High Point, NC-- High Point University students have some heartwarming stories tell about fall break.
Instead of chillaxing or hanging out with family and friends students spend time in Alabama helping tornado survivors and in the small village of Chuisajcaba II, Guatemala.
Helping in Alabama: An elderly woman and her family whose home was damaged by tornadoes in April 2011 have a renovated house now thanks to High Point University students who volunteered their time during fall break.
Ten students, two faculty members and four members of Oak Ridge United Methodist Church traveled to Holt, AL. The group completed several projects including adding new paint and rebuilding walls, completing floor repairs, landscape cleanup, window replacements and adding two wheelchair ramps. The trip was part of HPU's Alternative Fall Break Program.
Students were able to see that aid is needed in the U.S., not just abroad, and an impact can be made without traveling far from home.
"This trip was different than any other project I have worked on in that we were able to see many tasks started and completed instead of just helping with something for a day, volunteering for a couple hours and not seeing through the final project," says Erin Karpovich, sophomore and human relations major. "The accomplishments we saw were such a reward, just as much so as the company we were in and the thankfulness we received."
Helping in Guatemala: More than 500 people now have access to purified water, vitamins and safe close-fire stoves thanks to High Point University students who traveled to Guatemala for fall break. Fifteen students raised more than $20,000 and traveled to the small village of Chuisajcaba II, Guatemala. While there, they built 83 close-fire stoves and gave vitamins and water purifiers to more than 500 people. The close-fire stoves replaced open fire pits in homes that cause respiratory problems, birth defects and a dangerous environment. Dylan Robinson, a senior political science major, has been on the alternative trip to Guatemala for three years. He was born in Guatemala and adopted by American parents at 8 months old, so the trip holds special meaning for him.
Helping in Louisiana: Maggie Sturdevant, senior and sociology major at High Point University, opted for a different kind of fall break when she decided to go to Slidell, La. on a mission trip.
Sturdevant traveled to Louisiana with her home church in Geneva, Ill., to work with Habitat for Humanity, helping with hurricane cleanup, and Loaves and Fishes Ministry, feeding the homeless. She also helped deliver emergency relief kits to the community.
As president of Alpha Phi Omega, a service-based fraternity, and president of the Volunteer Center, volunteering is a passion of Sturdevant's and this is her second time going on an alternative fall break trip.
This is the fourth year the students have gone to this country.
*Information provided by High Point University.
High Point University