ABOUT THE TRIPS


HIV/AIDS Assistance in NYC: The Alternative Spring Break: AIDS Action Trip is a service project that takes ten students to New York City over the week of spring break to work on issues related to HIV/AIDS. The group is sponsored by God’s Love We Deliver (GLWD), a non-profit that makes and delivers hot, nutritious meals to people living with HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses. The organization was started in 1986 by a hospice worker who observed that clients with HIV/AIDS were not getting food that met their nutritional needs; now, it operates out of an industrial kitchen in SoHo and prepares over 2,000 meals per day, five days a week.

Church Rebuilding in GEORGIA: This year marks the 10th annual Alternative Spring Break Church Rebuilding Trip. During the last decade, Dr. McCarthy has taken more than 200 students down South to help rebuild African-American churches in Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia that have been destroyed in hate crimes. This year, we will be travelling to Georgia, to help rebuild a small black church that was burned by arsonists in the mid-1990s. We will be doing mostly interior work--insulation and sheetrocking--while living and breaking bread with members of the congregation during our stay.

Restoration Work in ALABAMA: Spend a week on this PBHA Alternative Spring Break Trip to Decatur, Alabama exploring southern culture and forming new friendships while gaining a meaningful service experience.

In the past, service activities have included:

- building wheelchair ramps

- repairing homes for elderly citizens

- working with the mentally disabled

- constructing a school pond

- building houses and preparing wood for Habitat for Humanity

- sorting clothes for donation

- painting a community center

We are also planning daytime excursions to Birmingham (the center of the civil rights movement), the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center, and possibly a concert.

Freshman Trip to in MISSISSIPPI: The Freshman trip will be going to Biloxi, MS, to spend Spring Break working with a well-known and loved organization called Hands-On Gulf Coast. The work is perhaps more appropriately called "community restoration" - most of our time is spent de-molding houses and doing childcare at the Boys and Girls Club; however, we also do some ecological and ethnographic interview work on occasion. Hands-On will provide food and board (in tents!) at their site, and also will lead a tour of Biloxi and host reflections and discussions for the group.

Pre-Med Work in NEW ORLEANS - The Peter Cai Memorial Alternative Spring Break Trip

This year, the Harvard Premedical Society will be heading to New Orleans on a clinical trip. Over the week, participants will have the opportunity to work at mobile clinics, community health fairs, and rebuild sites through the city. In addition to interacting closely with patients, students will take blood pressures, perform capillary glucose tests, provide basic health education, shadow physicians, and experience the flavors of New Orleans! Visit the premedical society website to learn more about the trip. If you have any further questions, please contact Christine Li (li8@fas.harvard.edu), Chiamaka Nwakeze (cnwakeze@fas.harvard.edu), or Eric Shieh (eshieh@fas.harvard.edu).

Civil Rights and Social Justice Tour in MISSISSIPPI: This trip will focus on how young and regular people brought about dramatic social change through the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and other organizations. We will look at their achievements with an effort to learn and understand the ways in which we can follow their example today. We will visit historic sites and museums, talk to people who were actually involved in the movement, as well as volunteer in an afterschool program.

Hillel Trip in NEW ORLEANS: The Harvard Hillel sponsored ASB trip to New Orleans will include a wide variety of service activities all around the city and surrounding areas, including everything ranging from building houses and refurbishing buildings to volunteering in schools and nursing homes.  In order to accommodate individual's religious needs, the trip will be providing kosher meals and a full Shabbat program.

Pets as Therapy trip in MASSACHUSETTS: Alternative Spring Break and Pets as Therapy will co-sponsor the work of seven volunteers at a regional animal shelter. At the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' Nevins Farm in Methuen, MA, volunteers will feed, walk and play with animals such as dogs, cats, horses and pigs. Volunteers will also clean cages of smaller mammals such as ferrets and mice. At night, the group will stay at the nearby Rolling Ridge retreat to reflect and relax.

Community Redevelopment Work in NEW ORLEANS: The Broadmoor area of New Orleans makes up 365 acres in the heart of the city. The neighborhood is racially, ethnically, and economically diverse. During the spring and summer of 2006, the residents of Broadmoor held over 150 planning meetings to develop and write a comprehensive 319-page plan on how to rebuild their neighborhood. It was the first detailed plan produced for any neighborhood in the city (released in July of 2006 versus January of 2007 for all other neighborhood plans). It is also the only plan produced by the residents themselves and therefore "owned" by the residents.

For the past 2 years, Harvard University graduate students have contributed to the Broadmoor Project in many different ways. Students have spent spring break and summer vacation in New Orleans consulting and collecting data on repopulation, education, housing, and economic development.  This year, ASB will be leading a group of undergraduates to contribute to one of several ongoing initiatives that will aid the redevelopment of neighborhood.