Students choose service for spring break

HUNTINGTON, IN- Instead of a week at the beach or at home relaxing, students from around Huntington University are setting off this spring break with another goal in mind.

Service is the focus for numerous students this March 15-19 as they travel to Benton Harbor, Mich., the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, among other destinations, to help in schools, Habitat for Humanity and other projects in those communities.

"Part of our core values here is missions," said Grace McBrayer, director of first-year students and volunteer services at the university. "One of our goals is enacting that."
Some students travel with faculty advisers while others travel with their athletic teams, but the goal is still the same: Growing closer together and helping those in need.

"It's the team dynamic that was so rewarding," McBrayer said about her past trips to Benton Harbor.

In Benton Harbor, students will be working with Habitat for Humanity on "deconstructs" which will provide supplies, such as doorknobs and bathroom fixtures, to Habitat's ReStores.

Students traveling to the Dominican Republic will be staying just miles from the Haitian border where they hope to be working in local schools and churches, building relationships and improving the community.

The Jamaican trip will partner with Christian Service International in Muncie, Ind., to build new rooms in a children's home with the primary emphasis on working along side Jamaican Christians to address immediate needs in the community of Highgate.

Students are even helping locally in Huntington. Sophomore Cheari Lee is volunteering 40 hours of her time over spring break to do taxes at Pathfinder Services through its free tax program.

"We grow closer together in the mud and in the cold," McBrayer said. "The ones that go love it. They really do."

For more information, contact Grace McBrayer, director of first-year students and volunteer services at the university, at (260) 359-4286.