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Destination trips offer spring break alternative

October 21, 2010

Students who are interested in going somewhere for spring break while making a difference in a community can apply to participate in the 2011 Destination service trip.

Destination is a week-long community service trip over spring break. Those who participate will serve as volunteers with organizations working with one of the following service issues: animal welfare, inner city youth, hurricane relief, rural poverty or sustainability.

Each of the five Destination service trips is in a different location across the country.

The animal welfare service trip is located in Pittsboro, N.C. at the Carolina Tiger Rescue. The Carolina Tiger Rescue provides lifelong homes to wild cats in need of rescue and educates the public about what threatens these animals in the wild, in the pet trade and in the entertainment industry. Some of the things Destination participants might do include learning about and working with some animals at the Carolina Tiger Rescue and providing construction and maintenance assistance for the center.

The service trip working with inner city youth is in Kansas City, Missouri at Operation Breakthrough. Operation Breakthrough helps children who are living in poverty develop to their fullest potential by providing them a safe, loving and educational environment. Some of the things Destination participants might do include holding babies, reading to children, tutoring school age children and various other activities.

Hurricane relief is another Destination service trip opportunity located in New Orleans with an organization called Building Together. Building Together’s mission is to improve the quality of life of low income homeowners, particularly those who are elderly, disabled or single head of households with minor children, through home repair and revitalization of New Orleans’ neighborhoods. Destination participants will be helping in various stages of home reconstruction.

The rural poverty service trip is in Kincaid, W.Va., at Southern Appalachian School. Kincaid is a poverty stricken area and the mission of SALS is to provide education, research and linkages for working class and disenfranchised peoples in order to promote understanding, empowerment and change. Some service opportunities that Destination participants might experience are rehabilitation and new home construction, weatherization of coal-camp housing for low income home owners and mentoring high school drop-outs and at-risk young adults.

The sustainability service trip is in Portland, Oregon at the ReBuilding Center. The ReBuilding Center diverts the region’s largest volume of reusable building and remodeling materials from landfills, using up to eight tons of material per day. Some of the service opportunities include exploring ways to be sustainable, sorting materials, painting, pulling nails, sweeping, measuring doors and working on other community projects.

“Destination is a positive life changing program that gets people aware of issues and creates active citizens,” Destination Programmer Christa Hoel said. “ It’s a fun way to spend spring break while making a difference in a community. The name Destination is seen nationwide and looks good on your resume too.”

Hoel has been on two Destination spring break trips and is going again this year. Her first service trip was to Atlanta where she worked with inner city youth and education and her second service trip was to Cincinnati where she worked with poverty and homelessness. This year she plans on participating in the trip to New Orleans.

“It was so impactful to see all the services available to the people in need,” Hoel said. “And yet there isn’t nearly enough for everyone. You hear about it and see it on the news, but it’s so different being there.”

To apply for the 2011 Spring Break Destination program, fill out a participant application form on the Destination page on UWRF’s website by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29.  A $50 non-refundable deposit is due with your application. Deposit payments are to be paid at the Involvement Center’s front desk after completing your application. Applicants that are not accepted to the program or choose to withdraw will be reimbursed their $50 deposit. Each trip costs $350. Payment of the remaining trip cost will be due Feb. 4.

Fees will cover all transportation, lodging, meals during the week, housing fees, service site fees and a t-shirt. Resources for individual fundraising are available if you choose.

For more information, visit the Destination page on UWRF’s website. For questions, please contact fpdestination@uwrf.edu.