Alternate Spring Break Allows Students to Volunteer Around the World

It was a well-oiled machine on my second day of volunteering at Community Servings in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Students line up beside stainless steel benches, sorting, bagging, and packing items for individual meals.

Inside, a container contains oatmeal, oranges, sandwiches, cookies and apples.

It’s a “rigorous system,” says Laila Viklund, a sophomore political science and philosophy student at Northeastern.

Some students carry 11 bags at once. “We all understand that,” said Viklund. Plus, he says, “there’s always work to be done, which is great.”

The Alternative Spring Break team includes about 10 students who learn about social issues affecting society and support the organization’s efforts to address those social issues. About 90 students participate in the program this year.

Other trips this year include working with Community Missions in Niagara Falls, New York, where students support housing safety in the area. Students also get their hands dirty with some trail work with the American Hiking Society in Wildersville, Tennessee.

The team also traveled to Washington, DC, Seattle and Tucson, Arizona, as well as Killeen, Texas. In addition, international programs take students to the Dominican Republic and Ecuador.

“Each trip is so unique,” ​​says Amanda Mangano, student alternative break coordinator.

In their free time, students also have plenty of time for fun activities and exploring the places they visit, Mangano said.

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