Alternative spring break encourages students to spend their time off working on community service projects instead of on the beaches of Panama City. Sponsored by Hiram College’s Community Service Office, students on four separate trips spent this year’s spring break in service to others.
Kim Miller ’10 led a group of nine students in a Hiram College van to New Orleans, LA. For the first few days they volunteered with the Children’s Museum and the Animal Rescue Organization of New Orleans helping abandoned pets recovered from the hurricane Katrina. The remainder of their trip was spent clearing lots where homes were destroyed in the lower ninth ward. Kim Miller stated, “Finding personal family possessions among the debris, like toys and photo albums, made this job emotionally difficult.”
Jason Bricker-Thompson led a group of student to Milwaukee, WI where they worked with the organization Growing Power, a Heifer International project partner dealing in urban agriculture for the inner-city poor. The theme of Jason’s trip was “sustainability,” and they spent their time transplanting, composting, planting seedlings, working with goats, and lots of manual labor.
Mike Corr and Jon Moody supervised a third group of 15 students for Habitat for Humanity in Lexington, KY. Here they helped with the construction of a two-story, three-bedroom house for a family approved for program. During their short stay they managed to construct all four first floor exterior walls, three interior walls, the second-story floor, and started on the front porch. They were relieved by another group of ambitious students from Harvard University who took up where I students left off. This is part of the Collegiate Challenge program.
A fourth group of students lead by Kathryn Lauer ’09, and Anne Stroud ’10, represented the SEAC – Student Environmental Action Coalition. They went to the Appalachia area and assisted programs focusing on prevention of mountain top removal, being a coal mining technique where entire mountain tops are removed in a strip mining process.