Catholic Heart Work Camp
Catholic Heart Work Camp worked with LaCasa from June 20 through the 23rd. Volunteers came from around the country to stay in Mishawaka. They drove to Elkhart and Goshen daily to help us with projects. The young people mulched and weeded at Water Tower Place and Arbor Ridge Apartments. Others tore out fixtures at 1101 W. Lincoln and replaced the play structure at Arbor Ridge. They also helped to clean up after a move out at one of our scattered site rental homes. All this in
four days, working over 636 hours! Catholic
Heart Work Camp has been volunteering at LaCasa since 2002 and we appreciate that they keep coming back to LaCasa for a good volunteer experience.
Merit Learning Center
Merit Learning Center has connected with LaCasa, Inc. as a Service Learning partner for many years. For much of that time, student volunteers came out once a week and worked on renovating houses. One year, we tried something new: LaCasa needed new landscaping for Roosevelt Center in Elkhart, and Merit did much of the planning as well as the actual work. Merit students prepared the soil in designated areas around the
property. As the winter weather took
hold, local landscape designer Lucie
Martin joined the project to teach students about native plants and designing for their best use. Students presented their design ideas to her last week (see picture). Students also sought donations of plants and did the actual planting.
Alternate Student Break is a college program during which groups of students choose to volunteer at designated locations. Here is a story from one group: A group of eight students from Northwestern University came to live in LaCasa’s conference room for a week! They spent most of their days working at the Shoots building, but they found time for a meal with an Amish family, a trip to a festival at Bonneyville Mill, and a stop at
Notre Dame on their way home. They
even joined us for an All-Staff meeting,
where they learned more about the inner
workings of LaCasa. To quote our building
services staff, “They worked like Wildcats!”
LaCasa has enjoyed visits from many universities, including
University of Illinois, Boston University, Vanderbilt University, Roosevelt University and others as well as our friends at Northwestern.