Morgan Greenman is a junior from Olivet. She is majoring in biology with a premedical focus and pursuing minors in gerontology and psychology. Recently, Morgan joined eight other students and Community Service Coordinator Jacob Richards ’18 to serve in Puerto Rico. The trip marked the fourth time OC students have performed service in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
Students volunteered with the organization All Hands and Hearts. Their work centered around repairing the homes of local residents, especially removing mold and repairing concrete roofs. The trip was made affordable to students thanks to a grant from the United Church of Christ.
Students were also able to explore the history and nature of Puerto Rico. The trip ended with a day in the historic downtown area of San Juan and a visit to El Yunque, the only tropical rain forest in the US National Park system.
Here’s a look inside Morgan’s experience:
I chose to serve in Puerto Rico because I knew it would be a great opportunity to do service and give back, while also experiencing a different culture and seeing the world in the process. Puerto Rico is a part of the US territory, and I think the country isn’t known enough for its true beauty, just the devastation it’s gone through.
Going into the service trip, I just had the expectation that I would be able to help others, but the trip went beyond that. I made connections with not only other volunteers, but also the homeowners we served. I was able to interact with the homeowners and form strong bonds through the process because of how grateful they were for our volunteer work.
The most meaningful experience I took away from the trip was seeing how grateful the homeowners were for our service. Every day, my homeowner was cooking for us to show her love and gratefulness. My homeowner broke down in tears because of how happy she was for the repairs to her house. The thankfulness they had for us is something I won’t ever forget. I’ll forever hold this experience and the people I met close to my heart.
I would encourage other students to perform service because it opens your eyes to the conditions other people are living in. It also makes you more humble and appreciative of what you have. Performing service for others will make you feel good, and you’ll know you were able to help someone less fortunate. You’re able to see how strong and resilient people truly are after going through such devastation.
This experience will motivate me to perform service in the future because I liked the feeling of being able to help others. It was so inspiring to meet other people who are truly doing service out of the good in their hearts.
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