Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Students from Michigan State University spent a week at Sheffield Place over their winter break. Here are some of their reflections on what they gained from their experience.

"The Sheffield Place is an incredible organization and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend a week volunteering there. The families they serve are some of the most resilient, hopeful, and brave people that I will ever have the chance to meet. I continue to be, and will always be, inspired by their courage, determination, and love." - Michelle Chavdar
A group of eleven of us went on a trip to Kansas City, MO during winter break little did we know how much that week at Sheffield Place was going to change us, and the people around us. As the week went on we spent more time delving into the issue itself by talking with the mothers and getting to know them, and hearing their stories. Every person had a different reason as to how they became homeless and it was really humbling to listen to different women’s take on their own personal struggles, and how they are overcoming them. It was a great way to learn how to appreciate what you have been given in life, and how fortunate you are, even little things like taking a course at Michigan State won’t be taken for granted. All in all I am very happy that I took the time out of my own break to be there and learning more about something that completely changed my view of the world around me. Etana Bates

I will never forget the week that I volunteered at the Sheffield Place, when we first started I had no clue what to expect, and now I can honestly say that it was one of the best experiences of my life. I met amazing women who truly touched me with their stories of struggle; it seemed like no matter how much the world was working against them they continued to fight. I have never seen such strength. The women were incredible, but even more so was the spirit of the children who lived at the Sheffield place, they always had smiles on their faces and kind spirits that welcomed me and my fellow Spartans from the second we walked into their home. We gladly welcomed invitations to play and goof around, and I truthfully believe that some of us made friends for life. What the Sheffield Place and the people who work there do for the many families they have helped in the past is remarkable. In this world of materialism and incredible selfishness I learned from my week at the Sheffield Place that it’s not what we get that brings true happiness, but what we give. Kelli Smith

"After traveling 12 hours to Kansas City, Sheffield Place welcomed Alternative Spartan Breaks with open arms. Coming into my week of service, I had one view of homelessness. I sometimes even caught myself thinking, "This is an issue that victimizes only those who have FAILED". I could not have been more wrong. Hearing the powerful stories of the women and children of Sheffield Place truly opened my heart and mind. I quickly found out that these people were not failures at all, but some of the strongest people I would ever encounter in my lifetime.

I came to Kansas City to make an impact on others but had no idea how much of an impact these people would have on me. A sense of inspiration, strength, happiness, and community engulfs this wonderful organization and I wish every client that goes through Sheffield's programs all of the luck in the world. I have true faith that they will create promising futures for themselves and their children." - Carly Meshew