Expanded Alternative Break Offerings Include Hospice Care, Refugee Awareness
Hospice care and refugee awareness are two new alternative break
service opportunities available for students and their faculty and
staff advisors during winter break Feb. 23 through March 1, 2008.
In all, nine alternative break trips are planned, including two Habitat for Humanity choices, two faith-based opportunities, environmental restoration efforts, and work with developmentally disabled individuals and children and adults affected by HIV/AIDS.
“There are some wonderful opportunities that are new to Alma College students this year,” says Sallie Scheide, assistant director for the Center for Responsible Leadership.
“Our partnership with Heartland Hospice allows for local training and service in Gratiot County and also direct contact with clients in Atlanta, Ga., during winter break. Refugee awareness also is a new opportunity that will be led by senior Brandon Smith, who attended a break-away leadership workshop with the agency that is providing the refugee awareness opportunity,” she says.
Alternative Break service in February 2007
Students may apply for alternative break service trips beginning Nov. 1 at the Center for Responsible Leadership.
Alternative breaks are designed to widen students’ awareness of the needs of those around them, says Scheide. Last year, more than 125 students, faculty and staff participated in seven February 2007 and one December 2006 alternative break service trips.
Here’s a rundown of this year’s trips:
• Affordable Housing — Participants will assist local Habitat for Humanity chapters in new home construction at two locations: Georgetown, S.C., and Brunswick, Ga. Manual labor may include dry-walling, framing, roofing or anything that goes into building a home.
• Developmentally Disabled Citizens — Students, partnering with United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee, will construct wheelchair ramps at the private homes of physically disabled individuals in Nashville, Tenn.
• Environmental — Environmental restoration efforts at the Disney Wilderness Preserve (The Nature Conservancy) in Kissimmee, Fla., could include work with invasive plants, wildlife monitoring, planting native plants/seeds, etc.
• Faith-based, Disaster Recovery — Students will work with the Presbytery of Mississippi in doing home repair work due to Hurricane Katrina damage. Additional service opportunities may include clerical duties, casework or after-school programs.
• Faith-based, Developmentally Challenged Individuals — Students will interact with teens and adults being cared for at Duvall Presbyterian Home in Glenwood, Fla.
• Health Care/Counseling — Working with Heartland Hospice, students will receive hospice volunteer training on campus, volunteer locally during the academic year, and spend winter break serving in the Atlanta area. Students will assist the in-patient units with visitation, clerical and gardening tasks.
• HIV/AIDS — Students will volunteer with two Chicago agencies — The Children’s Place and Vital Bridges — that address the needs of children and adults affected by HIV/AIDS.
• Refugee Awareness — Students will experience the life of a refugee during a one-day simulation and provide assistance to the refugee center at the Family Heritage Foundation in Atlanta, Ga. Duties will include providing one-on-one assistance to children in an after-school program and assisting the center with general maintenance.
Most service teams consist of approximately 10 students. Each group has student leaders and a staff advisor. The cost to participants ranges from $100 to $150. The trips are funded by a continuance grant from the Lilly Endowment and participant fees.
Earlier this fall, student teams participated in a pair of fall alternative break opportunities, including volunteer work at Heartside Ministry in Grand Rapids Oct. 18-19 and Open Door, an outreach for the homeless, at Fort Street Presbyterian Church in Detroit, Oct. 17-18.
Posted: Wed, October 31st, 2007 at 9:01AM