slides: Rhode Island’s College Students Spend Spring Break Doing Good
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Over their break, Roger Williams students had 3 different opportunities to do good, in three very different parts of the world.
New Orleans, Project Homecoming – 20 students helped repair homes for those still without their home from Hurricane Katrina.
Manistique, Michigan, Habitat for Humanity – 17 students helped build homes for low-income families to help eliminate poverty housing in the community.
El Salvador, Dominic Republic, FIRMC (Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children) – 17 students brought hundreds of dollars worth of medical supplies and medicines to aid children and families in need of basic healthcare services such as blood pressure monitoring or eye, ear, nost and throat checkups.
RISD's Alternative Spring Break will offer the chance for students to travel to the Washington DC area to address issues of homelessness. The 11 participating students will travel to Washington DC for five days where they will volunteer at homeless shelters and food pantries, namely Carpenter's Shelter, S.O.M.E. (So Others Might Eat), and Food and Friends. Upon their return to the RISD campus, the students will give a presentation about the information and data that they collected on the trip in hopes of using it to create a similar model to be used right here in Rhode Island.
Brown University's Brown Disaster Relief Group will being traveling to Little Ferry, New Jersey over their spring break to do relief work in areas hit by Hurricane Sandy. The group, now in its fourth year, has previously sent groups of about 10-15 students to sites in New Orleans, Nashville, and North Carolina, where they tiled floors, restored a church, helped to build the foundation for a new home and more. Coordinator Linnea Blaurock says that the best part of the trips is hearing the stories of those whose lives have been impacted by disaster and how they have been coming back from it.
Providence College sent more than 230 students to 16 locations for the annual Habitat for Humanity trip. Habitat for Humanity is a Christian non-profit organization that uses volunteer labor to build and sell homes at no profit. The whopping number of participants made PC home to the largest collegiate Habitat chapter in the country. Volunteers traveled to locations such as Delaware, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina to address the issues of poverty and homelessness and build homes for those in need.
Providence College II
Other PC students traveled abroad with the college's Alternative Spring Break Program. Students traveled to Lima Peru on a service trip that allowed them to see societal change in action. The trip focused on the social issues that are faced worldwide and the suffering that exists in every corner of the globe, emphasizing the need to empower young people.
Students of URI gave back through the Academic Alternative Spring Break, which combines academic work and a week-long service trip in a three-credit course offered during the spring semester. The class partners with Habitat for Humanity and explores the issues of poverty, homelessness, political communities, and economics.
Photo: Alyssa & Colin/flickr
Salve Regina University
Salve Regina students took part in the Civil Rights Bus Tour, led by Dr. Anthony LoPresti and Dr. Timothy Neary. The tour took students to several locations in North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Washington DC that were iconic to the civil rights movement. Along the way, students watched documentaries and held discussions about life in the segregationist South and the origin and leaders of the civil right movement. The trip emphasized the power of protest and the ways in which courage and a deep commitment to social justice mark the participants in this movement, both black and white.
Salve Regina II
Other Salve students stayed local and participated in the Alternative Spring Break group, organized by the university's Mercy Center for Spiritual Life. Contrary to past years when students traveled to Boston, New York, or other urban hubs, the group used Salve as a "home base" and took part in community service in various locations throughout Rhode Island. Campus minister Matthew Kelly hopes that this will give students a "‘bigger picture’ idea that the needs of the poorest residents in Rhode Island are just as great as the needs in other states."
Students of Bryant University traveled to Washington DC to work with organizations Food and Friends, Little Sisters of the Poor, and St. Anthony's Catholic School After Care program. Volunteers helped out in kitchens, tutored children, delivered meals to those in need, went on a tour of the Capitol Building, and even sang some karaoke.
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