Fall and Spring Break
Service & Justice Trip Host Community Partners
This listing and descriptions are subject to change as community partner needs develop and organizations change.
Anthony, NM – Women’s Intercultural Center
- There is a seamless boundary between three states (New Mexico, Texas, and Chihuahua) and two nations (U.S. and Mexico). Everything that happens here requires unique solutions and partnerships due to the interconnectivity and interrelation of issues that impact us as a region in economics, human rights, environment, migration, labor, militarization of the border, health, and much more. You will have the opportunity to interact with Center participants, meet community leaders, advocates, and political leaders from the region and learn about the work they are doing in the areas of poverty, human rights, and alleviating suffering, take a Border Patrol tour to gain an intimate look and interactive experience of the border, and attend either an immigration court hearing or a U.S. Federal District Criminal Court hearing before a case is moved to the immigration court.
Axtell, NE – Mosaic Bethphage Village
- Bethphage Village serves over 100 wonderfully diverse group members who each have a form of disability. At Bethphage, the members live in a group home setting, creating a strong sense of community. Students will have the opportunity to get to know various personalities and backgrounds. Life at the Village is both robust and reflective: people are celebrated daily and compassionately cared for. Service trip participants will have the opportunity to build relationships with members through visits, tutoring, and activities, including playing with children and visiting the elderly. You will also engage with the often hidden civil rights issues associated with mental health and disability. Your time in the village will sensitize you to the beauty of simple living and close community and inspire you to become both a friend and advocate of individuals with disabilities.
Cleveland, OH – Catholic Worker Community
- This trip mostly looks at gentrification and homelessness. Our leading partner in Cleveland is “The Cleveland Catholic Worker House,” which offers a week-long socioeconomic immersion experience in the Ohio City neighborhood. During the week, you’ll get to live as part of the Catholic Worker community while exploring the economically, racially, and socially diverse community of Cleveland! The week will involve volunteering with many different social services in the area, doing things with meal programs and neighborhood non-profits, which will help educate the group about Cleveland’s socioeconomic circumstances, especially those relating to gentrification.
Clinton, IA – L’Arche the Arch Community
- L’Arche Clinton (aka The Arch) is an intentional community comprising 17 core members facing intellectual and/or physical disabilities and approximately 30 assistants and people in supportive roles who share life together. Mutual relationships are at the center of L’Arche. We are called to constantly consider the viewpoint and reality of those around us, both core members and assistants alike, as we share life together. You will be able to enter into relationships with all members of our community, discovering and engaging with their perspectives, challenges, and gifts. Some of the main challenges and bits of reality we face include living in Clinton, IA (a once wealthy city that is now a very blue-collared factory town), advocating for our core members amidst government regulations and state budgetary cuts, meeting the ever-changing needs of our community members, and creating a sustainable way of living together.
Denver, CO – Colorado Vincentian Volunteers
- During your week in Colorado, you will be hosted by current and former members of the Colorado Vincentian Volunteer (CVV) program. CVV’s service work includes education, emergency assistance, homeless assistance, job training, women’s services, and health services. The Denver area encompasses a very diverse but economically poor community. During the week, you’ll learn about homelessness, poverty, immigration, environmental issues, and more. Participants at this site sleep and cook meals at Casa Karibu, an intentional Christian community offering hospitality for service trips and people in need. The work of these organizations and the core of your reflections during the week will be social justice and catholic social teaching (similar to the core Jesuit values of Creighton!). Students also go to various sites throughout the week, performing various types of service and developing relationships with some of Denver’s finest community members!
El Paso, TX – Annunciation House
- The objective of the Border Awareness Experience at the Annunciation House is to facilitate face-to-face encounters between participants and the groups affected by the issue of immigration and the border. While here, students will live in community at a house that serves immigrant families and their children. The trip intends to raise consciousness in the ‘first world’ about the issues facing the people of the ‘third world’ and the effects of unjust economic policies on their lives. It is an opportunity to listen to different perspectives and opinions about issues such as immigration, economic development, human rights, and social justice. It seeks to put a face on the immigrant, the factory worker, the refugee, and the Border Patrol Agent. Watch this relevant video here!
El Paso, TX – Columban Border Immersion
- This trip focuses on hearing the personal stories of those affected by border issues and immigration while also learning about the justice and advocacy side of the issue. You will talk with community members about the pressures, challenges, and joys of living and working along the border. You’ll also learn about the challenges and opportunities of immigration, cooperation among the various legal and advocacy services for migrating people, and issues of ecological responsibility and sustainability in the arid environment of the Chihuahuan Desert. Students will stay at the Columban Mission Center, a justice education center focusing on immigration and sustainability. Hands-on service will be limited but may include a day working on a community garden in the area or cooking a meal for the guests of a migrant shelter. You’ll do a lot of “Ministry of Presence” by listening to those who accompany migrants and other vulnerable populations in their service and supporting community efforts.
