This small group is just some of the 15 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College students who recently spent spring break in New Orleans, Louisiana.

But they didn’t spend it sight-seeing in the French Quarter.

They enjoyed an alternative spring break.

That’s right.

Students painted a house and worked in a food bank as part of the Saint Bernard Project.

And, they don’t regret their decision one bit.

“Spiritually it’s hard to take time for that so, this gave me a time to go out there and do something for the people and reflect on it,” says Kayla Moats, a sophomore at SMWC.

“The fingerprint that we left was really small in comparison to all the work that’s been done over the past 12 years. But, what God showed me was, even that small amount of work that we did on one lady’s house was meaningful,” adds Kristin Foster, who is also a sophomore at SMWC.

Meaningful… because coordinators say giving back is the calling of humans and Christians.

“We have to reach out to other members of the Body of Christ who may be suffering. But, in the end, really, in New Orleans we learned that they are the ones that gave us hope,” explains Andrea Beyke, a SMWC campus minster and executive director of Mission Effectiveness.

Hope these ladies say they’ll keep alive while helping others locally, as well as during the next alternative spring break.

While in New Oorleans, the students also visited the Ursuline Convent. 

It’s where Saint Mother Theodore Guerin was nursed back to health after contracting Yellow Fever, while returning to Saint Mary’s from France with money to rebuild after a fire.