Church offers alternative spring break program

Roberto Hodge, Multicultural Editor

For more than 20 years, the Newman Catholic Center has sponsored the alternative spring break program, which is designed to allow students a chance to visit various locations each spring break while helping those who may be less fortunate.

Doris Nordin, a campus minister, said this spring break those in the program will be visiting nine sites compared to last year’s 12.

“You gain so much relationship skills, a different vision of the world, new friends and it’s fun; it’s a fun week,” Nordin said.

So far, 20 students have signed up for this year’s program and more than 90 register each year.

Nordin said two sites would be for Habitat for Humanity, one in Mississippi, and another in Tennessee. She said one of the sites students will get to visit is in Kentucky called the Christian Appalachian project where they will be promoting self-help and dignity.

“You are building a future for somebody else,” Nordin said.

She said she admires students who are older and take the time to participate in a program like this because it involves some stepping out of their comfort zones.

There will also be two project sites where students will be allowed to work with children and two more allowing them to assist those with mental disabilities.

“Some students want to work with their hands, but some one’s presence helps,” Nordin said. “It’s very powerful just being with them and spending time with them.”

One of the projects students will be able to visit will be in Louisiana providing services to people with AIDs who can no longer live on their own or whose family members can no longer care for them.

Nordin said there are no special precautions that need to be taken, but in the beginning of each site there will be an instruction on safety.

The goal of the project is to explain the different realities others may have to go through once students have a chance to meet those who are less fortunate, Nordin said.

“It’s a great opportunity to open your eyes to different conditions in life,” Nordin said.

Nordin said the cost to attend Alternative Spring Break is $200, but if students apply before Feb. 2, the price is reduced to $175.

There will also be an informational at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Newman Catholic Center.

Roberto Hodge can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].