Iona participates in annual Make a Difference Week

Margaret Dougherty, Editor-In-Chief

The Office of Mission and Ministry held Make a Difference Week from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1. This annual event is a week full of service and advocacy both at Iona College and in surrounding communities. Students were given the opportunity to engage in multiple volunteering projects and information sessions.  

The activities were kickstarted with Sunday mass at the Church of the Holy Family. Then, during the week, Br. James Ford led several information sessions about Iona in Mission. Katie Feeney, a senior and campus minister, expressed excitement about returning to immersion trips for the first time since the pandemic began. 

“After the last year, I think that students are really looking forward to giving back,” Feeney said. “I think this year’s immersion trips will be full of loving and helpful Iona students.”  

On Thursday, the campus ministers organized multiple service trips and events in which students could partake. Junior CM Megan Sweeney brought a group of students to Willow Towers, an assisted living facility in New Rochelle. They talked to the residents and prayed the rosary with them. 

The weekly hospitality supper was also held Thursday. Aided by junior CM Lauren Hurson and senior CM Timothy Mayora, the Delta Upsilon fraternity hosted the supper, providing a free meal of grilled cheese and tomato soup for everyone who stopped by Montgomery House. Sweeney also participated in the supper by offering a reflection discussion about persistence and how to cope with life’s struggles. 

Later Thursday night, junior CM Javier Raudales and Mayora hosted a Midnight Run. Students brought food and clothing, as well as conversation, to the homeless in New York City. 

Raudales appreciates the chance to help those who are most in need. 

“I chose to lead Midnight Run as a campus minister because I felt like out of all the service projects there are, it gives back to the community the most,” Raudales said. “It means a lot because there are people who aren’t as fortunate as us and we have to be grateful for everything and do good in God’s name.” 

All of these events gave students a reminder of the important of service. 

“Make a Difference Week means to acknowledge what I have, what I can do with what I have, and choose to make a difference for those in need,” Mayora said. 

Although this week of advocacy may have drawn to a close, campus ministers are looking forward to the many more opportunities to come in which they can help students continue to live out these compassionate ideals. 

“I think that Make a Difference week was well needed this year, with living through a pandemic and the crazy start to the school year,” Feeney said. I hope that everyone enjoyed the week, and we can continue to get students involved in OMM events throughout the rest of the semester.”