During the week of March 14th, secondary four students at Loyola participated in service activities in the Dominican Republic, Belize, as well as within Montreal communities. This article features those who took part in the Montreal Experience.
For the Montreal Experience, we helped out where needed and interacted with the elderly, the physically- or intellectually-challenged, and the less-fortunate people around the city, with the hope that we would gain an appreciation of who they are, and what they face each day. The goal was to create awareness of those with whom we do not often get the chance to spend time, but with whom we share this city. In the sharing of ourselves during this brief, meaningful encounter, we were given the opportunity to truly be men and women for and with others, so that our awareness and solidarity can grow.
Students volunteered for the week at either Benedict Labre House, St. Michael's Mission, Open Door Day Centre, Nazareth House, Montclair Residence, Manoir Beaconsfield, MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre, Mackay Satellite School at Westmount High School, Philip E. Layton School, Mackay Centre School, or l'Arche.
In addition to the student participants, 23 staff and 4 parents were also involved in the Montreal Experience!
Some feedback from our Montreal Experience volunteers:
"It's going great! This experience is definitely new for me, but after the first day, we started talking more to the people and we really bonded with some." Sec. 4 Loyola student - The Open Door
"I just have to commend these four boys - what an outstanding group of young men! A wonderful experience, thank God. Thank you for this opportunity. I'm really glad you're doing this Experience Week for the secondary fours - a fantastic idea! I know the boys were really enjoying their time at L'Arche today and were interacting well with the residents!" Loyola staff volunteer – L’Arche Montreal
"All the boys were very respectful, kept busy with whatever task was asked of them. They interacted well with the staff, and as they adapt to this new environment, they will be able to interact more with their patrons. This was my first experience volunteering in a shelter. I have a better appreciation of the needs, and a better understanding of how and why some people end up requiring help.... " Loyola parent volunteer - The Open Door
"What an experience is all I can say! Very eye opening for me as well as the boys. The boys were great. They were all very polite and did everything that was asked of them. We all had a tour and a meeting with Mr. Greene. The boys asked great questions and I could tell they had a lot more.....They were very moved by their first day. Thank you for letting me participate in the Montreal Experience. I was very proud of all of the boys and their wonderful maturity in the situation, and I was very proud to say I was a Loyola mom! Thanks so much." Loyola parent volunteer - St. Michael’s Mission
To learn about Experience Week, read more here: "Experience Week"