If you’re of a certain age, spring break is probably a distant memory. But most of us have someone in our life who’ll be taking a week or two off this month to rest and get away from the rigors of academia. While the phrase “spring break” comes with plenty of cultural connotations, the United Way has created a variety of programs that help students to spend their vacation giving back a bit—even while they soak up some sun and enjoy the company of their peers. “Alternative Spring Break” is just that—a spring break that offers an alternative to the usual debauchery; students participate in service projects (an alternative to say, beer pong tournaments) but still engage in plenty of social and cultural experiences with like-minded students from around the country.
Alternative Spring Break provides housing, meals and on the ground transportation to all of its volunteers. The organization also organizes social outings to local cities and attractions during volunteers’ free time. Service projects include work at community kitchens, homeless shelters and other nonprofits that help to support United Way’s work in the areas of housing, financial stability and access to healthy food. You can select a week starting March 2, 9, 16 or 23—depending on when your break is. Says Jordan Willis of Hampton University (one of last year’s participants), “I did an Alternative Spring Break in Haiti and it was a great experience.” Whether you’re going as far as Haiti, or doing work right here in Baltimore, there’s plenty to be done—and thanks to Alternative Spring Break, a great way to have a good time doing it.
For more information on registering for Alternative Spring Break, visit www.uwcm.org/asbapply.