Mission trip participants head to South Carolina

Students get involved in Community Home Repair Projects


Megaphone file photo

Administrator of Christian service and community outreach Mrs. Shannon Fox has announced this year’s community service award recipients.

Lauren Smith, Culture Page Co-Editor

According to director of campus ministry Mrs. Charlene Witka, the theme of the trip this year’s annual spring mission trip to Charleston, South Carolina is “We at Cathedral High School hope to be the lighthouse for others.”

While staying in a warmer climate for the week, students will do outreach for St. John’s Island.

Community outreach

Witka said, “It gives students the opportunity to learn how to use any tools, to go out of their comfort zone and to do outreaches that maybe they’ve never done before.”

Mrs. Shannon Fox, administrator of Christian service and community outreach, said, “I think we take for granted the modern conveniences of today. Although we are going to an area that is viewed as a vacation destination, it has some of the poorest pockets in the South.”

Fox continued, “We will be helping build a home for a family in Charleston, working on several home repair projects for the elderly with a group called CHIPS (Community Home Repair Projects) on both Johns and Wadmalaw Islands, working in the classrooms and on the community garden at Edith L. Frierson School on Wadmalaw Island, helping with the upkeep of the nature preserve at St. Christopher, helping paint fences at Charleston’s Therapeutic Riding Stables and helping at the Low Country Food Bank in Charleston.” After service at the end of each day, everyone gathers for a prayer reflection.

Fox said, “One of the questions is ‘where did you see Jesus today?’ The responses from the students are amazing, and you know they are really connecting with those they were serving that day.”

Witka added, “It is planned by our seniors, and to see our seniors lead the group in the area of spirituality and love is my favorite part of it.”

Junior Seth Bolden will go on the mission trip for his second time.

Bolden said, “The spring mission trip gives you the opportunity to help others on your free time. Instead of having the traditional ‘go out and have fun,’ you kind of take a step back and see problems in your extended community within the United States. You see the troubles they go through, and you get to help them. It’s not a lesser spring break, but it’s just a different kind. It helps me in my faith in that it gives me the opportunity to show my faith, to show the works.”

Last year Bolden and other students helped the Frierson School build a greenhouse.

He said, “Had we not Stu there it would have taken the school a lot more time, and they couldn’t hire someone else to do it, they had to rely on volunteers.”

Leaving Charleston better

Fox said, “After a week of volunteering, most, if not all of our students, see the importance of reaching out to help those in need and realize not to take things for granted.”

She continued, “My favorite thing is visually seeing the students’ confidence and attitudes change at the end of the day for the better.

“They are so happy and carefree knowing they’ve made a difference in someone’s life that day.”

Bolden said he really enjoys helping people.

“It’s just amazing to see how what you do could help make the life of somebody else so much easier.”

He continued, “My favorite part is seeing that we’re changing the community, that every time we go there and every time we leave, Charleston is just a little bit better.”

Fox said, “If a student or for that matter a faculty member leaves Cathedral without having experienced at least one mission trip, they will never know what they’ve missed. It’s a gift everyone should give themselves.”