each other through the rough times. Austin went on to say that “It was all just so relaxed and clean.”

“Next we were brought into a big play area, and there were little houses that resembled a big play house and the walls were painted to make you feel like you were outside even though we were inside,” said Blunt.

As the people came in to have dinner she said that she thought to herself, “I am glad to be active in my community and be able to put a smile on peoples’ faces and take their minds away from sickness.”

The girls made tacos and fajitas, and brownies for dessert. In about three hours of volunteering, they were able to experience something new.

“We were making people feel better with something we made on our own,” Austin said. “It’s the little things that count.”

When asked, the girls all said that they would love to do it again. They seem to already be accustomed to community service, a value that as Austin said, “St. John’s has helped foster in me along with the rest of my teammates.”

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