Students Trade Beaches for Building on Alternative Spring Break

Students on a previous ASB trip helped build a home.
Students on a previous ASB trip helped build a home.

Although warm beaches beckon and fresh powdery slopes shout for attention, nearly 100 Hamilton students are spending a week of their spring break volunteering at one of 10 nonprofit organizations for Alternative Spring Break (ASB), March 12-23.

This year marks Hamilton’s 19th ASB, an annual volunteer venture that consists of 10 different community service trips. Nine groups are heading south for week-long construction projects, direct service work with children or environmental service. A second trip to nearby Syracuse has 10 students working at the Rescue Mission.

Five trips are taking place the first week of break, March 12-16.

Cumberland Trails, La Follette, Tenn.

In what has become an annual trip, Hamilton students returned to Tennessee to help build trails and do maintenance. The Cumberland Trail (CT), a Tennessee State Scenic Hiking Trail, became Tennessee’s 53rd state park in 1998.

Habitat for Humanity, Franklin, W.V. and Pendleton County, W.V.

Two groups of Hamilton students travelled to West Virginia to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity chapters in Franklin and Pendleton where they’re helping to build houses for families in need.

Habitat for Humanity Natchez, Miss.

Ten 10 students are in Mississippi working on a Natchez-Adams County Habitat for Humanity home project. (Hamilton students featured in news story in The Natchez Democrat.)

YSOP, Washington, D.C.

For the second year, 10 Hamilton students are working with Youth Service Opportunities Project (YSOP) in shelters, soup kitchens, schools, food and clothing banks and other direct-service institutions. YSOP is committed to helping young people become part of the solution to societal problems by showing them how even their smallest actions can make a difference in the lives of others.

Five ASB trips will take place during the second week of break, March 19-23.

Habitat for Humanity, Marion County, S.C.

Hamilton students will return to work with Marion County HFH, a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International.

The Rescue Mission, Syracuse, N.Y.

For the second year a group of ASB student will head west on the Thruway to volunteer at the Syracuse Rescue Mission.  This trip is geared to students who wanted to volunteer for a shorter, urban trip, get to know the local area and help Hamilton’s neighbors. The students are volunteering at the Rescue Mission where they’re primarily working on a painting project and serving food in their Food Service Center. They will also spend time helping in their New Life Day Center and Clothing Outreach program.

Hamilton ASB group appears in Syracuse Post-Standard video

Burgaw Elementary School, Wilmington, N.C.

Ten Hamilton students will return to work at Burgaw Elementary School near Wilmington, N.C. Through this annual outreach program, they’ll help students with homework and participate in after-school activities.

Chatham Habitat for Humanity, Pittsboro, N.C.

The students will work for the Chatham Habitat for Humanity in Pittsboro where they’ll help build a house for a family in need. Since 1989, Habitat for Humanity has worked to change substandard housing conditions throughout Chatham County by making homeownership possible for more than 100 families.

Land Between the Lakes, Golden Pond, Ky.

Land Between the Lakes is a 170,000-acre national recreation area in Western Kentucky and Tennessee located about 90 miles north of Nashville, Tenn., and just south of Paducah, Ky. Hamilton volunteers will help with the maintenance of an 1850s working farm, by doing repairs and building fences. They'll also work to get the facilities up and running for the tourist season.

Students are housed in churches, camps and refugee centers and pay $150 each to participate in the ASB trips.

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