February 25, 2013

Students will spend spring break helping others

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A group of Southern Illinois University Carbondale students will be “celebrating” spring break by helping make the world a better place.

Alternative Spring Break 2013 will take students to four different locations where they will volunteer their time and energy to make a positive difference serving others and learning.  As they “Think Globally, Act Locally,” the participants will travel to New Orleans, La., or to Knoxville, Memphis or Nashville in Tennessee.  The specifically selected trip destinations will allow students to focus their time on social justice or environmental health issues. 

The SIU students will put forth more than 1,200 hours of combined community service between March 9 and March 16 during the annual event. Students will keep journals during their trips, and then discuss their service and adventures at a public reception when they return. 

Those traveling to New Orleans will help the hungry and homeless while the Knoxville group will assist veterans with disabilities.  In Memphis, the students will work with organic gardens that will provide food for those living in poverty.  Students going to Nashville will focus on ecology and conservation and also work at the zoo.

Participants will travel together to their destinations and spend about one-half of each day in community service, with the remaining time exploring sites and participating in activities in their respective cities.  A student site leader designed each trip and will lead the groups with the assistance of a faculty/staff partner.

All SIU Carbondale students are welcome to participate in Alternative Spring Break 2013.  Spots for all locations except New Orleans remain but they are filling fast.  The cost of each trip is $200 per person.  Visit the Student Health Wellness Center to sign up.

The Student Health Center-Wellness Center, in collaboration with University Housing and Recreational Sports and Services, is sponsoring the event.  Alternative Spring Break 2013 is completely drug and alcohol free. 

For more information, contact Jason Gillman or Jo Howd at 618/536-4441, or by email at jgillman@siu.edu or jahowd@siu.edu.