Regis students on a service trip to Homeboy IndustriesStudents volunteering their winter break to service

Students at Regis, a leading Catholic university in Greater Boston, have been busy during the winter break; not skiing or snowboarding; but doing community service.

In the spirit of Regis' mission to serve the dear neighbor, students used their time off to help others. One group flew to Los Angeles to see first-hand the reality of poverty and homelessness by working with Homeboy Industries, a non-profit that gives ex-gang members a chance to become honest, active members of society. Another team of students traveled to New Orleans to rebuild homes affected by Hurricane Katrina, working with the St. Bernard Parish Housing Project.

Members of the Center for Ministry and Service traveled abroad to Kenya on a fact-finding mission. Father Paul Kilroy, Regis chaplain, and Grad Intern Jeff Parrish visited the country to explore a future program involving Regis students, students of the Catholic University of East Africa in Kisumu and the youth of the area.

Haiti Project team members traveled to Haiti to continue their work, which started in 2007, to improve access to quality health care in the country by training Haitian nurse faculty.

Regis students on a service trip to posing around a ladder while helping to renevate a house.Others stayed local, including members of the mens basketball team who brought and served dinner to guests at the AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center in Jamaica Plain, a free lodging facility run by the American Cancer Society for cancer patients and their families. The team also organized a nine-team Special Olympics basketball tournament at Regis where they officiated, ran the clock and cheered on the athletes. In addition, the Pride players visited the Mission Grammar School in Roxbury Crossing where they welcomed children to school, ate breakfast with them and helped teachers as needed.

It was a tremendous opportunity to help out our dear neighbor, said mens basketball head coach Nate Hager. Anything we can give back, anything that we can provide, is just a great opportunity for both our athletes and our community.