Be the Change Day
Be the Change Day is a national day of service honoring the legacy of Mohandas K. Gandhi. Thousands of participants across the country collectively contribute numerous hours of community service in the spirit of Gandhi’s challenge to “be the change you wish to see in the world.”
The Community Service Network coordinates service opportunities that take place across the City of Rochester and connect students to our local community. Held annually on a Saturday in October, the University of Rochester has been participating since 1997.
MLK Jr. Day of Service/King for a Day
King for a Day (KFAD) is a Rochester-wide day of service that brings together students from University of Rochester, students from other area colleges, and community members to honor Dr. King's legacy. The day begins with a powerful kick-off event that brings together all of these stakeholders through a free breakfast and entertainment. Volunteers then serve throughout the Rochester area to celebrate service. KFAD is also coordinated by the Community Service Network and is held annually in the month of January.
Rochester students have a long history of undertaking service trips during winter, spring, and summer breaks. The destinations range from Rochester and other domestic sites to international locations.
Some trips have been in place for many years, allowing us to build relationships with community partners, and have an extended, positive impact. Many of these trips are student-led, giving students the opportunity to gain invaluable and transformative leadership experiences.
The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) collaborates with other departments to provide advisement to ensure that service trips are well planned, safe, and successful.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, University regulations currently prevent students from untaking in-person travel. Refer to the University’s COVID-19 Resource Center for more information.
Alternative Spring Break Trips 2020
Habitat for Humanity
Location: Kittanning, PA
Trip Leader: Edith Lee, firstname.lastname@example.org
Habitat for Humanity strives to give hardworking families a hand up by partnering with them to build homes. During spring break, students helped with the construction of a habitat home in Kittanning, Pennsylvania. They worked demolition, insulation, and mudding drywall over their week in PA. The group also enjoyed some time in Pittsburgh at famous landmarks drinking coffee and eating some good food. The group grew very close through this fantastic trip.
One of the great things about Habitat for Humanity is that it requires future homeowners to work on their own homes. This instills a sense of pride in the homeowners once the house is built and makes this project a partnership, not a handout. Because of this, the group worked alongside future homeowners and were able to see just what having a home means to them.
UR Christian Fellowship
Location: San Quintin, Mexico
Trip Leader: Madison Ireland, email@example.com
This year UR Christina Fellowship made the trip to San Quintin, Mexico, on a Mission Trip through Go Missions. The group was able to make an impact on the community and were able to make meaningful bonds with the people of San Quintin. Site leader Madison Ireland wrote in her reflection of the experience, “Everyone on the Mission Trip team definitely grew spiritually. We had a whole week to put ourselves in different shoes and walk much different lives than our own ones at a prestigious university. We had individual and group time to come closer to God and increase our family size with the new brothers and sisters in Christ we met along the week.” The group is working on a video to share their excellent experience, and that will on their CCC page.
Catholic Newman Community
Location: Frenchville, PA
For the past several years, the Catholic Newman Community at the University of Rochester has been going to Frenchville, Pennsylvania to volunteer through the organization Young People Who Care. Frenchville is located in the Central Appalachia region of the Eastern United States, which is an impoverished and rural region of the country.
Young People Who Care reaches out to those in need within Frenchville, including those struggling financially, those who are elderly or sick, and those who are homebound. The group this past year helped with a Habitat for Humanity build, went to nursing homes to give company to residents, and served folks within the community by completing various tasks.
This was an excellent opportunity to help those in need, learn a new skill, and meet other students from the U of R campus as well as students from other schools who were volunteering. During this time, participants learned about the daily struggles of those they served and how they can help. The lessons learned on this trip are going to be carried into the student’s daily lives, their coursework, and will inform how they help others in the future.
Alternative Spring Break Trips 2019
University of Rochester Christian Fellowship (URCF)
After getting its start in 2013, the University of Rochester's chapter of Students Helping Honduras (SHH) will hold its third annual alternative spring break trip this year. Over the past few years, more than 40 students have participated in SHH ASB trips. This March 30 students will depart for their own trip to San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
Working side by side with members of the Honduran community as well as SHH staff members, volunteers will contribute to constructing a school in rural Honduras using the funds they have raised throughout the year. In addition, volunteers will have opportunities to tutor local children and will engage in educational activities on a variety of topics ranging from Honduran current events and culture to the ethics of global development projects.
Throughout this week, volunteers will help construct a school that aims to empower youth through education, while simultaneously making lasting friendships with Honduran families and broadening their understanding of Honduran culture and SHH's work.
Catholic Newman Community
This year, Catholic Newman Community will be traveling to Frenchville, Pennsylvania, in order to volunteer through the organization Young People Who Care. Frenchville is located in the Central Appalachia Region of the Eastern United States, which is a very poor and rural region of the country.
Young People Who Care reaches out to those in need within Frenchville, including those struggling financially, those who are elderly or sick, and those who are homebound. We will participate in a variety of service activities, such as:
- Doing minor home repairs, yard work, and painting
- Visiting the sick and elderly
- Bringing food and other necessities to those who could not otherwise access or pay for the things they need
This is a great opportunity to help those in need, learn a new skill, meet new people from our own campus as well as students from other schools who will be volunteering alongside us, all while learning about the daily struggles of those we help and the ways in which we can help them. The lessons learned on this trip can be carried into our daily lives, our coursework, and the way in which we help others in the future.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity strives to give hardworking families a hand up by partnering with them to build homes. During spring break we will help with the construction of a habitat home in Newland, North Carolina. Although what exactly we will be doing there is unknown at the moment: we could be framing, putting up drywall, installing doors/windows, or doing any other task that goes into the construction of a home.
One of the great things about Habitat for Humanity is that it requires future homeowners to work on their own home. This instills a sense of pride in the homeowners once the house is built and makes this project a partnership, not a handout. Because of this we will probably be working alongside the future homeowner family and be able to see just what this home means to them.
Past Alternative Spring Break Trips
Want to know more about our spring break trips? Check out past Alternative Spring Break trips for pictures and information about contributions University of Rochester students have made!