Members of the Newman Catholic Center are taking their annual Alternative Spring Break trip to help others through community service.
Since 1993, the Alternative Spring Break trip has been used as a way to serve communities around the country by working with children in group homes, assisting people with disabilities and going to the inner city to deal with the issues impacting poor and disadvantaged children.
Roy Lanham, director and campus minister of the Newman Catholic Center, said he will be going with a group of eight students to a site in Eastern Kentucky to help the rural poor.
Their group will be partnering with six other colleges to help with home repairs.
“The truth is the need is great for volunteers, both short and long term,” Lanham said. “The places we go depend on us coming to help them impact their work in a positive way.”
This trip is not only to help others but also for college students to gain work experience and create relationships between themselves and people in different circumstances.
“We are seeing a national trend of college students not engaging in service trips like this,” Lanham said. “Some of it has to do with finances, needing to go home to work over spring break, and some of it has to do with the changing landscape of our students.”
The total cost of the trip is $175.
Katie Mushinsky, a senior communication disorders and sciences major and member of the Newman Catholic Center, said she has gone on the spring break trip before and enjoyed the work she put in during the trip.
“My first year here at Eastern I went on a service trip to Mobile, Alabama to serve a community of adults with intellectual disabilities,” Mushinsky said. “Last year, I was the site leader for the spring break trip to Baltimore, Maryland. Both were incredible experiences. I saw new places, made new friends, and helped so many people.”
Mushinsky said she has enjoyed the affordability of the trip.
“I have always loved to travel and help people in need. This is the best spring break travel opportunity on campus since it’s affordable,” Mushinsky said. “There are so many scholarships and funding opportunities for students that are so much fun!”
Doris Nordin, a campus minister at the Newman Catholic Center, said financial help is available.
“The trips have a cost, but there are always scholarships for whoever wants to go and cannot afford it,” Nordin said. “Any EIU student can get involved, all are welcome, and they can sign up. Applications are at the Student Activities Office in the Union.”
Bailey Sharpmack can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]