Spring break can be about more than relaxing or partying. Nearly 50 Sacramento State students set that example by participating in the Alternative Break.
Coordinated by the Community Engagement Center and ASI A-team, Alternative Break presents a chance for students to make a difference during spring and winter breaks by volunteering with local organizations.
Misty Garcia, an administrative analyst/specialist at the Community Engagement Center who coordinates Alternative Break, said 49 students signed up for the five volunteerism opportunities offered this Spring Break, which were:
March 21 – Preparing and packaging meals at Meals on Wheels by ACC central kitchen
March 22 – Support work for Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services mobile food distribution program
March 23 – Canceled because of weather
March 24 – Preparing and packaging meals at Meals on Wheels by ACC central kitchen
March 25 – Picking and boxing fruit for Harvest Sacramento
Garcia said participation in the program has steadily increased since its inception in 2007. More students typically volunteer during Winter Break, she said, “probably because the students have more free time to contribute.”
The University tries to build long-term partnerships with organizations through Alternative Break but also wants to incorporate a new entity each time, Garcia said. Meals on Wheels was this term’s first-time participant.
John Kanemoto, a junior Mathematics major with a concentration in Teacher Preparation, says the immediate connection to the community appeals to him.
“An entire week of community service reminds me to not take for granted my education and time here at Sac State,” says Kanemoto, who is participating in his fourth Alternative Break. “Getting overwhelmed with finals and work on campus is nothing compared to the lives we touch through the Sacramento Food Bank or Habitat for Humanity. Community service reminds us of the power of a helping hand.”
And the outcomes couldn’t have been better. The metrics for the week’s work are:
919 pounds of fruit gleaned and donated to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services
Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services’ mobile food distribution:
125 households (467 individuals) received food supplies
Meals on Wheels by ACC estimated counts for the two days:
9150 fruit cups prepared
4100 meals prepared
9000 meals packed (6750 into five packs and 2250 meals into 10 packs)
Additionally, Meals on Wheels indicated the Sac State Alternative Break group holds the two-day record for number of fruit cups and meals packed.
For more information on Alternative Break, call (916) 278-4610 or visit http://www.csus.edu/cec/altbreak. For media assistance, contact Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156.