Thursday, April 14, 2016

James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA) Spent their 2016 Spring Break at Sheffield Place

For the 17th year, students from JMU made the 21 hour trek to Kansas City to work at Sheffield Place.  These engaged, hard-working students could have been in warm, sunny places like many other students on spring break, but they chose to come to Kansas City and learn about the crisis of family homelessness.

Here are comments on the week provided by students about what they learned:
Our group traveled a long way, yet we felt at home at Sheffield Place.  The families welcomed us into their lives.  They were eager to share their stories.  One mother even made fruit salad for our whole group of nine!  And the staff have been nothing but kind and generous toward us.  Every question we have, they take the time to answer and they’ve gone out of their way to include us in the mission and work being done here at Sheffield Place.  We could not be more grateful to have been given the opportunity meet so many loving and optimistic individuals.  The people who make up the community of Sheffield Place have defied every expectation we had in the best possible way.

When you walk in the door of Sheffield Place, you sense the atmosphere that motivates people to succeed.  You feel as though you will have all the help you need right here.  Every staff member is so devoted to individuals and expresses how much they care.  It surprises us how much they accomplish and how much they give when the staff is so small.  We are amazed at the way they utilize every resource they can appropriately.  Even with us only being here for a short time, we’ve felt as though everything we’ve been asked to do has been purposeful.  Sheffield Place never has any “busy work” and maximizes the time and talents of their staff and volunteers to their full potential.

We were amazed by the impact that Sheffield Place has on the community.  This team of people is working hard to better the lives of many families by fixing up neglected houses and transforming them into safe, permanent homes.  It takes lots of heart to undertake such a task, but it is such a wonderful way to ensure the families that leave Sheffield Place have an environment where they can succeed.  This agency values community and relationship building and expresses it in all they do.  They also keep families connected with the agency and its resources long-term and have created a longstanding friendship with the JMU.  

We cannot describe how inspiring it has been to be surrounded by the caring nature and positive environment at Sheffield Place. 

 A big thank you to these students and JMU for their longstanding partnership!