E-Net News

Students take part in Fall Break service programs

Sponsored by the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, two groups helped with community development and environmental preservation in western North Carolina during their Alternative Break Service Trips.

Elon University students who traveled to Asheville over Fall Break helped pack boxes at a food bank serving western North Carolina communities.

By Erin Turner '15

Two dozen Elon University students and four advisers traveled with the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement over Fall Break to volunteer with nonprofit organizations serving residents of North Carolina.

Two separate groups visited Asheville, N.C., and Turtle Island Preserve in Boone, N.C., to focus on environmental sustainability while identifying ways to enrich rural communities.

“We packed 1,170 care packs for students who receive free or reduced lunched in the Asheville area to have over the weekend," said Matthew Crehan, student coordinator for the community development trip. "Many of these students only have food when they are at school during the week. Hearing the instructor tell us that one care pack equals one child had a huge impact on all of us there because we were able to have a tangible feel for the amount of people we were able to help.”

The Kernodle Center sponsors a dozen student-run trips throughout the academic year. Programs accept 12-15 students and cost about $200 per person during Fall Break, a figure that covers lodging, transportation and food.

Students interested in applying for an Alternative Break program can find applications on the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement web page: www.elon.edu/service. The center  also offers need-based scholarships to help defray costs.

Students and staff advisers in the community development service program in Asheville, N.C.

“We look for students who genuinely want to volunteer, and although we want students to have fun, we also don’t want them to lose focus on what the trip is all about," said Eric Noyes, who coordinated the Turtle Island program. "We did a lot of labor-intensive activities such as clearing trails and logging wood. It feels good to know that the things we did will have a lasting impact."

The Kernodle Center will sponsor seven alternative break trips during Spring Break, which runs March 21-30. Destinations are Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; New Orleans; Jamaica; Dominican Republic; Honduras; and Nicaragua. Prices vary for the trips but will generally run from $500 domestically to $1,200 for an international service experience.

The deadline for all applications has been extended to Monday, Oct. 28, at 5 p.m.

For more information about The Kernodle Center or to learn about upcoming alternative break trips, "like" the Elon Volunteers! Facebook page or e-mail Elon Volunteers! at elonvols@elon.edu.

Eric Townsend,
10/24/2013 12:00 PM