Established in the belief that hands-on outreach activities, in a unique setting, in partnership with local organizations, can provide a profound and often life-altering experience, Rivers students have traveled to:
Romania: For more than a decade, Rivers students have embarked on service trips to Romania to work for the Romanian Children Relief (RCR), a program supporting abandoned and at-risk children in the country. The goal of the program is to enrich the daily lives of the Romanian orphans they visit through group activities and individual interactions with the children. Students also visit historic and cultural sites.
Montana: Rivers students travel to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation which encompasses 445,000 acres of southeastern Montana. Students work largely with the Sisters of St. Francis, a religious order that operates a women’s home called the “Prayer Lodge” that offers shelter and abuse counseling. In past years students have helped out with constructing and painting projects within the shelter, gardening, and restocking lending libraries on the reservation. Outside of their outreach work, students also have been able to participate in a pow-wow involving many of the area’s local tribes, as well as trek through Yellowstone National Park.
New Orleans: Since 2007, students have traveled to Louisiana to work rebuilding the neighborhoods most affected by Hurricane Katrina. Partnering first with the Office of Disaster Relief at the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, and currently with the St. Bernard Project, students have been involved in such tasks as painting a pre-school so that it could re-open, clearing overgrown lots of debris to encourage neighbors to return, installing siding on a rebuilt home, and prepping for sheetrock installation. The experience is a unique opportunity for students to do community service with real, tangible results, and visit a unique American city.
Additional trips are in the planning stage. Students are encouraged to make suggestions and to participate in the planning process.