Wednesday, March 9, 2016

On March 12, when UNH students head off for spring break, some will go back home to spend time with family, others will travel to tropical destinations to thaw out and some will pile into passenger vans and embark on various trips around the country as part of UNH’s Alternative Break Challenge (ABC).

ABC is a UNH student organization that provides community service opportunities. Trips are substance-free and emphasize community and interaction while offering volunteers the chance to develop responsibility and leadership skills. This year, 100 students are participating in 10 trips to various places in the South and Midwest. Each trip consists of two student leaders and eight student participants.

Here are the causes ABC volunteers will serve.

Habitat for Humanity

UNH ABC will send 50 students to work with Habitat for Humanity, a charity that builds houses for people in need. Volunteers will help build homes in Charlotte, North Carolina; Macon, Georgia; Des Moines, Iowa; Mandeville, Louisiana, and Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Participants will be housed in local churches.

The American Hiking Society

Twenty students will travel to James River State Park in Gladstone, Virginia, and to Dahlonega, Georgia, to work with the American Hiking Society, where they will clear brush and debris, work to prevent erosion and maintain proper water drainage on the trails. The American Hiking Society provides cabins to house volunteers. 

Inner City Youth

Twenty volunteers will travel to East St. Louis, Illinois, to work with an after-school program for inner-city youth. Participants will stay in a local church.

Cumberland Island

Ten students will “rough it” on Cumberland Island, off the coast of Georgia. Volunteers will work with the U.S. National Parks Service to do maintenance on hiking trails.

All trips are paid for through participant fees and fundraising. Fees cover transportation as well as money for food shopping if food is not already provided by the organization. For more information, visit the UNH ABC website or their Facebook page.