2014-01 - Abby Byrne

Abby Byrne is dedicated to helping others. She crafted a grant proposal and presented it to a committee in order to secure Haney Fellowship funding for a solo trip to ‘Barrio Solidaridad’ in Salta, Argentina to do volunteer work. Communicating only in Spanish Abby helped nuns tend to the poor and needy.

Abby also applied for and was accepted to be a volunteer to help the sick and dying in Lourdes. Abby writes the following of her experience: ‘This was a ten day trip where volunteers assist the disabled on their pilgrimage to the grotto to pray for healing. The volunteers mostly had small jobs: setting tables, making beds, wheeling people from room to room, offering someone a cup of coffee, or accompanying them for a service. I had been selected to be a “buddy” for a man named Adam who was unable to feed himself. I sat down with him for each meal and fed him before I ate. It was the most intense, emotional and exhausting week of my life, and really one of the best experiences I've ever had.’

Finally, Abby went to Virginia last March with Appalachia Service Project. There, she spent a week doing hard manual labor.

Having shared metta on a global level, Abby is a deserving recipient of this grant.