Justice in Action

Justice in Action

JUSTICE IN ACTION: On October 19, 2023, the six MSDA students who made the journey to McAllen, Texas in the Summer of 2023 for a mission trip with Principal Laura Hollenbaugh to the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley Sacred Heart Humanitarian Respite Center (HRC), had an opportunity to share their experiences with Mount students, faculty, and staff. The students shared everything from what the journey itself was like, to the feeling of seeing the refugees enter the respite center for the first time. They recounted how they needed to act quickly to learn how to assist the souls seeking refuge, and help restore dignity and a sense of safety for the tired, and scared, yet hopeful families.

The Mount students tapped into their self-awareness, stepped out of their comfort zones, and dug deep to find the courage and strength to make the most meaningful impact they could in the short time they were there. Exploring the many nuances of teamwork, the students also broadened their perspectives in order to truly understand what the refugees might be feeling, and figure out how they could help - each family with a different set of needs, goals, and hopes. 

A deeper understanding of the students' shared Mount sisterhood also came to the forefront in the teams' time in Texas, enabling them to connect on a deeper level, and truly support one another - not only in the warehouse, pharmacy and kitchen serving the clients of the center, but with their compassion for one other, and support for each other's individual journey.  The Dominican values of Caritas and Veritas - truth and love - became a conscious daily framework; understanding the refugees' truth on their difficult journeys to find better lives for their families and expressing their love and compassion through simple and complex acts of kindness. At the respire center, locating a dry pair of shoes for a child, or a properly fitted maternity dress for an expecting mother meant a Mount student had a direct impact on restoring an individual's dignity. Realizing that their simple acts could make such an enormous impact was empowering, and helped them believe in their own abilities to be the change the world so desperately needs. 

In looking ahead, the students - all seniors - recommended that any students at school who may be given the chance to go on the McAllen mission trip in 2024, should take it. They also presented a call to action for their community of peers, teachers and administrators - they will be making an Amazon Wishlist for everyone to use to help donate clothes and necessities to the HRC. Though much of their time in Texas was spent organizing hundreds of bags of donated items, the need was greater than they could have ever anticipated. #WeAreTheMount #MSDA1892 #caritas #veritas #mission #justice #empowered 

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