Ronald McDonald House 4/25

Like every fourth Monday of the month, NVC sent a group of students to Ronald McDonald House to prepare a meal. This time, Rick Dansdill and JP Regan made chicken fajitas, rice, beans and cookies. We’ll be taking the summer off, but next year we’ll be picking out some new dates. If you’d really like to be involved in RMH, but the 4th Monday never works for you, let us know! Tell us some times that do work for you. Just send NVC an email at nvc@newmancentercolumbia.org

Thanks so much to all the volunteers that helped at Ronald McDonald House this year!

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Light Up the Night – THANK YOU!

Thank you so, so much to everyone who attended the Light Up the Night event to benefit the Children’s Organization of Southeast Asia Library Project. We had over 140 people attend the event and raised over $3,000! Special thanks to all our sponsors and the wonderful performers who put on a great show.

Check out more photos from the event on our Facebook page!

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Day of Service Recap

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all of those who attended the Day of Service on Saturday. The day began with a fantastic mass service with Father Simon and was followed by a delicious breakfast while representatives from the Central Missouri Community Action Center presented about poverty and how we can get involved.

After breakfast, volunteers grabbed a lunch for the road and headed out to clean at St. Francis House, work in the garden at Centro Latino and help build a trail at Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center. Back at the Newman Center, we worked on crafts to sell at Light Up the Night and made a banner and cookies to bring to the fire fighters at station #3 on the MU campus. We got an awesome behind the scenes tour at the fire station and they even brought the firetruck outside for us to climb around in! It was a lot of fun for all ages. Don’t miss out on the next Day of Service!

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Light Up the Night: Spotlight on Saifon

Even though Fon’s name means ‘rain’ in Thai, she is all sunshine and smiles. Her favorite colors are purple, pink, and blue and her favorite subjects in school are English and Thai. At home, she enjoys reading comic books and cooking her favorite meals: fried rice and chicken with basil. What’s one thing Fon would like people to know about herself? She’s “strict but kind”; she likes to teach people how to do things the right way!

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Light Up the Night: Spotlight on Ning

Ning is a bubbly 13 (and a half, she insists!) year old Issan girl. She has spunk and aNing photolovable, cheeky attitude. Like many girls her age, Ning aspires to be a pop star. She loves singing, playing the Thai flute and practicing traditional Thai dancing. When asked one thing that she would like people to know about her, she unabashedly giggled, “I’m not beautiful, but I’m cute!”

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Light Up the Night: Spotlight on Gan

Every day until the March 19th fundraiser, “Light Up the Night — A dinner theater event” we will be posting the bio of a girl currently at the Baan Yuu Suk Shelter, which the event will help benefit.

This week’s spotlight is on Gan, a reserved, soft-spoken 15-year- old Yao girl. She enjoys reading non-fiction science books and doing housework. Her favorite colors are blue and orange and she loves pad thai. In school she likes to play volleyball and work on her computer skills. Although thinking about her family conjures up sad feelings, her friends at the shelter keep her in a happy mood. In fact, since moving to Baan Yuu Suk, Gan says that she hasn’t been scared or worried about anything for the first time in her life.

Don’t miss “Light Up the Night” on March 19th from 7:30-10:30.  Tickets are on sale in the Newman Center office all week and cost $25 or $12 for students. The night includes dinner and several music and dance performances.

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Ronald McDonald House 2/28

Monday night, the Newman Volunteer Corps sent a group of students to prepare a meal at Ronald McDonald House. They made tacos and brownies! Thanks to all who participated. Don’t miss out on going next month.

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Day in the Life of an Immigrant

Last Saturday (Feb. 19), the NVC was incredibly fortunate to welcome over 15 volunteers from Central Latino, Refugee Immigration Services and other area organizations to help us understand what it would be like to be an immigrant.

Participants went through several stations where they needed to complete activities in Spanish, such as finding a job in the Classifieds, go to the hospital, read the newspaper, register for school, go grocery shopping, pick out a birthday card for your boss, order at a restaurant and more.

Between high school and college, I’ve taken five years of Spanish and yet I still had a very hard time completing many of the activities. Granted it’s been three years since I’ve taken Spanish, but still. It really opened my eyes to the fact that often times we expect immigrants to pick up on our language right away. Or sometimes people think immigrants should just have to learn English. It’s not always that easy. That can take many years and English is a pretty goofy language.

After the activities, we had a group discussion about what we learned and the volunteers (most of who were high school and middle school students) shared their experiences as immigrants. It was both eye opening and heart breaking at times listening to their stories. I think everyone would agree that it was a fantastic event. Thanks so much to NVC Programing Director Katie Miller for all her hard work in organizing it as well as to the many volunteers and participants.

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NVC Reflection Potluck Take 2

Last Sunday (Feb. 20), NVC held its second reflection potluck. Just like last time, the food was delicious. Something we’d like to stress though, is that if you happend to show up to 11 am mass and forget that there’s an NVC potluck afterwards, come up to the NPR and join us, even if you didn’t prepare anything. There’s plenty of food available.

The potluck offers a great opportunity for parishioners and students to get to know each other and share their experiences in service, whether it’s through NVC related activities or not. I enjoyed sharing stories about working with my little brothers in Columbia through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Also, going off of the Day in the Life of an Immigrant conversations, we talked about the sense of community (or lack thereof) in our neighborhoods growing up. It was a great conversation!

Be sure to join us March 20 at noon for the next reflection potluck!

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Spe Salvi: Saved by Hope

For the remainder of this year, the theme for the Newman Volunteer Corps is “Saved by Hope,” based on, “Spe Salvi.” Our parish is continuing to explore Catholic Social Teaching, going back in time through papal encyclicals related to social justice.

“Spe Salvi,” the second most recent encyclical written by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 explains, “Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope…The present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads toward a goal…[and] if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey…To come to know God—the true God—means to receive hope.” Jesus calls us to be hope to the hopeless—to bring light to those in darkness and to be Christ to one another, so that those we come in contact can have the experience of the true God through our service and love.

This semester, we are working toward overcoming the injustice of seemingly hopeless situations, focusing on modern-day slavery. On the Day of Service, we will hear learn about the hopelessness people experience being caught up in the cycle of poverty. We also will look at pro-life issues, including the perception of hopelessness many women have, due an unwanted pregnancy, driving them to seek abortions, and the hopelessness of living on death row. We strive to bring hope by working to eliminate injustices of poverty, human trafficking, abortion, and the death penalty.

For March, our main efforts are focused on human trafficking, raising money to bring hope to the survivors—through the light of education.

The Children’s Organization of Southeast Asia explains, “The commercial sexual exploitation of children is a multibillion dollar industry, forcing over 2 million children worldwide into the sex trade each year…In Thailand, approximately 800,000 children are forced into the sex trade,” some as young as four.

Although we are 8,635 miles away from these children who are experiencing a very dire situation, human trafficking happens here in Columbia. Our parish can do something to help the situation of the victims of human trafficking in Columbia though education, and in Thailand, through fundraising. Through our Dinner Theater, we hope to raise money to fund parishioner Chelsea Laun’s project to build a library for the young women of COSA, to bring the hope of a better future and an escape from enslavement.

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