Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Scranton student needs our help...

February 2011

Dear Friends of the Jesuits,

Over two decades ago, Father Brendan Lally, a Jesuit highly involved in Campus Ministry at The University of Scranton, established a program to help the poor and disadvantaged advance our Jesuit mission of becoming “men and women for others.” He did this by traveling with Scranton students and spending time in Mexico City at a home for troubled boys. Today, the University’s International Service Program (ISP) has expanded to include employee chaperoned service trips to the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, and Mexico. I am fortunate to be among the sixty-five students chosen to participate in a summer 2011 ISP trip. I will be serving in El Salvador. I am writing to ask for your support of this mission project. My goal is to raise $1,500 to help fund this important initiative.

The money raised for the International Service Program will support my participation and help cover costs associated with the trips including essential immunizations and a small monetary donation to our host site. In addition to my personal fundraising goal, the entire ISP team will sponsor group fundraisers during the spring semester. Our largest fundraiser is called The Great Commons Ball Roll – an annually anticipated event. Each student sponsored initiative will secure funding for our service trips.

Many service supporters are able to make financial contributions of $1,000, and others are able to support this important program with gifts of $25. Please know that your gift, at whatever level you choose to give, will be greatly appreciated. 100% of your gift will directly fund this unique learning experience.

This opportunity is one to which I am fully committed. The application process for the program included an essay, personal recommendations, previous service experience, and an intense interview process. During the spring semester, I will devote much of my extra-curricular time preparing for this special experience. This involves team building, prayer and reflection exercises, specialized culture and language sessions, biweekly preparatory meetings, and the critical fundraising component.

I look forward to the challenges and opportunities this trip offers me, as well as the responsibility I will carry with me to raise awareness of living the Jesuit mission and educating my mind, body, and soul to serve as a student for others. This is a mission that is very near to my heart, as I grew up in the Jesuit tradition through the guidance of my parents, Owen and Mary Patterson, Saint Joseph’s University classes of 1980 and 1981, respectively. My dad brought me along to games at the Fieldhouse from infancy. However, through these experiences with my dad, I learned about more than just basketball. I gained an understanding of the importance of the Jesuit ideals, especially striving to be a woman for others. I attribute much of the reason why I ended up at a Jesuit university myself to the wonderful role models I witnessed since childhood. Now, with your help, it is my turn to give back.

I consider it a great honor to be able to work amongst the people of El Salvador, learning from both them and my fellow students. After much thoughtful and prayerful consideration, I decided to apply for the incredible experience of an International Service Program in order to challenge myself, to step outside of the box that I have grown comfortable with over the past three years of my college career. My education has been and continues to be one of the greatest blessings of my life, but I have much to gain from this experience so far out of the classroom.

I thank you in advance for your support. If you are unable to make a contribution at this time, please keep The University of Scranton students in your thoughts and prayers as we complete our important service work for others.

For accounting purposes, please visit our website at in order to give by either credit card or check. Be sure to select El Salvador as the service trip and indicate that it was me, Marianne Patterson, who requested the gift by printing my name in the comment section. If you have any questions about the program, the service projects, or how your contribution will make a difference, you may contact Elise Gower, the International Service Program Coordinator, at The University of Scranton: or (570) 941-4138. I personally can be reached at
I cannot express my appreciation of your generosity enough. Thank you for considering me and remembering me in your prayers. I consider it a great privilege to be able to be an instrument of your generosity.

Most gratefully,

Marianne Patterson

If by some unforeseeable reason I am unable to participate in this service experience, your gift will continue to support the important service mission for this year’s program.

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