For the third consecutive year the Revolution, a Ball State University church community, will take a group of students to do community service in Pass Christian, Miss., close to the New Orleans area.
The organization will meet with students from Virginia Tech at the mission and students will help with reconstruction of buildings damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Tearing some walls down and putting up drywalls will be among the activities the organizations will do.
Revolution staff member Carl Frost said student and church organizations have been helping reconstruct most of the surrounding New Orleans area.
"The government has worked repairing New Orleans," "but churches have worked on most of the other parts, "he said.,
Frost said alternative breaks help students learn how it feels to give to other people.
"Community service gives students a different perspective," he said. "And it also helps them learn practical applications."
Greek Alternative Spring Break
A group of eight students will go to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in western Kentucky and Tennessee to do community work while engaging in a green environment.
The group will leave Saturday morning and will return Thursday after having completed 40 hours of community service. Students will
be helping with trail maintenance, cleaning up facility management and painting walls. The students will also help take out an old bridge, Ashley Budde, adviser National Panhellenic Council graduate adviser said.
"I want students to learn about the environment and bring it back and apply it to the community," she said.
This is the second year greek organizations have organized an alternative Spring Break. Last year a group of students went to a therapeutic riding program in Pennsylvania to do community service as well, Budde said.
Budde said Land Between the Lakes was chosen because it offers environmental education and is open to student organizations.
"Land Between the Lakes offers student groups free housing and breakfast," Budde said. "We also wanted to find a place not so expensive."
The alternative Spring Break is also part of the greek accreditation program, but Budde said she wants students to have a good experience helping the environment.
Student Voluntary Services
Student Voluntary Services is taking 13 of its members to St. Louis to help needy families in the community.
For a week, the group of students will provide help to families in food pantries and clinics. The students will also be working in programs for single mothers and the "Reconnecting Fathers" program, graduate assistant of student voluntary services, Patricia Ceballo said.
This is the first time the organization is doing voluntary service in St. Louis, Ceballo said.
Students will have the opportunity to visit local attractions, but their primary focus is helping others, she said.
"We want to give students the opportunity to give back," she said. "However, this is one of the first times we visit a larger city, so we will also have recreational activities as well."
Ceballo said two new Alternative Break Engagement scholarships were created this year and given out for this trip.
"We know some students don't sign up because they don't have the money, but we are trying to provide aid," she said. "We want to encourage more students to participate with SVS."
The Timmy Foundation
The Ball State chapter of the Timmy Foundation will go to Guatemala on Spring Break to provide medical care to citizens in need.
The Timmy Foundation is a non-profit organization based out of Indianapolis that channels resources to sustainable health projects in developing countries, according to its Web site.
Michael Suer, president of the Ball State chapter, said about 10 students are going on the trip to set up a clinic and treat all the locals who stop by.
"Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in South America, many people just live on $1 a day," Suer said. "Guatemala has a terrible health care system. There are doctors there if you can get to them, but they are often too expensive for them to pay for it. There is a huge disparity of medical care."
Suer said the Ball State organization has been going to Guatemala since 2007. Nine colleges are a part of the Timmy Foundation, five of which visit Ecuador and four visit Guatemala, Suer said. The foundation has a branch going to Guatemala five times a year, and they often see the same villages and the same patients, Suer said.
"It's a really humbling experience," Suer said. "People think they've seen poverty in U.S. cities, but they have whole communities less than those people. You tell people about it and show them pictures, but until you actually go there you can't get a sense of what it's like."