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CRS Ambassadors Growing Together, Having an Impact

Ripples from the humanitarian works of 15 UST students are being felt all around the globe. They are the UST Chapter Ambassadors for Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Above and beyond their commitment to getting a top-flight education, this group of students is dedicated to having a real impact on social justice issues like world hunger and forced migration.

Isabella Acevedo is the campus CRS leader and clear about the organization’s reason for being.

We are One

“We’re an entire human family on the planet Earth,” Acevedo said. “Jesus called us to care for others, and that means everyone. People out there are suffering and need our help. We want them to have the same opportunities we have. We want them to be comfortable and know they’re loved.”

The group’s advisor and Director of Campus Ministry, Nicole Labadie, said, “CRS is a well-established, respected organization with a mandate to promote development abroad to help the poorest of the poor in over 100 countries to achieve self-sufficiency.”

In the U.S., 77 university chapters draw on CRS expertise, tools and training to advocate and affect real people.

Actively Raising Awareness & Advocating

Acevedo beams as she describes her chapter’s activities.

“We’re raising awareness about these issues and influencing policy,” Acevedo said. “We write letters to Congress every month. Most recently, we’ve been asking our representatives to support the Global Child Thrive Act, and I’m pleased to report that it passed in the House. Now, we’re lobbying senators to get behind the bill. One of the U.S. Representatives actually thanked CRS for our support.”

Labadie added that another piece of the CRS mission is educating Catholics in the U.S. on how to live in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world.

Solidarity is palpable among UST’s CRS ambassadors.

Getting Out of Ourselves

Acevedo recounted, “An ambassador colleague observed that especially in a pandemic, we tend to focus on ourselves. I’m inviting like-minded students to shift the focus and join us as CRS UST Ambassadors. We’re just students, but we’re having an impact. And we’re growing together in Christ just like the UST motto says.”

Upcoming UST CRS events and highlights include:

  • National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week from Nov. 15 – 22. Participants will be able to pick a bag of essentials to give to homeless brothers and sisters. Details will be shared via Campus Announcements.
  • During Advent: CRS will be focusing on the issue of forced migration and the holy family’s experience as displaced people.

For details about these events, check the UST CRS Chapter Instagram account, @ust.crs.

To become a CRS UST Ambassador, contact: acevedi@stthom.edu.