Christendom College

Touching the Hearts and Souls of D.C.’s Homeless

February 7, 2017

How one student is working to solve the homeless problem.

Two years ago, Henry Love was faced with an incredibly difficult, and familiar, decision: choosing a college to attend. Such a decision, at first, seemed to be a no-brainer. A Catholic school in Texas had offered Love a hefty math scholarship, making college an affordable venture for him. More than that, it also offered competitive cross-country and Ultimate Frisbee — by far the most important aspects to him at that time.

But in the end, Love chose to change direction and focus on something more meaningful – the pursuit of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful – and he enrolled at Christendom College. Thanks to the college’s Scholarship Price Match Program, Love was able to attend Christendom for the same cost it would have been to attend the other college, but now he was able to do even more: touch the hearts and souls of some of the poorest in society.

Love (far right) leads “Mother Teresa’s Children,” a club that drives up to Washington, D.C. nearly every Sunday to spend time with the homeless.

“I realized that I needed to go to a place where my Faith would be the most important thing to me, and I knew that would happen at Christendom College. God was not calling me to competitive sports. Instead, He was calling me to grow in my Faith,” says Love.

A naturally extroverted person, Love is involved in almost every aspect of campus life. He works in two college departments, serves on the student activities council, and completes nineteen credit hours a semester for his mathematics major. But, that’s just the beginning.

While others spend their weekends catching up on sleep or doing their laundry, Love can be found in the nearby Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, doing something incredible: sacrificing his time to help the homeless through a club, Mother Teresa’s Children.

Love, a naturally extroverted person, chose the pursuit of Faith over competitive sports. Now, he’s impacting countless others through that decision.

“The idea of Mother Teresa’s Children is centered on a quote of hers: ‘the worst poverty in the world is the feeling of being unloved and unwanted.’ Our main goal as a club, as a result, is to spend time with people, being joyful with them, and praying with them,” says Love. “We are out there in D.C., talking with people who are used to being ignored, and spending time with them in a significant way. While there’s no immediate solution to the homeless problem, showing them love like we are is a great place to start. This reminds them of what love is like, since many of them have forgotten.”

During his freshman year, Love took half a dozen trips to help the homeless up and down the East Coast, as part of the college’s 2015-16 “10,000 Acts of Kindness” campaign. Once the campaign was complete, students worked to keep that same mission alive as a club, with junior Bridget Gaffney starting one in the spring of 2016.  That club, Mother Teresa’s Children, has been traveling to D.C. almost every Sunday ever since, with students spending their day ministering to the homeless in Franklin Square through both tangible and intangible means.

The students spend their time in D.C. walking around and spending quality time with the homeless, reminding them that they are not forgotten.

These “forgotten people” now have faces they recognize and see almost weekly, faces that show them love and attention. Through their actions, the club isn’t just helping the homeless — it’s helping the students involved in it too. By doing something extraordinary, like spending time on a Sunday talking to strangers, they are becoming more joyful themselves, and are spreading love to more people as a result.

Love faced a difficult decision two years ago. By choosing the pursuit of his Faith over sports, Love is making his life better, and is impacting the lives of countless others as well — while still having the ability to play many intramural sports on campus.

“The slogan of this place is so true: we weren’t made for comfort, we were made for greatness. We have to go out and talk to people and spread our love and knowledge to them. If we do that, we can bring back this knowledge in ourselves, and truly become a more loving society,” he said.

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