Spring break is often thought of as a time to vacation and relax. For those students who believe in the importance of volunteer service, spring break is a time to give back.
Each year, the Saint Rose Community Service Office offers Alternative Spring Breaks, service learning trips across the country. This year, 33 students traveled to three locations: San Francisco, New Orleans, and Palm Beach County, Florida. Each trip engaged the 33 with different themes and issues.
The 12 students who traveled to San Francisco spent part of their week with GLIDE, an organization that serves and supports the neighborhood with the highest concentration of poverty west of the Mississippi in one of the nation’s most expensive cities. Students volunteered with the Nutrition Program serving breakfast and lunch and spent time at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
In New Orleans, 13 students spent their week rebuilding homes that remain devastated nearly 10 years after Hurricane Katrina. Volunteering through lowernine.org, students helped with painting, roofing, and installing drywall. They also met and worked alongside homeowners and community members who experienced Katrina’s wrath. One evening was spent touring Our School at Blair Grocery, an urban farm that emphasizes sustainability education to local youth.
Eight more students spent the week giving back to the community of West Palm Beach. Two houses now sport new coats of paint through Paint Your Heart Out, including the home of a Marine Corps veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and a back injury. His family assisted with painting, giving students the opportunity to thank someone who has served the country to protect its freedoms. In addition, a community garden got some tender loving care and a local church benefited from a donation of goods that was organized by the students.
To learn more about student service trips offered through Saint Rose, please visit here.