Students Spend Spring Break in Atlanta to Aid Flood Victims

April 05, 2010

A group of 14 Mount Union students and staff members traveled to Atlanta, GA during spring break to assist those affected by the flood this past September.

“Other than the long hours in a stuffy vehicle, this was anything but the "typical" spring break trip,” said Adam Hood, a junior business administration major from Barberton, OH. Hood decided to attend the alternative spring break trip because of his appreciation for community service. “No beach, no MTV broadcasts and no luxury hotels, only a beautiful city and a chance to help others in need,” he said.

The Office of Community Service and Service-Learning at Mount Union worked with Community Collaboratives International (CCI), a nonprofit organization that helps arrange travel, room and board and work for college students who want to volunteer. Students from Ohio Northern University and colleges and universities in Michigan, Iowa and Pennsylvania also spent their spring break helping others in Atlanta’s 4th Ward, an area affected by flood damage following the September storms.

“My favorite part of the trip was meeting a group of students that had a similar goal to mine when it came to giving back to the community,” said Hood. “There are many different things we learn in college, but it is these types of bonds that really show you what you can’t learn in the classroom. It gives you hope and a reason to get out of bed in the morning knowing there are people out there that you can share your dream with.”

“Everyone was friendly and they were thankful that we gave up our spring break to help others,” said Sara Robison, a senior media computing major from Little Hocking, OH.  “The only thing that really surprised me was how many other people came to Atlanta for their spring break. We had over 100 people staying in the same place we were!”

The group of students traveled to Atlanta with Amanda Espenschied-Reilly, director of service-learning and community service; Heather Eichner, Ohio Campus Compact and AmeriCorps Vista at Mount Union; and Nicolette Hall, a graduate student from Youngstown State who is doing an internship in the Office of Service Learning and Community Service.

Throughout the week, the group completed a variety of service projects for several different organizations including working at a low-income preschool, working at the Methodist Children’s Home, volunteering in the Red Cross’ furniture bank and working with Mad Housers building shelters for the homeless individuals.

Espenschied-Reilly explained that students also had the opportunity to spend their free time exploring the city and experiencing its culture.  The group attended a Thrashers hockey game and visited the Georgia Aquarium and Centennial Olympic Park.


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