Memphis, TN – Serve 901
- Students will have the chance to explore various service and justice opportunities around Memphis during this trip, including civil rights and economic justice. Early on in the trip, participants will visit the National Civil Rights Museum to “set the stage,” so to speak – giving participants the chance to reflect on what they learn at the Museum as they see more of Memphis and the de facto segregation still in existence in Tennessee. Students will spend part of their time serving at Manna House, a place of hospitality for those experiencing homelessness and poverty in Memphis, and learn about sustainable gardening and community building in Orange Mound.
Milwaukee, WI – Casa Romero Urban Plunge
While in Milwaukee, students will invite sensitivity and awareness of urban issues through input, reflection, prayer, service, and agency visits. Customized to focus on the social justice themes your group wishes to explore (such as hunger & food insecurity, homelessness, poverty, care for creation, migration, human trafficking, or racism). The Urban Plunge program immerses participants in aspects of urban reality while encouraging a commitment to building a more just world. We hope that participants will return to their communities with the desire to share their gifts and talents even more as a way of realizing God's dream of healing, justice, and freedom for all people.
Minneapolis, MN – Ascension Parish
- You are invited to immerse yourself with Ascension Parish and learn about the inner city and multiethnic neighborhoods. Your primary presence will be with children in Ascension School (assignment to a specific classroom during the day to help with class activities, tutoring, etc.) as well as visiting with different community and parish groups. Students will hear stories from immigrants and visit and/or learn about local community initiatives to address violence, poverty, racial justice, and reconciliation efforts. This trip will focus on cross-cultural understanding and dialogue rather than physical service work.
Montgomery, AL — Resurrection Catholic Missions
- Resurrection Catholic Missions is an organization dedicated to reaching out and serving the surrounding community. Participants get to explore a wide variety of issues, including civil rights, economic justice, and education. You will also get to take part in a variety of hands-on service, all depending on the current needs of the community. Activities might include working at Resurrection Catholic School (tutoring, helping out with P.E., reading to kids, etc.), assisting with the outreach programs (cleaning homes, yard work, delivering meals), gardening, and visiting a local adult group home. The trip will also include learning and discussing the role of the civil rights in Montgomery and visiting local significant historical sites. The group will participate in a "Justice Seekers' Dinner and Discussion" where they may meet people who were active in the Civil Rights Movement as well as individuals working for justice in their chosen professions today.
Morton, MS — Excel Community and Learning Center
- The Excel program in Morton, MS provides tutoring, ESL classes, adult on-going learning classes, and computer classes. Excel is a non-profit organization located in 3 locations in Mississippi. Many communities are very segregated with high poverty and illiteracy rates. The participants will have the opportunity to learn about the reality in those communities, as well as help in the tutoring program and learn about civil rights from community leaders. The Morton community also works with immigrant integration programs such as ESL and teaching local business owners Spanish. Area poultry plants are a draw for new workers. Spending time with the Franciscan sisters as well as historic tours are some of the highlights of this trip. Especially in Jackson – Two new museums are now open: one covers the overall history of Mississippi and the other focuses on the Civil Rights Movement. On the drive down to Morton, the group gets to visit the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis (however, it takes several hours to go through the exhibits – so allocate time accordingly).
New Orleans, LA – House of Charity
- The Sisters and Daughters of Charity is a charity federation that works all over the country. Through a partnership with the House of Charity and St. Bernard’s Project, Creighton Students have been able to be a part of the rebuilding and restoration process in New Orleans since Katrina. Service opportunities for participants include general home repair and rebuilding, e.g. finishing drywall and mudding, however, the rebuilding process involves so more than just providing homes for people. You’ll also get to hear many personal stories about the challenges that remain. Meeting the homeowners is often a favorite part of participants that go on this trip. The Sisters at the House of Charity provide a welcoming environment to help students process, reflect and serve during this trip.
Okolona, MS — Excel Community and Learning Center
- The EXCEL program in Okolona, MS provides tutoring, adult on-going learning classes, computer classes, and a number of support groups for various interests. EXCEL is a non-profit organization located in a community with high poverty and illiteracy rates. Yet, despite its challenges, students are invited to enter with eyes open to witness the beauty of the community. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the realities in the community, do physical work, serve in the thrift shop run by EXCEL and a variety of other activities. Always a highlight is working with the children in the after-school learning program.
Omaha, NE – Intercultural Senior Center
- The Intercultural Senior Center (ISC) serves seniors from very diverse backgrounds. We have seniors who are from different parts of North America, Latin American, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Karen State, Thailand, Congo, Sudan, Iraq, Karenni State and more! ISC provides volunteers a multifaceted opportunity to serve seniors who are underprivileged and arrive in the United States from war-torn and conflicted territories. Seniors arriving from different countries are living encyclopedias about the honest geopolitical, cultural, and financial conditions of areas they fled. Interacting with those seniors will provide an insight into those social justice factors.
