Appalachia

For the past five decades, Bellarmine University has participated in service trips to Appalachia. Through an early connection in the late 1950’s between our first president and a ministry team, we became involved in the Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) and then in their Workfest during spring breaks. Teamed with other colleges and universities throughout the country, our students, faculty and staff members re-build homes, winterize or re-furbish trailers, and construct new homes. CAP works with social workers and various agencies in eastern Kentucky, one of the most impoverished regions in the United States to provide food, shelter, and clothing for those in need. The building projects are organized in a “sweat equity” manner to insure that those benefitting from the free labor also participate in some way with the project. Besides the obvious spiritual growth which occurs for this type of servant leadership - when service has such a direct impact upon the recipients, our students gain life-long building skills. They have learned about the structure of and built homes from floor joists to roofing tiles, from drywall and insulation to the installation of plumbing, windows and doors. They can paint and put up siding, build decks and steps, or landscape to prevent mudslides. Funding for transportation and housing on these trips is provided by faculty, staff, and family donors, by fundraising campaigns, and pledges of support from alumni of Alternative Spring Breaks. 

Bellarmine University | 2001 Newburg Rd, Louisville KY, 40205 | 502.272.8131 | 800.274.4723

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