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SUMMIT Reflection: Oliver Carrell

I worked at DMARC this summer as well as on other projects at the church.

My time with the SUMMIT program has been great for me for more reasons than I can count.  Through my time working, my relationship with the people I serve, the people I served with and my relationship to my own spirituality have evolved. All this helps me to have a better understanding of myself.  

This experience has opened my eyes to numerous problems in the world, but in doing so strengthen my faith by showing that there are ever more ways to fix them.  I hope to work with SUMMIT again in the future.  

Summit Reflection: Briar Conrey

Tens of thousands of people hungry in Central Iowa. The Des Moines Area Religious Council helps feed people, nutritious and substantial food. I was lucky enough to be able to work with DMARC this past summer through the SUMMIT program. After I learned a little about the Des Moines Area Religious Council It took me about 5 seconds to realize, the Des Moines I thought I knew, was gone. DMARC helps serve 17,000+ people every month. This new Des Moines I was getting to know was heartbreaking. Every amazing new thing I learned at DMARC was disheartening, but crucial to understanding the importance of their work. I volunteered at their mobile food pantry, that travels to 13 different sites. Meeting people, and helping them get their basic needs met was emotionally hard for me to come to terms with. These were people my age, and my brothers age, that did not have the access to food, that I had too often taken for granted. Later in the summer, Sarah Trone Garriott came to me with an opportunity. She needed a couple more people for the Interfaith Youth Leadership Camp, and she asked if I would be interested in participating. I got to meet with people in high school, and recent graduates of a wide range of religions. Meeting all of these new people with such powerful stories of their faith and passion for helping their communities was very inspiring. Meeting all of these new people, and having the opportunity to experience their faith traditions really inspired me to keep my mind open and help people in the best ways possible. SUMMIT was an amazing experience. I cannot thank everyone who made it possible enough times.

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