BOSTON — Put away the bathing suits and flip flops and break out the work boots and jeans. Suffolk University students are partaking in a different, less party-oriented kind of spring break this year.
Suffolk University’s S.O.U.L.S organization is hosting an alternative spring break program in Texas and Mississippi during this year’s regularly scheduled break. Volunteers will participate in poverty relief projects through Habitat for Humanity in Texas and Katrina relief in Mississippi through Community Collaborations International.
Their tasks will include a cornucopia of construction tasks such as building and rebuilding homes, as well as working with children and families in the community. Due to the large amount of work needed in both areas, their tasks are virtually unpredictable. There is also no set agenda, so everyday will be a new and different experience.
Some students may think that giving up their spring break would be the ultimate sacrifice, but the volunteers that do say it is the ultimate reward.
“It gets you out of your element and changes your life, you don’t come back the same person,” Stephanie Marin said.
“Whether you do it with your friends or not you can really learn a lot about yourself and others, while making many memories to remember forever,” Michael Geffken, group leader for Texas trip, said.
Alternative Spring Break is a beneficial experience for college students. It educates them about the world, while instilling the importance of volunteering.
“People take so much from society, but they don’t give back. It’s important to do both,” Kelly Garrard said.
S.O.U.L.S members will be in Suffolk University’s Donahue Café on February 5-7, 2008 fundraising for their trip. Although outside organizations fund the construction costs, the volunteers are responsible for paying for their lodging and food. Donate as little as a dollar to the S.O.U.L.S organization and help the volunteers “make a difference, brick by brick.”
Many of the volunteers got involved with alternative spring break after hearing about the exhilarating experiences of other students. Don’t be afraid to try something new and exciting. Volunteering can be rewarding, not only for the victims, but the volunteers. If you are interested in getting involved with Alternative Spring Break you can contact the SOULS department at 1-617-305-6306.