Do Spring the Alternative Way

FS View
Florida State University

For most students, spring break symbolizes just what its name suggests: a break. However, for some students, bikinis, beer and beaches are not on the agenda for their spring break trips.

The Alternative Break Corps has been offering students the chance to do something more productive than partying for a week – ABC gives students the option of volunteering.

ABC is a branch of the not-for-profit organization Break Away that offers trips for students during which they can help others around the country. These trips have different agendas to help with issues that society faces today.

ABC has taken students to places like New York, Washington D.C. and Missouri.

"We really stress training because we think that to do good community service, you really need to know 'why am I doing this community service?' and 'how am I helping, and what can I do to help?'" Director Luke Martin said.

After being assigned to a specific trip, members meet with their site leaders approximately once a week to learn more about what their trip will entail.

This learning process is not only the job of the site leaders, but participants are encouraged to help in educating each other as well.

"We also do Pre-Trip, which is where we go into the Tallahassee community and you actually do service for a couple hours that day," Martin said. "And that's a lot of education that kind of shows you what we're going to do and how we're going to do it."

Each person is required to raise at least $200 for the cost of the trips.

ABC holds fundraisers to help with this requirement.

ABC not only provides alternative spring break options, but they also have a program for students in the summer that travels out of the country.

During previous summers, ABC has gone to Panama to help build a classroom for a school.

"The normal spring break of going to Panama City or Daytona is a fun time, but in ten years is it going to make a difference?" Martin said. "ABC not only changes the lives of who we're helping, but the lives of ourselves."