Service & Solidarity: Winter Break Alternative

Service & Solidarity Missions are student-led service trips overseen by Campus Ministry during spring, winter, and summer breaks. In 2011, Spring Break Alternative (SBA) celebrated its 21st year, sending 214 students on 15 trips in 11 states and Jamaica. The overwhelming popularity of SBA has led to diversifying this popular and exciting program to include mission trips during winter (Winter Break Alternative) and summer (Summer Plunge) breaks. These mission trips enable students to learn about Catholic social teaching while spending time living and working with those most in need.

The "hands on" nature of this program, focusing on service and community, gives participants the chance to build and renovate homes, tutor children, serve in soup kitchens, as well as to visit families and individuals in the community.

Follow updates from the Campus Ministry staff, and the WBA participants on the
Service and Solidarity Blog.

WBA Camden: Leader Jacqui called as the group was headed out for their night off to explore nearby Philadelphia. She mentioned that the group was really looking forward to the evening together, as they are split into smaller groups during the day to attend various service sites. Jacqui also mentioned that the group is really loving the Romero Center staff and all the reflection opportunities they're facilitating, helping the group draw connections and begin discussions that are challenging and fruitful.

WBA D.C.: Having conquered the Metro, leaders Matt and Leanne and the WBA DC group have now hit their stride. They are really enjoying their work at various food distribution centers, particularly in light of the SNAP food stamp challenge the group completed yesterday, which, by the sounds of it, was difficult but eye-opening. The group is also taking advantage of evening hours to do sightseeing and is looking forward to hearing some wonderful speakers and finally making it to the White House later in the week to round out their stay at The Pilgrimage.

ALUMNI RELATIONS: Our WBA students are serving alongside several fellow Anselmians this week: Amy Schaltegger Escoto '97 and her husband Wilson in Honduras, Molly Sherry '10 and Matt McDonald '11 in New Orleans, and Joshua Dupuis '09 and Brad Landry '09 in Camden.

WBA Honduras: Leaders John and Mel called after waking from an unplanned two hour siesta–it seems that working all morning in the bean fields, school, or kitchen and trying to keep up with the boys of Amigos de Jesus on the soccer field all afternoon is exhausting! The group is navigating the language and cultural barriers well, making friends and learning a great deal. They especially enjoyed a reflection facilitated by Amy and Wilson, who run Amigos de Jesus, which put them in the shoes of the Honduran boys they are working with. Nursing majors will have a chance to visit a Honduran clinic and the whole group will take a day trip to nearby indigenous ruins, so there is still a great deal the group is looking forward to.

WBA New Orleans: Leaders Kristen and Steve called after another tiring but great day at the group's two work sites, helping repair homes that have Hurricane Katrina flood damage. During the day, the group is keeping busy doing demolition, putting up drywall, and insulating the homes, and in the evening they are cooking with other Operation Helping Hands volunteers before sitting down to reflect. In their time off, the group has had a chance to explore the city–they loved Sunday mass with jazz music, and have had more than a few beignets–and also to take in the still-apparent devastation from Hurricane Katrina in the lower ninth ward.