By: Christina Morris, Senior Communications Intern
Instead of relaxing over the Christmas holidays, Notre Dame senior Anthony “TJ” Gilmer travelled to Fort-Liberté, Haiti for a mission trip.
TJ was in Haiti for two weeks with a group from Central: A Christ-Centered Church, which is located in Ewing, NJ. His father is the Pastor of Spiritual Development at Central.
Over the span of two weeks, TJ and his team worked together to finish building a local school. The school had been under construction for over five years. He was part of the construction team and assisted in building large shelves to store papers and supplies inside the building. In addition to the construction team, there was also a clinic team working at the school.
During his time in Haiti, TJ also spent time in the community. He helped feed people at some of the local churches in Fort Liberty as well as almost two-thousand children inside of the school.
“The highlight of my trip was feeding the kids,” said TJ. “ We had rounds of kids that would come in singing chants and I would just think that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They seemed so happy despite their circumstances.”
TJ has gone on mission trips every year since his freshman year, but none of them have ever been this far away. In the past, he has gone to the Carolinas, Georgia and most recently, in Trenton. Service has been part of TJ’s life since his early middle school years, as his father is very engaged in service work.
“Service for me means being a blessing to others,” said TJ. “I feel like we’re something special when we’re able to help out others and see a smile on their face. It really makes me proud of what I’m doing.”
Besides his passion for service, TJ has been a member of the track team at Notre Dame since he transferred here his sophomore year. He also plays the drums at his church.
We are very proud of TJ and all of his service work accomplishments!
Located on 100 beautiful acres in Central New Jersey, Notre Dame High School, founded in 1957, is a college preparatory school for grades 9 - 12, preparing young men and women for lives of purpose, built upon a foundation of Catholic faith, with a commitment to academics, co-curricular activities and service to others.