GOOD DEED: 300 St. Joe Students Spring Break In Appalachia, Raising Barns And Downing Jello Shots

MORE THAN 300 students from St. Joseph’s University spent their spring break not in Cancun butappalachia-8.jpg working to repair and paint decaying houses in Appalachia.There they found that poverty isn’t only an urban affliction.

Indeed, they learned that rural poverty has some of the same roots as living poor in North Philadelphia, as a St. Joe’s sociology professor put it.

They also learned how to square-dance.

Paul Staats, 21, a junior, who helped reshingle an elderly woman’s house and refloor a kitchen in Grundy, Va., said the townspeople were “very welcoming. We never felt like we were intruding.

“I just felt that it really showed you that poverty has many different forms,” Staats said.

“People from the north tend to picture poverty as something from the inner cities, but it exists in many different forms across the nation.

“A lot of the people I met [in Appalachia] didn’t have teeth. Many had dentures, because many of them couldn’t afford good dental care,” Staats said.

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