Making a Difference in Macon

Ariel Edgeworth on WIU's 2013 Alternaive Spring Break Trip

Ariel Edgeworth, one of two graduate student advisors on WIU’s 2013 Alternative Spring Break trip, volunteering with Rebuilding Macon, a volunteer organization in Macon, Georgia, that performs home repair work for those in need.

How about a Spring Break chock full of demolition, gardening, and house painting? No way, you say?

Well, for several Western Illinois University students who are members of Western’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) group, they wouldn’t spend their time away from school this week any other way.

The nine students in the 2013 ASB group, which is part of Western’s All Volunteer Effort (WAVE), are in Macon, Georgia, volunteering via Rebuilding Macon, a volunteer organization that performs home repair work for those in need.

This year the student group is comprised of two graduate student advisors, Ariel Edgeworth (Moline, IL), a graduate student in college student personnel, and Jodi Santillie, a graduate student in college student personnel, as well as seven more students, including:

WIU 2013 Alternative Spring Break Group

Members of the 2013 WIU Alternative Spring Break group.

Some of the students are talking about their ASB experiences this week on a blog, which is available at alternativespringbreak2013
.blogspot.com/
.

In January, the ASB group’s trip got a financial boost when they were notified they received a $1,000 grant from Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Scholars Program, which awards grant funds to student groups interested in volunteerism and philanthropy. WIU Office of Student Activities Assistant Director Michelle Harvey said the travel for the group is entirely funded by donations, so the grant helped to pay for this year’s trip.

“The students put together an essay application for the grant about how the mission of their trip matches with that of Liberty Mutual, which is ‘Helping people live safe, more secure lives,'” Harvey said. “We receive a little money from student fees, but the students also fundraise as a group, sending letters to family and friends and holding bake sales on campus.”

Learn more about WIU’s Alternative Spring Break at wiu.edu/asb.

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