The Alternative Spring Break is planned, organized and financed by students.
Randolph-Macon College students recently traveled to Franklin, West Virginia in
conjunction with the college’s unique Alternative Spring Break. Thirty-four students,
two advisors and alumnus Zach Basham ’10 traveled to the mountains of West Virginia
to help build houses for people in need. The R-MC Habitat for Humanity Chapter sponsored
“The R-MC Habitat Chapter is committed to eliminating substandard housing in the
town of Ashland and throughout the country,” says John Coleman ’12. “Since 2005,
our chapter has sponsored an Alternative Spring Break trip for students willing
to give their time to help others.” Coleman serves as the public relations coordinator
for the Chapter.
The industrious travelers arrived at the Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity Affiliate
on Sunday, March 20 and soon realized that they did not have cell phone service.
“Although that seemed like a downside at first, we actually enjoyed the quiet,”
says Miles Toth ’12. “We entertained ourselves by playing card games, kickball,
creating a talent show, making bonfires, and going on nightly walks. I bonded more
with everyone this year because we did everything together.”
The group reported to work on March 21 and began construction on two townhouse complexes.
They spent the week installing siding, trusses and window panes; painting; and constructing
interior walls. With the help of four construction supervisors, they learned valuable
skills, including how to correctly hammer and how to cut wood with a table saw.
The group also hosted Habitat Homeowners at a community dinner. “This year’s trip
was especially meaningful because of the quality time we spent with homeowners and
community members,” says Christina Brown, R-MC staff advisor for the Chapter. “We
worked hard and made a difference, and we also had the chance to meet the people
we were helping.”
Each year, R-MC’s Alternative Spring Break trip is planned, organized and financed
by students. In order to making their plan a reality, Habitat participants must
work at least 20 fundraising hours to help finance the trip. Each student is also
placed into one of five committees to help organize each aspect of the trip, including
food, transportation and teambuilding activities.
“Everyone’s hard work and dedication throughout the year really paid off,” said
Michael Zacharias ’13.
After returning to campus, the group elected the executive board for next year;
they are currently working on a fundraiser to support a Habitat affiliate in another
country. The group has already started planning and drumming up interest for next
year’s Spring Break trip.
“I'm definitely going to do the trip again next year,” says Habitat President Elizabeth
Luminoso ’13.” “I love the trips so much! You meet so many new people and you really
get to make a difference in someone's life.”