Alternative Spring Breaks: A Chance to Give Back

Via Get Connected

When the words, “college” and “spring break” come up, most people’s minds travel to tropical beaches filled with alcohol, hospital runs and questionable decisions. For some college students though, spring break is a chance to give back to the community.

    Lexi Firestone, a junior at George Mason is doing just that. Over the break she is volunteering with College Service Project (CSP), a group that partners with the Appalachia Service Project to make homes warmer, safer and drier for families in need throughout rural Central Appalachia. This trip will take place in Jonesville, Virginia from March 11-17 where volunteers will participate in home repair projects to eradicate substandard housing in the area.Via College Service Project: George Mason University 

Firestone first joined this group when Emalie Frietas, a friend and freshman year floormate, conceived the idea to create a chapter on campus. Having worked with the organization through her church in high school, she decided Mason would benefit from having a chapter that expands into the Northern Virginia area. Firestone has been there since its inception at Mason as a founding member and Secretary starting in the Fall of 2016.

Since its creation, the George Mason chapter has provided volunteer services for other groups and partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia and local homeless shelters. The organization is solely devoted to service. Other projects include clothing drives for the Department of Human Services in DC and a partnership with Habitat for Humanity in Kingsport, TN.

                                                   Related: Janine Gaspari: Student Activist and Community Organizer

Via @CSP_GMU

Firestone explained that her decision to spend her spring break helping others was not a difficult one saying, “I made this decision because I love being a part of this organization and want to take any opportunity I can to help others. I don’t think that I am missing out on anything by going on this trip. I know that I am going to be much more productive over break by doing something like and like I said, any opportunity to help those in need should be take.”

In regards to missing the beach, Firestone clearly doesn’t feel like she’s missing out. She explained, “I have never truly done a service project like this and I am looking forward to getting to spend time with the other seven members that are going as well as getting to meet other college groups and help those in need.” While she admitted not being thrilled about the cold weather, extra layers and packing struggles, she is still looking forward to giving back.Via @CSP_GMU

While there’s nothing wrong with cruising in Cancun over spring break, there’s something wonderful about contributing to the community. If you are interested in becoming part of this organization, you can check out the College Service Project page at GetConnected. There you will find email addresses to send all inquiries.

You can also follow the group on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. General body meetings are held every other week on Tuesdays at 7pm in the Hub VIP Room #3 with $25 dues each semester that go toward the service trips.

Giving back to the community is an alternative spring break that can be both rewarding and refreshing. So when you’re trying to flesh out plans for spring break, don’t forget to consider the possibility of committing yourself to service. You’d be surprised at how fun making an impact can be.