The Hurricane Katrina Recovery Team at work in 2007.

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Sunbathe at Daytona Beach for spring break or build houses in Georgia?

Though many students may opt to relax at popular vacation spots, several groups of Bucknell students have decided to throw in the beach towel for a more labor-intensive but meaningful experience on an alternative break trip. Spring break begins March 7 and ends March 17. 

Alternative break trips are service projects that give students the opportunity to travel while helping others in need. Students organize and lead most of these trips with the help of a faculty advisor.

"More students are eager to participate in alternative break experiences," said Janice Butler, director of service learning at Bucknell. "I think they're hungry for meaningful opportunities to contribute to the common good, see a new area of the country, and help where they feel they can make a difference."

Overall, Butler estimates that about 100 students will participate in alternative break trips this year. Bucknell has been sponsoring alternative break trips since 1999.

This year, Bucknell is offering trips that range from food distribution in the Dominican Republic to hurricane relief work in New Orleans. They include:

  • The Alliance for Community, Education & Services will travel to the Dominican Republic in response to the recent tropical storms that have hit the country. Students will work in orphanages, participate in building projects, and distribute food. Contacts: Anne Leister or Hannah Irion         
  • The Bucknell chapter of Habitat for Humanity will travel to Tallahassee, Fla., to participate in building a home as part of Habitat’s Collegiate Challenge program. Contact: Jason VerNooy.
  • InterVarsity Christian Fellowship will travel to Albany, Ga., to build homes and share with each other why their faith causes them to serve others. Contact: Chris Owens.
  • Students and staff will travel to Memphis, Tenn., to explore the ongoing legacy of the Civil Rights Movement on a trip titled, “Civil Rights: The Unfinished Journey.” Participants will visit historic sites, museums, and archives; talk with residents who participated in key events; and consider conditions of inequality by serving the needy in Memphis. Contact: Jessica Hess.
  • The Bucknell Brigade, a group of students and staff who are committed to aiding the poverty-stricken people of Nicaragua, will travel to the village of Nueva Vida. There they will assist with Spanish translation in a local health clinic and work in the clinic’s pharmacy. They will also continue to build a women’s spinning co-op.
  • The Katrina Recovery Team will continue their hurricane relief work in St. Bernard Parish, New Orleans. The team will be working in partnership with the St. Bernard Project, which focuses on refurbishing old houses.

Space for both the Bucknell Brigade trip and the Katrina Recovery Team trip has already been filled, but anyone interested in traveling with either team in 2009 may contact Kristine Kengor or visit the Hurricane Katrina Recovery Team.

Comtact: Office of Communications

Posted March 4, 2008

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