Alternative Spring Breaks Allow Students to Give Back

HPU HIgh Point University Alabama Spring BreakTwo groups of High Point University students are back on campus after spending their spring break helping others. One group spent their week in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where they assisted in tornado recovery efforts, while the other worked with the National Parks Service restoring parts of Joshua Tree National Park in California.
The Alabama group had a variety of chores, from repairing an 86-year-old woman’s home, to clearing debris to make room for new houses and organizing meals at a food pantry.

HPU student Victoria Franklin says getting the opportunity to talk to the tornado victims was the most rewarding part of the experience.

“When we pulled up to Mrs. Hollingsworth’s home, she was so tickled that a volunteer team of our size was there and at her service. She thanked us several times.”

HPU High Point University Joshua Tree National ParkFranklin says she was surprised by how much destruction is left, even two years after the tornado hit.

“There are acres of land where there is nothing but slabs of concrete where numerous buildings once stood. While there are countless people working on restoration, there is still so much work to be done,” says Franklin.

The students in California, spent their nights camping and days moving rocks, cutting bushes and building retaining walls along the parks’ trails. They also cultivated a brand new 1.3 mile trail in the park.

“That made us some of the first people to ever hike the trail, which was pretty cool,” says senior Dylan Robinson.

This was Robinson’s sixth alternative break trip, and he says it was unlike any other.

“The alternative break program is a great way to experience new things and get students out of the classroom. It exemplifies HPU’s value of services, and allows people to give back in unique ways,” says Robinson.

To view more photos from their trips, click here.

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