On the first spring break trip to the Gulf
UNC Asheville students worked on Habitat for Humanity
projects in New Orleans. This year, they head to
Instead of hitting the beach this spring break,
more than 55 UNC Asheville students will fan out across the south
March 7-15 to participate in four different volunteer opportunities
from Asheville to Mississippi. Each year, the University offers
students a number of alternate spring break options to use the week
away from classes to help make the world a better place.
Several students who couldn't travel out of town for spring break
approached UNC Asheville's Student Affairs Division to help them
come up with a local volunteer opportunity. The resulting project
will send more than 20 students into the Shiloh Community for five
days of yard work and painting projects for elderly and homebound
residents. The group, organized by UNC Asheville's Student
Government Association, will work in conjunction with the City of
Asheville's neighborhood coordinator.
Another 20 students will travel from campus to Hattiesburg, Miss.,
to assist with that community's rebuilding efforts following the
destruction of Hurricane Katrina. It is the University's third
spring break service trip to the Gulf Coast. UNC Asheville students
will join hundreds of other college students from across the nation
for Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge, a program that
provides opportunities for students to spend spring break working on
During the trip, which is sponsored by UNC Asheville's Key Center
for Service Learning, students will help out with a wide range of
tasks, including roofing and putting up siding. UNC Asheville junior
Frank Jones says he has tackled projects like this before.
"I've done relief work with church youth groups and through Boy
Scouts but I've not yet worked in the areas devastated by Hurricane
Katrina," said Jones. "I'm not sure what to expect but I'm looking
forward to lending a hand in anyway I can."
Jones will keep an online journal of the weeklong trip, including
personal reflections and pictures. To read about the students'
efforts in Mississippi, click on
Some 13 students are headed to Charleston, S.C. with UNC Asheville's
Baptist Student Union to lend a hand at the Metanoia Community
Development Corporation and a local food bank. Metanoia Community
Development Corporation is a well-respected ministry developed by
the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina to help combat
urban poverty. On the last two days of the trip, UNC Asheville
students will have the opportunity to sightsee in historic downtown
Charleston and worship at the first Baptist church established in
Two UNC Asheville students will join other college students from the
Catholic Diocese of Charlotte to perform service work in and around
Murphy, N.C. Catholic Social Services Diocese of Charlotte's Office
of Economic Opportunity will put the students to work on projects
ranging from building restoration to sorting thrift store donations.
The trip will wrap up with a stop in Cherokee to learn about the
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians' current political structure and
UNC Asheville senior Lynn Dodge has participated in UNC Asheville's
alternate spring breaks in past years and is serving as a
coordinator for the trip to Mississippi this spring.
"I don't think about these activities as 'giving up' my spring break
because it is something that I really want to do," said Dodge. "It's
an amazing opportunity to expand our world a little bit while
positively affecting other people's lives."