For the seventh consecutive year, Seton Hill University students, faculty and staff spent their spring break lending a helping hand to families in need.

Seton Hill volunteers traveled to Frakes, Ky., to work for The Henderson Settlement Project. The Henderson Settlement, with the help from Seton Hill volunteers, repaired houses alongside families who were in need of a safe place to call home and for whom the dream of owning a home would have otherwise been out of reach.

The volunteers left Saturday, March 7, and returned Friday, March 13.

“We made repairs to a roof and put on metal sheeting and laid new tiles down for a bedroom floor. Our team was so productive that we were able to finish both of the projects by late afternoon on Tuesday. We also cleaned a garage and moved some boxes to the community thrift store on Wednesday, and then went to Knoxville for some sight-seeing on Thursday,” said Cynthia Boland, director of campus ministry.

The Seton Hill volunteers met the family of seven, a mother and father with five children ages two–12 years old, who moved in the home just a week before the University volunteers arrived.

“The mother and father with five young children were very open and gracious for our help,” said AJ Schell, senior psychology and history major with a certification in secondary education. “They were happy we were able to make a home for their children.”

This was Schell’s third spring break trip working to help others. Previously, he traveled to Alabama and North Carolina.

“This trip was awesome. It wasn't exactly what we expected, but it certainly turned out to be a lot of fun,” said Schell.

While many of his fellow graduating classmates spent spring break at a beach, Schell decided to participate in the Henderson Settlement because it was something different to do over spring break.

“Instead of shelling out $400 for a plane ticket to the beach just to get burnt, I paid a fourth of that price, helped a family, had a great time, gained valuable experience with home repair, created friendships and have memories to last a lifetime,” Schell said.

The Seton Hill student participants ranged from freshman to seniors, student-body activities council members to resident assistants. The lack of telecommunications allowed them to bond through long card games and family style meals.

“The group was fantastic. They were very flexible, which was important. They assisted and taught each other how to use power tools, and respectfully offered advice on how to solve a project road-block that developed,” Boland said. “When there were enough hands working on a project, students were willing to clean up trash or organize things around the house that needed attending to. It was a wonderful group to work with.”

Seton Hill University’s Campus Ministry will continue to pursue similar service projects. For more information, contact Cynthia Boland at or 724-830-1075.

Seton Hill University’s Campus Ministry program provides opportunities for students of all faith traditions to enrich their university experience by participation in prayer and worship, community service, social responsibility and sharing the gifts of faith with the entire community.

Spiritual programming and sacramental ministry are provided to foster student’s spirituality and human growth. In addition to regular liturgical and prayer experiences, there are opportunities for retreats, evenings of reflection, discussion groups, bible study, and faith sharing. Ecumenical prayer services for the entire University community are held several times each semester. Campus Ministry provides opportunities for students to train for, participate in, and reflect upon meaningful service to the community. These service experiences include aiding the very young and the elderly, the unemployed and economically disadvantaged, the homeless, and the handicapped. Students enrich their own lives while helping others in the search for justice and liberation from needless suffering. All students are invited to participate in Campus Ministry programs.