Alternative Spring Break 2014
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving every man, woman, and child a decent and affordable home to live in with dignity. The organization was founded on the idea that it is a basic human right to have a safe place to live and raise a family. As a campus chapter we clearly support this mission to eliminate substandard housing around the world – this is ultimately the goal we are trying to accomplish. We will be physically working on a house in Goldsboro, NC for a family in need of a “hand-up.” Another large part of our trip involves aid from community members. Alongside Habitat for Humanity volunteers, community members and home owners are encouraged to help out. This is an easy mission to accomplish due to the fact that homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor (sweat equity) into building their house and other participants’ houses. During our trip to North Carolina, we will meet homeowners and many other community volunteers while we are working on a house. This means that about 15 participants will have the invaluable, rewarding opportunity to meet the people that they are helping fight the adversity of homelessness.
STUDENTS HELPING HONDURAS
Because SHH focuses its efforts on a variety of projects within the community, the specific project on which we will be working can vary from day to day. However, the mission of the international organization SHH is to build a movement of young leaders in order to empower orphaned and vulnerable children in Honduras, and each project we work on during an SHH trip will help to fulfill this mission. This will include construction projects on various schools around El Progreso (which is what we worked on during our last service trip) as well as on several children’s homes built by SHH to provide a home for children who lost theirs when the state orphanage burned down last year. Therefore, another large part of our service is to become involved with the children and locals in the community in a way that will empower and inspire them to pursue their education or careers. This will be done by constant immersion in the community, from eating lunch with the children at school to working side by side with local Honduran construction workers. This will not only show the locals our support first hand, but it will also provide our own members with inspiration to do further service by allowing them to see the direct impact of their efforts on the Honduran community.
NEWMAN CATHOLIC COMMUNITY
At the Holy Angels Catholic School, volunteers will be placed in a classroom to help the teacher in any way they can. Usually, this involves working with a child, or a group of children, who is struggling to get a hold of the concepts the rest of the class is learning. The grade levels range from kindergarten to eighth grade. Each of those age levels will need a different kind of, or different level of, attention. While the kindergarten students may need help understanding how a book works, or the emotions another student, an eighth grader may be struggling with anything from a science project to their own self esteem. The volunteers from our campus will be providing a positive role model for the students, as well as giving the teacher a little bit of a break from being pulled in five directions at once. In addition to helping others, I think the volunteers on this trip will also get a lot out of the experience. Yes, they will feel good about themselves for helping one or two children really understand something they were struggling with, but they will be able to see that the kind of struggles this school in Baltimore is facing are similar to the troubles that the schools in the Rochester School District face.