By: Bri Griffith, sophomore Creative Writing major at Carlow University
Alternative Spring Break trips are opportunities for college students to spend their spring breaks serving, opening themselves up to new people and new experiences. This year, Carlow University sent two groups of students to two different places around the country.
A group of 21 Carlow students traveled to Laredo, Texas, with the help of leaders Rachel Blonski, Interim Director of Campus Life, Chris Meaner, former Director of Campus life, and junior Carlow students Michaela Buzzard and Megan Barnett. The group raised nearly $20,000 selling hoagies and candles, working the concession stand at home basketball games, working Steeler games as Landmark security, etc. in order to make this trip possible
While in Laredo, Carlow students worked with Habitat for Humanity Laredo. They spent time organizing the Habitat for Humanity restore, a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center, and worked on the framing of a house that would soon belong to a deserving family. Carlow students worked closely with the family, and they formed strong relationships with all of the Habitat for Humanity workers.
Another group of 3 students traveled to the Well of Mercy in Hamptonville, North Carolina, with the help of leader Sister Sheila Carney, Special Assistant to the President, and the Director of Mercy Heritage and Service.
The Well of Mercy is a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy. Several thousand overnight and day guests have been served since the opening of the ministry in 1997 (http://www.wellofmercy.org).
While at the Well of Mercy, Carlow students did a lot of outdoor work. They did some weeding and mulching, and also cleared pathways in the woods, for those who stay at the Well of Mercy and enjoy nature walks. Students also helped organize the Well of Mercy’s workshop garage. Sophomore student Shannon Campolong said, “It’s amazing to know that we were able to impact so many people, and it makes the trip worth it, knowing that we make a difference.”
If you’re ever considering applying for an Alternative Spring Break trip while at Carlow, know that you will be making a huge difference in the lives of others, something that resonates well with the whole of Carlow University.
Work site in Laredo, Texas — framing of a house built by Carlow University student volunteers.