Sigs Serve Others Through Xavier Project
Four Delta Delta brothers, Ben Waters, Jake Clark, Cameron Sanders and Bryan Hall have been traveling the country looking for ways to serve others as part of the Xavier Project. This endeavor was inspired by a member of Delta Delta’s 2016 pledge class, Xavier Somerville, who died tragically in an accident, but whose spirit of caring and kindness continue to inspire his pledge brothers.
Chicago, Milwaukee, Norfolk, Dallas and Phoenix
Working with different social services groups, the Xavier Project team has traveled to Chicago, IL, Milwaukee, WI, Norfolk, VA, Dallas, TX and Phoenix, AZ where it has sought to identify individuals that they can assist. With funds that the team has raised they hope to contribute in a small way toward getting them back on their feet or assisting them through a tough time.
A Young Man’s Dream
The Sigs first stop was in Chicago at Christ the King Lutheran Church where they met an eighth grader named Kamal who was a bright student but whose family lacked the resources to send him to a local catholic high school. Inspired by visiting the students at Christ the King and learning more about Kamal, the Xavier project contributed toward Kamal’s tuition.
Kamal wrote, “I know what it is like to live in good neighborhoods and dangerous neighborhoods...neighborhoods are not the driving force that has affected my life. The people living in the neighborhoods are what changes us.” He then went on to conclude his essay with the following paragraph. “Teachers have shown me the benefits knowledge can offer. Friends, grandparents, and parents have shown me how much I am loved. They have given to me the desire to make a difference in this world.”
Supporting a Veteran and Her Son
In Milwaukee the Sigs teamed with a service group called Dryhootch that helps fellow veterans transition back into civilian life. The Xavier Project worked with a mother, who was a veteran, and her 11 year old son who was diagnosed with failing eyesight and required special therapy and treatments. They spent time taking the young boy to the zoo and presented his mother with a check to help pay for some of the eye therapy treatments.
Bryan Hall noted, “Today we were able to go to the Doctor’s office with Elijah and Heather and see the therapy he goes through routinely. The smile on his face and joy he brings to everything almost makes you forget the struggles he endures.
When leaving Cameron couldn’t figure out the door and accidentally ran into it. We were all teasing him and giving him a hard time, but Elijah made sure to pipe in and make him feel better. “Don’t worry, I run into walls all the time!” Elijah said as he laughed and picked where he wanted to take a picture from.
Helping Heather and Elijah get his surgery, and improve his vision, is exactly the sort of thing we set out to do when we began this project. It’s exciting to be a part of their remarkable story and see what they go through daily, and will be even more remarkable when we can all see it in clear vision together.”
Spending Time With Our Senior Citizens
Norfolk found the boys working with the Catholic Charities Cares program to help the elderly with home projects including fixing toilets, trimming bushes, cutting grass and doing other minor repairs. The brothers also spent time visiting with those they were helping and in the end, it was the time spent just talking that meant the most to the people they assisted.
Our Time Means More Than Anything
When the Xavier Project next rolled into Dallas they contacted the Hands of Hope organization and connected with Eric, who had been living out of his 1994 red truck after falling on some hard times. The Sigs determined that if they could get Eric’s truck running more reliably, it would help him keep a job. So they took the vehicle into an auto repair shop and put Eric up in a hotel for two nights while his vehicle was worked on and paid for by the Xavier Project.
Ben Waters reflected, “Overall, I think we all learned a lot from our time in Dallas with Eric. We realized that you can’t understand situations completely, unless you live through them. We all thought Eric would be happy just to get his car fixed, never thought in a million years that he would consider the afternoon we spent with him to be just as valuable. Eric helped us realize all of us have so much to give to others, beyond what we could imagine, and beyond just material things. Often times, the company and comfort we can supply to others can be the most valuable thing we have to offer.”
Providing Some of the Comforts of Home
Phoenix was the next stop on the trail where the brothers connected with Courtney and her 10 year old son, Aiden. Courtney and Aiden had been temporarily homeless and where now living in a double wide trailer with meager furnishings. Along with spending time with Aiden, buying him some toys, and taking him to an arcade, the Xavier Project also purchased a pull out couch that gave Courtney a better place to sleep than on an air mattress.
The Journey Continues
From Phoenix the four Sigs, who have now been joined by Will Shifrin, are headed to California and then will return cross country to the Midwest. The Xavier Project team would like to thank the many Sigs along the way who have put them up and be such gracious hosts. They also would like to thank our alumni and friends who have supported this endeavor financially.
The Complete Stories
I’d encourage you to go to the Xavier Project blog and read the recaps on each of the cities this team has visited. I think you’ll see that the brothers are receiving as much as they give as they travel our country helping others in even the simplest of ways. Xavier Project blog: