SALT 2011-12

The Social Action Leadership Team (SALT) is the Chapel’s social justice ministry. Students in SALT serve as the leadership team that invites Valpo students to engage in Christian service both near and far. SALT is involved in local volunteering, spring break service trips and church-based community organizing.

For 2012, our World Relief Campaign project is: "Kenya dig it? A WELL-ness project.” As part of the project, SALT will fund the construction of a well at a hospital in Kenya to help not only with healthcare but also with water needs in the community. Our goal of $14,000 has been met, thanks to you! To learn more about the World Relief Campaign, see the Kenya Dig It page or contact

The 2012 Valpo Interaction (VIA) magazine is out! Pick up a copy on campus or see it from our VIApage.

Read issues of the Shaker, SALT's quarterly newsletter:

October 2011

December 2011

February 2012

April 2012


Kenya Dig it


Spring Break Trips

SALT sponsored three different options for service opportunities over spring break 2012:

  • Camp Restore in New Orleans
  • A drug rehabilitation center in Harvey, Illinois
  • Flood relief and rebuilding work in North Dakota

The trips took place between March 3 and March 9. Students who attended are encouraged to share their photos and info about their service trips during "Servant Stories," an event sponsored by the Campus Ministries Network, Monday, March 26, at 7 p.m. in the Lumina Room of Huegli Hall. For more info,

New Orleans, LA

Who: Approximately 5 Valpo students and one advisor, Aimee Tomasek, Assistant Professor of Art and Photography

What: Service trip sponsored by the Social Action Leadership Team, a ministry of the Chapel of the Resurrection on the campus of Valparaiso University. The purpose of the trip is to volunteer with RAI Ministries whose mission is to restore faith, home and community in the name of Jesus Christ. 
Depending on interests and skill level, your time volunteering may be spent working on construction projects or community projects. Through construction projects, you will be helping residents rebuild their homes or church. Community Projects consist of helping to restore the fabric of their community, working in places like nursing homes or schools or participating in restoring the eco-system in environmental projects.

Where: Camp Restore, New Orleans, a city dramatically impacted by the wrath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Lodging and three daily meals are provided by Camp Restore.

Where students will be staying:
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church/Pierre A. Capdau Elementary School/Camp Restore 
9301 Chef Menteur Hwy. 
New Orleans, LA 70127

When: March 3rd-9th, the first week of Spring Break

Why: On the morning of August 29, 2005, the people of the Gulf Coast had their lives turned upside down when Hurricane Katrina ripped through hundreds of communities. The citizens found themselves inundated with debris from the storm that headed directly over the City. Due to levee failure, 80% of the city of New Orleans was under water. In New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast, thousands of people lost their lives, everyone was displaced and communities were broken apart. Valpo students will travel to New Orleans in order to experience the value of service in a community greatly affected by natural disaster.

Harvey, IL  

Who: Approximately 10 Valpo students.

What: Service trip sponsored by the Social Action Leadership Team, a ministry of the Chapel of the Resurrection on the campus of Valparaiso University. Students will travel to Harvey, just outside the city of Chicago, to volunteer with Restoration Ministries who work to serve people through their residential recovery program, the Harvey House School of Ministry, after- school program, food pantry, assistance and outreach programs, and administrative offices. Among numerous other projects, past participants on this SALT service trip have taken part in after school tutoring, worked in the RAI thrift store, and handed out meals on the street. They have also interacted directly with men and women at the Harvey House and Tabitha House. These free, 18-month residential Christian training facilities assist, develop and train people who have overcome their drug and alcohol addictions.

Restoration Ministries
Restoring People, Rebuilding Communities
253 E. 159th Street, Harvey, IL 60426

When: March 3rd-9th, the first week of Spring Break

Why: To assist and learn about how a non-profit organization is working to heal and bring hope in a poor, urban environment.

Minot, North Dakota 

Who: Approximately five Valpo students and one advisor, Pastor James Wetzstein (Pr. Jim).

