While many college students across the country descend upon Key West in the coming weeks for annual spring break festivities, members of Barry University’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program are visiting America’s Southernmost city from March 5 –9 for a week of volunteer service.
This is the sixth-straight year ASB members have spent their spring break week engaged in community service. ASB, a program that exists on many college campuses, is a student-run organization that is dedicated to making the world a better place through its volunteer service. Each spring, undergraduate students are selected to take part in a week-long immersion trip during their break. The trips, which take place at different locations each year, offer students the opportunity to live out the core commitments of the university by serving communities that are in great need.
While in Key West, the group of 10 students will be working with the Star of the Sea (S.O.S.) Foundation to support their outreach to those in need of food and housing assistance. Barry’s students will be occupied in the S.O.S. food pantry sorting and arranging items in the warehouse, and serving meals.
Barry ASB members spent the fall in various fundraising activities to raise the money necessary for this year’s travel. In addition, Barry's rowing team donated proceeds from their 2013 Ergathon to the ASB program.
In addition to their work in Key West, an additional seven Barry ASB members will travel to the Dominican Republic to assist at the Espiritu Santo Fey Alegria School in Bani. This group will facilitate educational and recreational activities with the students of the school. Espiritu Santo Fey Alegria is a primary school operated by the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
Barry’s Alternative Spring Break program offers students an opportunity to perform community service not only during spring break, but throughout the academic year. ASB’s mission is to educate students about social, political, and environmental issues through direct service, reflection, student leadership, diversity and engagement beyond the local community. In past years, Barry’s ASB has volunteered as part of relief efforts in New Orleans, La. following Hurricane Katrina, at Haitian Community Centers in Miami after the 2011 earthquake, and in Pensacola, Fla. in sea life recovery efforts.