Group helps homeless during 2013 spring break

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The Center for Civic Engagement is sponsoring this year’s Alternative Spring Break trip to San Francisco.

The Alternative Spring Break is a part of a national movement of students who choose to spend their spring break in service. During the trip students will spend eight days assisting organizations that aim to end hunger and homelessness in the Bay Area.

Student organizers of this year’s trip hope the experience will have lasting effects on students.

“We hope the experience will have an effect on students in that they will want to volunteer their time fighting hunger and homelessness in Oregon as well,” said trip leader Gavin Brown.

Students will also participate in an activity called “Street Retreat” where they will live a day in the life of a homeless person.

“There is such a negative stigma surrounding homelessness, so we want to break these stigmas and get students to look at the reasons why these people might be homeless,” said trip leader Katherine Sakumoto. “This isn’t a service project, but more of an activity to bring awareness about hunger and homelessness.”

This year students fundraised and collected donations from organizations like Student Senate and the Byron Steiger Fund to pay for the service trip. However, the Center for Civic Engagement is working with University Advancement to develop a long-term funding strategy for future alternative trips.

To help fund the trip, participants hosted a fundraising event from Feb. 26 to March 1 in the UC.

For a dollar students could buy raffle tickets for gift cards to local businesses such as Dutch Bros, Frye’s Action Athletics and Grendels.

The Alternative Spring Break group had a table in the UC on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday selling tickets

The Director of the Center for Civic Engagement Stephanie Stokamer believes it is important to offer the Alternative Spring Break to Pacific students every year. This trip is a great opportunity for students to fulfill one of their core requirements at Pacific.

“This kind of experience is important to offer as an alternative to fulfilling the Civic Engagement Cornerstone during the semester. So many students at Pacific are really busy during the semester with coursework for their major and other requirements that we need to offer other ways to have a meaningful service experience,” said Stokamer.

Participants will head to San Francisco on March 23 and return March 30.


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