Service Fraternity Spends Spring Break Assisting Hurricane Victims in New Orleans

HIGH POINT, N.C., March 21, 2012 – A group of students from the High Point University chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity, spent their spring break volunteering in Louisiana with the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity.

A group of 14 students and one adviser traveled to New Orleans with the fraternity to aid hurricane relief efforts in the Gulf through the HPU Alternative Break Program. During the week, the group worked on painting houses, building fences and pouring concrete.

On the last day of the trip, students had to opportunity to meet with hundreds of local students from the New Orleans area to do a community walk and clean up. For Dylan Robinson, a member of the fraternity, this in particular was the most influential part of the trip.

“We all met in a park in the 7th Ward and cleaned up the neighborhood. We could still see the remnants of Hurricane Katrina on many buildings and see how run down the area still is,” says Robinson. “It was a great way to end the week and to see what everyone had accomplished.”

Taylor Bradley, Service vice president of Alpha Phi Omega, says that her experiences on the alternative break trip made her realize how much she has taken for granted.

“I think the main thing that we took away from the experience was the value of a hard day’s work. It’s incredibly satisfying and humbling to see how much difference you are able to make by giving up such a small amount of your time,” says Bradley. “We understand, now more than ever, how truly blessed we are to be a part of this wonderful school and to have the opportunities we do.”

The New Orleans Alternative Break was one of two student service trips taken during HPU’s spring break. Another group of 16 students traveled to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to aid in tornado relief in partnership with Oak Ridge United Methodist Church.

Alpha Phi Omega has volunteered with the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity in the past as well. Students have been completing similar projects on spring break since 2005 including flood recovery in Iowa, Atlanta and Nashville, hurricane response in Texas, a food gleaning project in Orlando, a safe-housing project in Florida and hurricane relief in Mississippi.

Each year, HPU students volunteer more than 30,000 hours locally, nationally and internationally.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.℠ HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among Regional Colleges in the South. Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation. HPU was selected in the 2010-2011 list of “Colleges of Distinction,” as well as one of the top green schools in the country by the Sierra Club. The university offers 44 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and 10 graduate degree programs. It is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at highpoint.edu.

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Pam Haynes

Communication Speciliast

336-841-9055

phaynes@highpoint.edu

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