New CareBreak locations announced for volunteers

Published by adviser, Author: Maria Heintzinger - Rocket Contributor, Date: November 14, 2013
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The Spring CareBreaks locations for 2014 were announced Tuesday by the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership (CSIL).

The eight different locations announced include Wisconsin, Virginia, Georgia, Philadelphia, Kentucky, Florida, and two in Tennessee.  These service trips will be taking place over spring break from March 17 to March 23.

CareBreaks provide an opportunity for Slippery Rock students of any age to volunteer in different areas of the country over a week-long trip.  Depending on the CareBreak the student chooses, volunteering may include home repairs, environmental work, hunger, poverty, the elderly, the disabled, or even animals in need.

The sign-ups and additional information can be found at the front desk in the CSIL Office.  CareBreak trips are $350 each and include transportation, food, and all accommodations.  A $25 deposit is due to the CSIL when signing up.

The CSIL is also currently looking for leads of any age and advisors age 25 or over for all eight trips.  In exchange for their assistance both before and during the trip, leads are able to attend for half price and advisors can attend for free.

CSIL Assistant Director Charlie Judge, Graduate Assistant Justin Vallorani, and a team of three students work to coordinate these trips several times a year.

“We look for opportunities that will expose students to a different culture and environment that may be new to them,” Vallorani said.

Volunteering and activities on the CareBreaks often depend on the type of service that is offered, historical and educational sights in the area, and also a consideration of places college students may be interested in visiting.  The CSIL believes that when working in these environments, participants will be challenged and pushed out of their comfort zone, but they will gain so many new skills after the week comes to a close.

“A student will learn how to interact with a lot of different populations that they may not be familiar with,” Vallorani said. “Also, some of the tasks they will be completing may challenge them and they may need to look at how they communicate with others.”

Kelly Tisch, one of the student CareBreak coordinators, works to design these programs to promote as much enlightenment and learning experiences as possible for the students that participate in them.

“The skills they will gain depend on the trip, but I hope that they can learn to put other people and other situations before their own and to open their eyes to other situations that they had not realized existed,” Tisch said.

Besides taking the initiative to fulfill volunteer hours over their spring break, the CareBreaks coordinators hope these participants will take away so much more from these trips.  A dedication to making a change in the world and forming new friendships are among the top of these qualities, Vallorani and Tisch said.

“I hope that they see the value giving back to the community and that it instills the need to do events like this for their years beyond college,” Judge said.

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