What: Service trip sponsored by the Social Action Leadership Team, a ministry of the Chapel of the Resurrection on the campus of Valparaiso University. The purpose of the trip is to repair and do clean-up from the major floods that impacted Minot earlier this year. Participants will team up with Lutheran Social Services. Lutheran Social Services intends to be a leader in social services through innovation and partnership, fostering innovative thinking and entrepreneurial activity within the agency, seeking partners with similar missions and sustaining deeper relationships with faith communities of all denominations.

Where: Minot, North Dakota. A 16 hour drive from Valparaiso, Minot is located in the north central region of North Dakota. In June, the Souris River flooded over the top of local levees five hours before the evacuation deadline for 11,000 residents. The river rose to a record 1,563 feet, causing much destruction to nearby homes.

When: March 3rd-9th, the first week of spring break.

Why: To experience the value of service and interact with a community recently affected by a natural disaster. 

Thank you for adopting a family this Christmas


Now that folks are back on campus and getting back into their routines, I would like to take one last chance to thank you/your organization for your participation in this year's Adopt a Family project. Between all of the organizations and individuals who participated this year, we were able to provide Christmas gifts to 35 children in 11 different families. Although we were not able to see the faces of the grateful families, I hope that thinking about the following will help you understand the importance of your generosity this past holiday season.

Think about just how hard it would be to be facing the kind of poverty which prevents you from being able to purchase gifts for your children. The kind of poverty that has to humbly ask for help from college students. This is the kind of poverty that our adopted families are facing, right here in our community. Granted, we know full well that our limited Christmas gifts were not enough to remove our adopted families from the unfortunate situations they are facing, because the financial struggle upon impoverished people is deeply connected to systemic problems like unemployment, poor access to health and education and racism. Addressing these issues is a much harder, much longer process, but in light of MLK Day, I think that it is appropriate to be reminded that difficult dreams are still worth dreaming...and that they have to start somewhere.

We thank you again for alleviating the sting of poverty for our adopted families this year and encourage you to participate again next year. In the mean time, SALT invites you to join with us as we seek to be a part of sustainable, long lasting solutions and social justice for the world around us.

Alissa Kretzmann
Social Action Leadership Team (SALT)-Chair

SALT Staff for Fall 2011

Here's who to contact if you have questions about SALT-related things:

Chair: Alissa Kretzmann

World Relief Campaign Chair: Krista Schaefer

Public Relations: Annie Stanchak

Secretary: Jenni Sechrist

Chaplain: Andrew Denecke

Service Coordinator: Kathleen Parilac

Focus Group Coordinator: Marla Cherney

Shaker Editors: Laura Ehlen and Becca Berry

VIA Editors: Laurie Kenyon and Nicole Wilken

Interfaith Advisor: Lauren Zager

One-on-one coordinator: Sara Tucker

Peace and Social Justice Symposium coordinators: Joel Muller and Josh Bieck

Advisor: Pastor James Wetzstein


Looking back on 2010-11


KuJenga: Building minds, one block at a time
SALT has completed our 2011 World Relief Campaign entitled … “kuJenga; Building minds, one block at a time.” The title is Swahili for "to build." This year’s project is centered in Tanzania and involves building a school house. Read the case statement.

Last day to donate to "kuJenga" was May 14. The goal of $12,500 was met -- thanks to you!


 Get Involved


SALT has finished meeting for the school year, but you can join SALT’s list serv by sending an email to Leave the subject line blank and type the message “subscribe salt-l” in the body of the message. The character after the hyphen is an “L”.


We're on VUTV!

Did you see SALT on VUTV? Here's a link in case you missed it:


Have a look at what SALT's been talking about by checking out their blog:

The Mission of SALT

The Social Action Leadership Team (SALT) is the Spirit-led social justice ministry of the Chapel of the Resurrection at Valparaiso University in which students in community seek to embody the Christian call to be the "salt of the earth" (Matt. 5:13). SALT helps students develop a passion and practice of Christian social action. SALTers draw upon God’s love for people to cultivate the skills of community organizing, awareness raising, and fund development. SALT alumni are equipped to lead lives of social justice and serve as agents for positive change in their communities.

Every year, the Social Action Leadership Team (SALT) of the Chapel of the Resurrection at Valparaiso University selects one project for which to raise money. This is in addition to numerous activities done locally which generate hundreds of volunteer hours by students and benefit the Valparaiso area. Read more about this year's project.