Alternative Spring Break: Making and Breaking a Difference

Date: March 30, 2015

United Way’s Alternative Spring Break gives college students from all over the country an opportunity to get a deeper understanding of the issues that our community faces and volunteer with our partners. Together with Break A Difference, we were lucky enough to have nearly 90 enthusiastic students over the month of March. Each and every one of them was eager to get out in the community and get their hands dirty.

Shannon Dusute, team leader of her Alternative Spring Break group, is president of Student United Way at Madonna University. Let’s take a look at what her group was up to during their trip.

“We prepared and delivered meals to people with special dietary needs – those living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other challenging illnesses – with United Way’s partner, Food and Friends. My ‘high’ of that day was delivering extra food to people on the street who were homeless. They were beyond appreciative for the food we gave them. The ‘low’ was when we ran out of food. One woman came up to our car as we were about to drive away. Having to tell her we had none left was heartbreaking.”

“I felt lucky to have the opportunity to volunteer at Benjamin Franklin High School, an absolutely incredible school. With help from United Way of Central Maryland, they provide services to students in need, including day care for teen parents (giving them a better chance at graduating), a food pantry, health clinic and an incredible team of supportive staff members. This school truly cares for and loves its students. However, it was unfortunate to learn thatnot many schools provide services like Benjamin Franklin does. Out of all teen parents in the United States only about three percent of them will graduate high school. If more schools could offer support, that percentage rate could increase drastically.”

“I am so thankful for the opportunities I had this week to get a firsthand look at community issues in central Maryland and learn about the important services that United Way helps provide. I am very much looking forward to continuing to volunteer when I return home to Michigan working with the United Way of Southeastern Michigan and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Detroit. Thank you United Way and the Break A Difference crew for such an amazing week.”

Thank YOU, students for giving back during your spring break!

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