NSU Humanitarians Aid Orlando Community

Alternate Spring Break group at the Goodwill Industries of Central Florida Photo courtesy of Levi Seefeldt

     For some, spring break is exactly what it’s meant to be — a break from school and studies, a time for relaxation; for others, it’s a chance to do something to help other communities as well as our own. Thanks to the revival of the Alternate Spring Break program, sponsored by the NSU Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, students can travel across the country to help those in need. This past spring break, students as well as NSU staff members Jordan Palmer and Clayton Kolb travelled to Orlando, Florida, to volunteer at a Goodwill Industries local shopping center.
     Levi Seefeldt, a NSU junior who participated in the program, said, “It opened my eyes to the way poverty truly affects people. Some people can’t afford the basic clothing they need to survive in the winter months. Because of Goodwill, those people can get the clothes they need”.
     The group also helped Goodwill with their online book program. “I helped out in the textiles area, sorted and labeled books for their book program, and also helped with their online book sales. I know just our small group coming to volunteer was a huge help to them,” said freshman Jessica McClain. The books that Goodwill does not sell go to underprivileged schools.
     In addition to assisting Goodwill Industries, while in Orlando the group also worked with the Pet Alliance. “We helped them unload a ton of donations as well as spent time with the animals” said McClain.
     The Pet Alliance finds homes for those animals who are abandoned and provides them with any needed healthcare.
     Alternate Spring Break is focused on the way student involvement can impact a community. The group was required to keep journals and reflect on what they learned. According to Seefeldt, “Every night we sat down like a family and discussed the ups and downs of the day as well as what we learned”.
     According to the OSIL Alternative Spring Break webpage, this program “strives to expose students to social and cultural issues through direct service and personal reflection in order to create contributing members of society and life-long active citizens”. McClain stated, “It was one of the best decisions I’ve made…I gained a ton of experience. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my spring break.”

Zach Ell
Staff Writer