March 15, 2012

Annual Dodgeball Tournament Combines Quick Reflexes, Teamwork, and Piper Pride to Raise Money for Catalyst Trips.

The annual International Dodgeball Tournament of Champions means fancy footwork, camaraderie, as well as raising money for Hamline students doing good across the nation.

The fundraising event helps support the Catalyst spring break service-learning trips organized by the Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service, and Social Justice. Now in its sixth year, the event drew 18 teams from the Hamline community and the surrounding area in addition to some free-agents. More than $900 dollars was raise for the trips. (You can watch the fierce competition in the video below)

“I am thrilled with the turnout this year,” Margot Howard, coordinator of Catalyst programs, said. “We had record numbers attending and some great competition. The support from the campus and the greater community is a huge part of what makes the Catalyst trips happen.”

The Catalyst program gives students the opportunity to use reflective service to investigate questions of justice in society. Students travel to cities around the U.S. over spring break to learn about, and take action on, these issues through community service. This year, more than 50 students will travel to locales such as New Orleans, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Chicago.

Each trip is designed to focus on a specific topic such as hunger, homelessness, LGBTQIA communities, or multi-faith perspectives, and aims to build relationships with the communities with whom they serve. The trips also provide a venue for experiential learning, in which students are able to put concepts learned in the classroom—such as the poverty cycle and civic engagement—into practice.

“It’s an amazing program,” Howard said. “Learning is most effective when you serve.”

You can find out more about the Catalyst trips on the website and check in on how the student trips are going by reading their blogs:
New Orleans: Katrina Relief Through an Interfaith Lens
San Francisco: Queer in the Community
Breaking Bread in San Francisco: Food Justice through Christian Perspectives
Chicago: Social Change through the Arts
Washington D.C.: Homelessness in the Heart of Our Country