Omaha, NE – OneWorld Community Health Centers
- OneWorld Community Health Centers, Inc., in partnership with the community, provides culturally respectful, quality healthcare with special attention to the underserved. They provide treatment on a sliding scale, in order to provide care to those who could not normally afford it. Participants on this trip may get to interact with patients in the waiting rooms, shadow doctors, dentists and social workers, file papers, enter computer data in electronic files, visit community support networks, attend educational sessions, and learn more about cultural diversity issues, immigration, poverty, and public health measures. You’ll also get to explore the vibrant community of South Omaha! This means that whether you meet with local community non-profits, take a stroll down 24th street, or grab pupusas, you’ll be able to go back and visit!
Omaha, NE — Siena/Francis House
- On this trip, you will have the chance to experience some of the realities of homelessness for yourself, while also being able to learn about the organizations working to support and advocate on behalf of individuals experiencing homelessness. During the week, you will live with the guests at our local community partner Siena/Francis House — a shelter which focuses on meeting basic needs and accompanying people in addiction recovery. Ministry of presence is the primary component of this trip, meaning that it will focus on “being with” instead of “doing for”. A lot of time will be spent hearing the stories of the guests, sharing meals and doing activities with them, and learning about the systemic roots of homelessness.
Overland Park, KS – L’Arche Community
- This community is designed around creating a family home for “core members” who are adults with intellectual disabilities. Students will “share life” with these core members and learn about their daily routines. Students can engage in community activities such as basketball, card games, listening to music, doing art projects, making meals together, etc. Students may help work on personal development of core members such as practicing job interviews. Home maintenance and service projects may also be a part of this week. Living in community, sharing meals and prayer is an important part for all members. The L’Arche mission is to create homes of welcome, to appreciate the unique gifts of each person and to respond to each one’s needs.
St. Paul, MN – St. Joseph Worker Program
- Participants for this trip will be diving into advocacy and learning about many ways that social change happens and is addressed in our communities and society. The week is spent with many community organizing and advocacy groups, with some practical training and reflection about civic engagement, social action, community organizing and root cause analysis. We also engage with local storytellers and stories to learn more about Dakota Sacred Sites, homelessness and racial justice here in the Twin Cities. Stay with the St. Joseph Worker Community and get to know the local realities and challenges of St. Paul/Minneapolis and see how some are working for great change!
St. Mary of the Woods, IN – White Violet Center for Eco-Justice
- Participants of this site will get to hear the Sisters of Providence at the White Violet Eco-Center introduce the principles of eco-justice while engaging in service at and around Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, near Terre Haute, Indiana. The service sites will alternate between the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice (includes organically certified farmland, orchards and gardens), Catholic Charities and St. Ann Clinic. You’ll also be involved in maintenance in organic gardens, assist with daily alpaca care, work on a nature trail, work in landscaped areas near WVC buildings, and help with orchard maintenance. Participants will assist in annual cleaning tasks such as cleaning alpaca pens and fans, cleaning and putting up bluebird boxes, alpaca fiber program, recycling and biomass program, and cleaning.
Stroud, OK – Habitat for Humanity
- Do you know, or want to learn, how to build a house? Participants on this trip serve with Habitat for Humanity to build or prepare to build a home for a family in this warm Oklahoma community. The house building is a blast, but what lies at the heart of the trip is the community you build for: “Habitat for Humanity benefits the community as much as it does individual families. Habitat homes are well built by community members and our home owners are proud and responsible neighbors.” You’ll get to hear stories of people who have received houses, and learn about the impact that Habitat has on the community. The town is currently still in the process of rebuilding after an F-5 tornado hit in the late 90s, wiping out their economic centers. The work you’ll be doing supports this effort!
Wheeling, WV – Environmental Immersion
- This environmental immersion through the Wheeling Appalachian Institute takes students throughout the state of West Virginia to learn about energy consumption and production, and its environmental and human costs. Students meet with both advocates and opponents for natural gas, coal, and other types of energy that show both sides of a complicated issue. Participants will also learn about West Virginia history as well as the labor perspective and the history of labor involvement. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to become immersed into the rich West Virginian culture and be awed by the natural beauty of this wonderful and frequently misunderstood state.
Wheeling, WV - Grow Ohio Valley
Grow Ohio Valley's Food Justice Immersion provides an alternative break experience for college students, high school students, and other interested learners to build social awareness around food justice. With a blend of experiential learning and solutions-oriented service, students explore food justice through the prism of poverty, disability, food subsidies, social services, food deserts, nutrition, health, urban agriculture, food industry economics, and family food insecurity. Participants will experience first-hand that we can be beneficial change agents in our home communities.